EASTABOGA, AL – Cruz Skinner of Oxford, AL reached a goal he had set five years ago, as the 17-year-old driver won the Durrence Layne Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series 50-lap main event Saturday night at his home track, Talladega Short Track. Skinner took the lead at the drop of the green flag and then led wire-to-wire for his second series win of the season.

              Skinner was able to keep a half straightaway lead over the second-place driver, except for when he was in lapped traffic. The 2015 VP Racing Fuels Young Guns Challenge Series Champion used patience in working the traffic to make passes of the lapped cars and keep the lead in his Skinner’s Body Shop Rocket. 

            At the checkered flag it was Skinner with a two second margin of victory over Jake Knowles of Rome, GA, who was the Hard Charger of the Race after starting his Knowles Race Parts and Bodies Special in the tenth spot and coming home second, to also move up the second in the series point standings. 
            Friday night’s winner and Durrence Layne Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series point leader Ashton Winger of Senoia, GA chased Skinner for most of the race, but had to settle for third in the Keyser Manufacturing Rocket. The 18-year-old teenager has a 48-point lead with two races left in the 2018 season. Winger was also the Cruise With The Champions Rookie of the Race.

              “It’s great to finally get a touring series win here in front of my friends and family,” Skinner said. “We’ve been working really hard to get here, as this is my fifth year of racing late models, and it feels to get it done and win at home. The race was really crazy. I was able to get the jump on Ashton at the start, and then it was just about staying out front and working lapped traffic the right way. I was patient in lapped traffic, maybe a little too patience, but it all worked out.”

              While Skinner was trying to figure out how to negotiate through the heavy lapped traffic, he had Winger literally under his fuel cell to challenge for the lead. Skinner’s patience and work through the lapped cars while maintaining the lead earned him the VP Racing Lubricants Slick Move of the Race Award.

              Youth was served in this race, as another fast teenager finished in the top four. The youngest driver in the field, 14-year-old Jake Rainey of Powder Springs, GA finished fourth in the Wren’s Body Shop Special. A total of 71 years separated the oldest driver in the race to the youngest driver to take the green flag.

            The oldest driver in the race was Red Farmer of Hueytown, AL, who says he will begin looking forward to his 87th birthday after this Monday. Farmer raced his way into the 24-car starting line-up among the 36 entrants driving the Long-Lewis Ford Rocket.
            Mike Combs of Odenville, AL finished fifth in the Legacy Environmental Processes Rocket, and Chase Walls of Decherd, TN drove the Michael Barnes Performance Special to a sixth-place finish. Todd Morrow of LaFayette, AL was seventh to take the Mudd Sauce 7th-Place Award driving the Morrow Racing Special.
            Tyler Wood of Hohenwald, TN took the eighth spot in the Speedy B’s GRT and Andy Picklesimer of Ooltewah, TN finished ninth in the Hyma Motorsports Special. Heath Carr of Ashland, AL rounded out the top ten in the Carr Logging Special. 
            In preliminary action, Winger was the Knowles Race Parts and Bodies Fast Qualifier with a lap around Talladega Short Track in 14.979 seconds. The two ten-lap B-Main Races were won by Oakley Johns of Hohenwald, TN in the Johns Timber Special and Greg Martin of Oliver Springs, TN in the Biff Motorsports Special.
            The initial start of the race ended up with pandemonium in turn one, as nine cars piled up and completely blocked the track to necessitate a complete restart. The wreck sidelined Farmer and Ty Roberts of Birmingham, AL in the Cabiz Special. 
            Skinner took the lead on the restart from the outside front row starting spot followed by Winger, Combs, Marcus Minga of Shannon, MS in the B&M Salvage Rocket, and Rainey. Knowles came from tenth to seventh on the first lap. Skinner had a five car-length lead by lap six and Knowles got by Walls for the sixth spot.
            Skinner set a fast pace, as he reached the cars on the tail of the lead lap by lap 11. Skinner committed himself to the bottom groove of the race track, while Winger climbed to the top of the track to close in on the leader. The battle for the lead was interrupted on lap 18 when Minga and Rainey tangled in turn one while battling for fourth to bring out the caution flag.
            Minga was ticketed with the caution flag, and restarted as the last car on the lead lap, and Rainey restarted in fourth. With the lapped cars going to the tail of the field, Skinner lined up for the Dixie-Style Double-File Restart with Winger, Combs, Rainey, Knowles, Walls, Morrow, Adam Gauldin of Talladega, AL in the Adam Gauldin Racing Rocket, Wood, and Picklesimer doubled up behind him in second through tenth respectively.
            Knowles got busy on the restart, as he went to the top shelf and passed both Rainey and Combs to move up to the third spot. The third caution flag of the race came out on lap 20 for a multi-car crash in turn four that blocked the track and the caution flag made way for the red flag.
            The crash eliminated the cars of Martin, Jake Traylor of Eastaboga, AL in the Traylor Racing Special, Nick Schlager of Royston, GA in the Schlager Racing Special, Johns, and Chase Edge of LaFayette, AL in the Edge’s Gas Company Special. Behind Skinner for the double-file restart in second through tenth respectively were Winger, Knowles, Combs, Rainey, Morrow, Walls, Wood, Picklesimer and Carr.
            Rainey was able to get by Combs for fourth on the restart with an inside move in turn four,  while Skinner opened up a six car-length advantage on Winger by the halfway point. The leader caught lapped traffic on lap 30 and Winger began to close in to challenge for the lead. Winger was all dressed up with no place to go. 
            Skinner played the lapped cars with precision giving Winger no room to pass for the lead. On lap 38, Winger put the nose of his car under the fuel cell of Skinner’s car down the front straightaway in an attempt to rattle the leader’s cage. Winger then threw a slide job pass attempt on Skinner in turn one, but came up short.
            With Winger’s momentum slowed, that jammed up the cars behind him and Jesse Lowe of Crossville, TN spun his Lowe Racing CVR in turn one to bring out the caution flag. Once again, the lapped cars were gone with 12 laps to go as Winger, Knowles, Rainey, Combs, Walls, Morrow, Wood, Picklesimer and Carr doubled up behind Skinner for the restart.
            Skinner was quick to pull away on the restart while Winger and Knowles battled side-by-side for second. Knowles made an inside move on Winger in turn four on lap 40 to move up to the second spot, but by that time, Skinner had opened up a half straightaway lead that he held to the checkered flag.
            The penultimate race of the 2018 Durrence Layne Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series season will be the $10,000-to-win 11th Annual Southern 100 at Southern Raceway in Milton, FL on November 2-3.

            For more information and rules about the Durrence Layne Racing Divisions, 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.           2            11          Cruz Skinner                   Oxford, AL                       50          $2,500
2.           10          66          Jake Knowles                  Rome, GA                         50          $1,250
3.           1            12          Ashton Winger (R)         Senoia, GA                        50          $850
4.           6            87          Jake Rainey                     Powder Springs, GA       50          $700
5.           3            5c          Michael Combs               Odenville, AL                   50          $650
6.           8            25          Chase Walls                     Decherd, TN                     50          $550
7.           7            T1         Todd Morrow                  LaFayette, AL                 50          $500
8.           9            17jr      Tyler Wood                      Hohenwald, TN                50          $450
9.           11          P1         Andy Picklesimer           Ooltewah, TN                   50          $400
10.         15          3            Heath Carr                       Ashland, AL                     50          $375
11.         18          1            Bryant Marsh (R)           Corinth, MS                     50          $350
12.         19          05          T.J. Brittain                     Centre, AL                        50          $300
13.         17          232       Jamey Boland (R)           Cuba, AL                           50          $280
14.         21          23          Cory Hedgecock                            Loudon, TN                      49          $260
15.         4            19          Marcus Minga                 Shannon, MS                    49          $250
16.         5            17          Adam Gauldin                 Talladega, AL                  37          $240
17.         16          5j          Jesse Lowe                       Crossville, TN                  37          $220
18.         14          24          Greg Martin                    Oliver Springs, TN         19          $200
19.         12          42          Jake Traylor                   Eastaboga, AL                 19          $200
20.         23          22          Nick Schlager                  Royston, GA                     19          $200
21,         13          C6         Oakley Johns                   Hohenwald, TN                18          $200
22.         22          18          Chase Edge                       LaFayette, AL                 18          $200
23.         20          50          Ty Roberts                       Birmingham, AL             0            $200
24.         24          F97       Red Farmer                      Hueytown, AL                  0            $200

LAP LEADER: Skinner, 1-50
HARD CHARGER OF THE RACE: Knowles (started 10th and finished second)
CAUTIONS: 4 (1 Red)
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 2.012 Seconds
TIME OF THE RACE: 30 Minutes and 52.742 Seconds
NEXT RACE: November 2-3, $10,000-to-win 11th Annual Southern 100, Southern Raceway, Milton, FL