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KNOWLES BANKS $10K WITH DURRENCE LAYNE LATE MODEL SOUTHERN 100 WIN
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
MILTON, FL – Jake Knowles of Rome, GA drove a race of patience using tire management to win the 11th Annual Southern 100 for the Durrence Layne Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series on Saturday night at Southern Raceway. Knowles took the lead on lap 25 and led unchallenged the rest of the way to collect the $10,000 top prize in the Knowles Race Parts and Bodies Longhorn.
In a race that saw 14 caution flags, the two most important for Knowles occurred on lap 25, and on lap 69. During the lap 25 caution period, early race leader Travis Pennington of Stapleton, GA had to give up the point and pit with a cut left rear tire on his U.S. Duffie Site Prep Special. That gave Knowles the lead he would not relinquish the rest of the race.
While the lap 25 caution flag may have given Knowles the eventual race win, the lap 69 caution flag put Knowles to within ten points of the Durrence Layne Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series point leader Ashton Winger of Senoia, GA. Winger took a 48-point lead over Knowles into the Southern 100, and started the race from the pole position.
Winger was trying to race back into the top five after a lap 16 spin in turn two while running third. Winger had climbed back up to the eighth spot by lap 68. On a lap 69 restart, Winger’s Keyser Manufacturing Rocket fell off the pace. Monte Skinner of Saraland, AL slammed into the left side of Winger’s lame race car in turn three.
The right-front Hoosier Racing Tire of Skinner’s Capital Race Car Special was hung on the driver’s side door of Winger’s race car like a tray of burgers and fries at the local drive-in. Winger didn’t have an appetite for the Breakfast of Champions, let alone a Tire Designed For Champions. The 18-year-old driver quickly exited stage right out the passenger’s side window uninjured.
Winger was credited with a 19th-place finish and Knowles closed the gap from second in the points to a ten point difference with one race left in the 2018 Durrence Layne Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series season.
Winger with 1,236 points and Knowles with 1,226 points, will decide the 2018 National Championship on November 23-24 in the $10,000-to-win Possum Town Grand Prix at Magnolia Motor Speedway in Columbus, MS.
“This was the first time I have been here racing in the sand, but I knew I had to be patient, manage my tires, and try to get through the lapped traffic without abusing them,” Knowles said. “I knew Andy was close to me in traffic, but I knew he would race me clean when it came down to racing for the win. I was just trying to run just fast enough to stay out front.”
Andy Picklesimer of Ooltewah, TN was the only driver that could stay close to Knowles in the closing laps of the race. The 2016 Southern 100 Champion fell one spot short in the Hyma Motorsports Special of becoming a two-time winner. In fact, Picklesimer had to hang on for dear life to finish second, as he cut down a right-rear tire going down the backstretch on the 100th lap.
“I think I used more energy in the last half lap of the race than I used in the 99 previous laps just to get to the checkered flag,” Picklesimer said. “I don’t know what it is about this place, but we always seems to do well here. This sand is so much different than what we race on at home, so maybe I just need to move down here, and I know the weather is better most of the year.”
Local favorite Joseph Joiner of Milton, FL drove the Cole Services Special to a third-place finish, and Clint Smith of Senoia, GA was the Hard Charger of the Race after starting the Cliburn Truck Lines Rocket 13th and finishing fourth. Bryant Marsh of Corinth, MS was the Cruise With The Champions Rookie of the Race with a fifth-place finish in the Modern Woodmen of America Rocket.
Jamey Boland of Cuba, AL finished sixth in the Boland Performance Trak-Star “House Car” and Pennington came back from his cut tire to take the seventh spot. Colton Leyendecker of Holt, FL was eighth in the Jerry Edge Painting Special and Walker Arthur of Forest, VA came home ninth in the Cecil B. Arthur Beef Farms Special. D.G. Hawkins of Chunchula, AL rounded out the top ten in the Sessions Construction Services Rocket.
In Friday night preliminary action, Winger was the Knowles Race Parts and Bodies Fast Qualifier with a lap around Southern Raceway in 15.325 seconds. The three eight-lap Heat Races were won by Winger, Pennington and Joiner. On Saturday night, the ten-lap B-Main Race was won by Marcus Minga of Shannon, MS in the B&M Salvage Rocket.
For more information and rules about the Durrence Layne Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series, visit the series web site at www.durrencelayneracing.com, or visit the series on Facebook at Durrence Layne Racing. You can follow us on Twitter @DurrenceLayneRacing.
OFFICIAL RESULTS OF ROUND 14 AT SOUTHERN RACEWAY IN MILTON, FL ON 11/3/18:
POS STRT CAR # DRIVER HOMETOWN LAPS $ WON