COCHRAN, GA – Cruz Skinner of Oxford, AL drove the Skinner’s Body Shop Capital to a clean sweep in the 50-lap finale of the Salute To America Nationals for the Durrence Layne Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series at Cochran Motor Speedway. The 17-year-old driver won the Boyd Bilt Fabrication Fast Time Award, and then held off all challengers to lead all 50 laps.

              Skinner was also the Cruise With The Champions Rookie of the Race. The challenges for the lead came early and often, but Skinner did have a good lead at times. Heavy lapped traffic and a multi-groove racing surface gave several drivers an opportunity to wheel and deal. Paint was swapped, sheet metal traded, and tempers flared.

              “These Durrence Layne Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series races are so competitive, they’re hard to win, never uneventful, and tonight was no exception,” Skinner said. “To be successful in this series, you have to be good in qualifying, and you especially have to be good in lapped traffic. When I got in heavy lapped traffic, it kind of scared me because I knew several cars were all around me trying to get the lead.”

              Skinner also earned the VP Racing Lubricants Slick Move of the Race Award with a series of moves throughout the race to defend his lead, and slice his way through heavy lapped traffic to open up his advantage.

              Throughout the race, the top five behind the leader was like a revolving door with several drivers making an appearance. When it was all said and done, Joseph Brown of Columbus, GA took the “Where Did He Come From Award” driving his Lewis Auto Sales Rocket to a second-place finish after starting 12th.

              Pearson Lee Williams of Dublin, GA hung out in the top five all night, and finished third in the Dublin Tire Special after surviving a few altercations which were the result of hard racing around Cochran Motor Speedway.

              Corey Dunn of Milledgeville, GA started 16th in the Georgia Timber CVR, and drove to a fourth-place finish to earn the Knowles Race Parts and Bodies Hard Charger of the Race Award. Marcus Minga of Shannon, MS had his best Durrence Layne Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series finish of the season with a fifth-place effort in the B&M Salvage Rocket.

              Tyler Wood of Hohenwald, TN took the sixth spot in the Johns Farms Special, and seventh went to Ches Chester of Twin City, GA in the Rebel Auction Rocket to earn the Fullmoon Graphics “Lucky 7” Award. Durrence Layne Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series point leader Jake Knowles of Rome, GA was eighth in the Knowles Race Parts and Bodies Special.

              Tyler Sanders of Dublin, GA finished ninth in the H.C. Roland Construction Special and Travis Pennington of Stapleton, GA rounded out the top ten in the U.S. Duffie Hauling Special. In preliminary action, Skinner was the Boyd Bilt Fabrication Fast Qualifier among the 27 entrants with a lap around Cochran Motor Speedway in 14.668 seconds.

              The top five qualifiers in the two qualifying groups transferred into the main event to set the first ten starting spots. The two eight-lap KRC Power Steering B-Main Races took the top six finishers to fill in starting spots 11 through 22 in the big show. They were won by Wil Herrington of Hawkinsville, GA in the Middle Georgia Roofing CVR and Brown.

              The green flag to start the race brought a flurry of action that saw the lead change hands three times in the first lap. Skinner chose to start on the outside, which put 15-year-old Jake Rainey of Hiram, GA on the inside of the front row in the Wren’s Body Shop Special. Mark Whitener of Middleburg, FL made it three-wide for the lead going into the first turn.

              Whitener threw a big slider putting his ULC Motorsports Special in front of Skinner, who made a hard left and drove back under Whitener to take the lead with a big slider of his own in turn three. Minga got by Rainey on lap four to take the third spot.

              The first caution flag of the race came out in lap six when Ben Faircloth of Swainsboro, GA slid off the third turn in his Mid-State Equipment Rocket and was the first car to retire from the event. That earned Faircloth the Keyser Manufacturing Hard Luck Award. 

            Skinner was up front for the Dixie-Style Double-File Restart with Whitener, Minga, Rainey, Williams, Herrington, Chester, Brown, Pennington and 14-year-old Parker Martin of McIntyre, GA in the Durrence Layne Chevrolet, Buick GMC Special doubled up behind him. Dylan Knowles of Lanett, AL spun the K-Line Logistics Rocket in turn four on lap seven for caution number two.
            The next restart saw Whitener take to the outside to try and get a run on Skinner to challenge for the lead. On lap eight, Whitener suddenly slowed off the pace to light up the caution bulb for the third time. The top ten for the restart was Skinner, Rainey Minga, Williams, Herrington, Brown, Chester, Jake Knowles, Martin, and Pennington.
            Williams passed Minga for third on lap ten. Herrington and Brown moved up to fourth and fifth respectively on lap 12 dropping Minga back to the sixth spot. Skinner caught the cars on the tail end of the lead lap by lap 14 with a five car-length lead over Rainey, who now was racing side-by-side for second with Williams.
            Williams dove under Rainey in turn three on lap 17 and Rainey drove deep into the corner on the high side. Rainey went sliding off the barrier less track in turn four to bring out the fourth of eight caution flags. The top ten for the restart looked like Skinner, Williams, Herrington, Brown, Minga, Knowles, Chester, Pennington, Martin, and Sanders.
            When the green light brought the field back up to speed, Slide Job Wars was back on the program. Herrington threw a big slider on Skinner in turn one. As Herrington slid up in front of Skinner, the Alabama driver perfectly timed the counter move to the Slide Job, The Crossover. Just as Herrington’s momentum stalled, Skinner turned hard left and mashed the throttle.
            Skinner drove back under Herrington to retake the lead down the backstretch. Before that battle could have another Slide Job salvo, Wood slid off the top of the backstretch on lap 18 to bring out caution flag number five. Top ten for the restart was Skinner, Herrington, Williams, Jake Knowles, Minga, Brown, Pennington, Chester, Dunn and Sanders.
            The nest ten laps had the field settle into a race pace with nice friendly battles throughout the top ten. Minga got by Knowles for the fourth spot on lap 19, and Knowles reclaimed the spot on lap 20. Brown then passed Minga for the fifth spot on lap 21. Skinner was once again in lapped traffic by lap 26, and Herrington began to close in.
            Herrington got into the back of the lapped car of Donald Johns of Summertown, TN going down the front straightaway on lap 29, and almost lost control of his race car. Herrington gathered his car back up, but Johns spun his Stewart Farms Special in turn two to bring out the caution flag. After the restart, Williams dove to the inside of Herrington to take the second spot.
            The caution flag came back out on lap 33 when Joe Baker of Norman Park, GA sailed off the backstretch in the Baker Farms Rocket. Skinner led Williams, Herrington, Knowles, Brown, Dunn, Minga, Chester, Pennington, and Sanders doubled up behind him for the restart. The nice racing was over for this restart, and things got down and dirty.
            The restart broke out into a three-wide scramble for the second spot among Williams, Herrington, and Knowles. As the trio entered turn three, Knowles’ car went off the track on the outside, as all three cars made contact. Knowles fought to keep his car on the race track, but in doing so, slowed to a crawl which piled up the cars behind him.
            Everyone kept rolling down the front stretch so the race stayed green. Then Herrington fell off the pace to bring out the caution flag on lap 34. Tempers flared among Williams, Herrington and Knowles, as pleasantries and pie recipes were exchanged. Herrington was done for the night, while Williams and Knowles battled on.
            The top ten for the restart was Skinner, Williams, Brown, Minga, Dunn, Chester, Pennington, Jimmy Elliott of Cleveland, TN in the Car Smart Auto Sales Special, Knowles and Wood. Brown drove under Williams on the restart to take over the second spot. With ten laps to go, Skinner had a five car-length lead on Brown.
            Skinner would have to enter the choppy seas of lapped traffic on lap 43, as Brown closed in to challenge for the lead on lap 46. Brown almost slipped off the backstretch on lap 48, and that sealed the deal for Skinner, who took a .511 second margin of victory under the checkered flag for his third career Durrence Layne Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series win.
            The next event for the cars and stars of the Durrence Layne Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series will be a $2,000-to-win 40-lap race at historic Smoky Mountain Speedway in Maryville, TN on Friday night, August 16.

            For complete point standings, more information and rules about the Durrence Layne Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series, visit the series web site at, or visit the series on Facebook at Durrence Layne Racing. You can follow us on Twitter @DurrenceLayneRacing.


POS      STRT   CAR #  DRIVER                            HOMETOWN                  LAPS    $ WON
1.           1            11          Cruz Skinner (R)            Oxford, AL                       50          $2,500
2.           12          92          Joseph Brown                  Columbus, GA                 50          $1,250
3.           6            121       Pearson Lee Williams    Dublin, GA                        50          $850
4.           16          21d       Corey Dunn                     Milledgeville, GA            50          $700
5.           5            19          Marcus Minga                 Shannon, MS                    50          $650
6.           9            17jr      Tyler Wood                      Hohenwald, TN                50          $550
7.           7            9            Ches Chester                    Twin City, GA                  50          $500
8.           8            66          Jake Knowles                  Rome, GA                         50          $450
9.           18          21s        Tyler Sanders                  Dublin, GA                        50          $400
10.         13          01          Travis Pennington          Stapleton, GA                  50          $375
11.         22          J39       Jimmy Elliott                   Cleveland, TN                  50          $350
12.         20          C6         Oakley Johns                   Hohenwald, TN                50          $300
13.         10          66k       Dylan Knowles                Lanett, AL                        50          $280
14.         4            05          T.J. Brittain                     Centre, AL                       50          $260
15.         2            87          Jake Rainey (R-YG)      Hiram, GA                        50          $250
16.         17          6jr        Parker Martin                 McIntyre, GA                  50          $250
17.         19          1n          Jordy Nipper                   Gray, GA                          49          $250
18.         15          39          Blake Smith                      East Dublin, GA                             45          $250
19.         24          14b       Joe Baker                         Norman Park, GA          41          $250
20.         11          14          Wil Herrington (R)        Hawkinsville, GA            33          $250
21.         23          C66       Donald Johns                   Summertown, TN            29          $250
22.         3            5            Mark Whitener               Middleburg, FL               7            $250
23.         14          22          Jimmy Thomas                Phenix City, AL               5            $250
24.         21          10          Ben Faircloth                   Swainsboro, GA                             4            $250

BOYD BILT FAST QUALIFIER: Skinner, 14.668 Seconds
PROVISIONALS: D. Johns and Baker
LAPS LED: Skinner, 1-50
KNOWLES RACE PARTS AND BODIES HARD CHARGER: Dunn (started 16th and finished 4th)
KRC HEAT RACE WINNER AWARD: Herrington and Brown
TIME OF THE RACE: 44 Minutes and 40.918 Seconds
NEXT EVENT: August 16, Smoky Mountain Speedway, Maryville, TN, $2,000-To-Win, 40-Laps