EASTABOGA, AL – Through the years at Talladega Short Track, a red and white #66 dirt late model driven by Wade Knowles was a frequent visitor to Victory Lane. His son Jake Knowles carried on a family tradition with a win at TST on Tuesday night in the Salute To America Nationals finale for the Durrence Layne Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series driving and red and white #66.

              Knowles’ $2,500 win in the Knowles Race Parts and Bodies Longhorn, along with a fifth-place finish on Saturday night at Boyd’s Speedway in Ringgold, GA, earned the second generation driver the Salute To America points championship and $500 Bonus Bucks from Mike Vaughn’s Auto Exchange.

              “My Dad came here and won a lot of races through the years, and I practically grew up here,” Knowles said. “I’m running a red and white #66 to honor my Dad’s racing legacy, so it’s special to come here and win with that car. He and my Mom have been very supportive of my career, and I can’t thank them enough.”

              The victory was Knowles’ second of the season and keeps him in the championship hunt for the Durrence Layne Cup and the Durrence Layne Chevrolet Late Model National Championship. Knowles is currently third in the point standings after the first eight races of the 2018 season.

              The path to victory for Knowles came on lap 15 when he took the lead from Sam Seawright of Fort Payne, AL. Knowles was able to work lapped traffic and hold off the defending and two-time Durrence Layne Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series National Champion Cory Hedgecock of Loudon, TN in the Eagle Racing Engines Rocket.

              Hedgecock and Knowles were tied for points for the two Salute To America Nationals events, as Hedgecock finished third on Saturday night at Boyd’s Speedway and second at Talladega Short Track on Tuesday night. Knowles won the tiebreaker with the win.

              Chase Walls of Decherd, TN finished third driving the Walls Racing Rocket with the VP Racing Lubricants Smooth Move of the Race Award. Seawright and Cruz Skinner of Oxford, AL got together in turn four on lap 43, and Walls made the right move at the right time to advance from eighth to third.

              Seawright was able to hang on to finish fourth in the J&R Lumber Special, and Will Roland of Jasper, GA was fifth in the Roland Tire Warrior. Skinner brought the Skinner Body Shop Rocket home in the sixth spot. Ashton Winger took the seventh spot in the Keyser Manufacturing Rocket and was the Cruise With The Champions Rookie of the Race.

            The VP Racing Fuels Young Guns finished in fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh, as Seawright is 14-years-old, Roland is 16-years-old, Skinner is 16-years-old, and Winger is 18-years-old. The VP Racing Fuels Young Guns Challenge Series is a series for Durrence Layne Chevrolet Late Model drivers 18 years of age and younger. Skinner was the 2015 Young Guns Champion.
            Michael Page of Douglasville, GA subbed for three-time Durrence Layne Chevrolet Late Model National Champion Ronnie Johnson of Chattanooga, TN at mid-event and finished eighth in the Josh Roberts Trucking Special. Johnson started feeling under the weather after qualifying. John Ownby of Cleveland, TN finished ninth in the Frazier Rentals Special.
            David Kay of Anniston, AL rounded out the top ten in the Kay Racing Special. Todd Morrow of LaFayette, AL in the Morrow Racing Special started 21st and finished 11th to earn the Beyea Headers Hard Charger of the Race Award.
            In preliminary action, Seawright out-timed the 44 car field with a lap around the “Hornet’s Nest” in 15.011 seconds. The four ten-lap B-Main Races were won by Winger, Oakley Johns of Hohenwald, TN in the John’s Timber Special, Ahnna Parkhurst of Evans, GA in the Textron Off Road Warrior, and T.J. Brittain of Centre, AL in the Brittain Hauling Warrior.

              Seawright took the lead at the start of the race from the pole position, while Skinner, Knowles, and Hedgecock raced three-wide for the second spot. Knowles took the position on the high side coming off the second turn, as Skinner settled into third with Hedgecock fourth and Roland in fifth.

              By lap 10, Seawright had pulled out to a nine car-length advantage over Knowles, but the leader began to encounter the cars on the tail of the lead lap by lap 12, and Knowles began to close the gap. Seawright was trying to drive underneath the lapped cars while Knowles set up shop on the top shelf. Knowles pulled up to battle Seawright side-by-side for the lead on lap 14.

              Clear of lapped cars in front of him, Knowles sailed by Seawright on the high side to take the lead on lap 15. While Knowles pulled away in the lead, Seawright had more company, as Skinner pulled up to challenge for the second spot on lap 25. Skinner stepped to the outside to sail around Seawright for second on lap 26.

              With Knowles pulling out to a half straightaway lead, Hedgecock got busy and he passed Seawright for the third spot on lap 27, and caught Skinner to battle side-by-side for the second spot on lap 32. The pace was slowed on lap 33 when Bryant Marsh of Corinth, MS in the Woodmen of America Trak-Star and Brad Berry of Attalla, AL in the Berry Racing GRT tangled in turn one.

              The caution flag necessitated a Dixie-Style Double-File Restart with leader Knowles in a row up front by himself, and Skinner had the honors to choose inside, or outside behind the leader. Skinner chose the outside, and that put the third-place driver Hedgecock to his left on the inside. Seawright, Roland, Brittain, Winger, Walls, Parkhurst, and Ownby were doubled up behind them.

              When the green flag came back out, Hedgecock drove under Skinner in turn one to take over the second spot, and Roland got around Seawright for the fourth spot. Brittain spun out of the sixth spot in turn four on lap 38 to bring out the second and final caution flag of the race. 

            Knowles, Hedgecock, Skinner, Roland, Seawright, Winger, Walls, Parkhurst, Ownby and Page lined up in the top ten for the double-file restart. When the field went green, Seawright passed Roland for the fourth spot, and then went after Skinner. With ten laps to go, Knowles had a three car-length lead over Hedgecock, but the battle was for the third spot.
            Seawright threw a slider on Skinner in turn three by diving from the high side to the bottom of the track, and then trying to slide up in front of Skinner to take the position. He came up a few inches short and the nose of Skinner’s car ended up on the back bumper of Seawright’s car.
            While the cars behind Seawright and Skinner had to check up, Walls was racing on the bottom of the track in the eighth spot, and by the time everyone got the start-finish line, Walls found himself riding in the third spot. Having victory within his grasp, Knowles had opened up an eight car-length advantage on Hedgecock with five laps to go, and took the checkered flag with a .508 second margin of victory.
            The next two races for the Durrence Layne Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series National Tour will be Rounds 9 and 10. Round 9 will be a $2,000-to-win, 40-lap race on July 20 at Oglethorpe Speedway Park in Savannah, GA. Round 10 will pay $4,000-to-win for 60 laps on July 21 at Cochran Motor Speedway in Cochran, GA.

            NeSmith Racing is now Durrence Layne Racing! 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.


POS      STRT   CAR #  DRIVER                            HOMETOWN                  LAPS    $ WON
1.           4            66          Jake Knowles                  Rome, GA                         50          $2,500
2.           3            23          Cory Hedgecock                            Loudon, TN                      50          $1,200
3.           5            25          Chase Walls                     Decherd, TN                     50          $850
4.           1            16          Sam Seawright                Fort Payne, Al                 50          $700
5.           6            22          Will Roland                      Jasper, GA                       50          $650
6.           2            11          Cruz Skinner                   Oxford, AL                       50          $550
7.           7            12          Ashton Winger (R)         Senoia, GA                        50          $500
8.           17          85          Michael Page                   Douglasville, GA             50          $450
9.           12          J0          John Ownby                     Cleveland, TN                  50          $400
10.         11          K5         David Kay                        Anniston, AL                    50          $375
11.         21          T1         Todd Morrow                  LaFayette, AL                 50          $350
12.         15          P1         Andy Picklesimer           Ooltewah, TN                   50          $300
13.         9            23p       Ahnna Parkhurst            Evans, GA                         50          $280
14.         14          3            Cody Smith                       Holt, FL                             50          $260
15.         13          87          Jake Rainey                     Powder Springs, GA       50          $250
16.         8            C6         Oakley Johns                   Hohenwald, TN                50          $240
17.         18          17jr      Tyler Wood                      Hohenwald, TN                50          $220
18.         22          17          Matt Henderson                             Loudon, TN                      50          $200
19.         25          1b          Bryant Marsh (R)           Corinth, MS                     49          $200
20.         19          3c          Heath Carr                       Ashland, AL                     49          $200
21.         23          232       Jamey Boland (R)           Cuba, AL                           49          $200
22.         24          19          Marcus Minga                 Shannon, MS                    49          $200
23.         10          05          T.J. Brittain                     Centre, AL                        36          $200
24.         16          27          Brad Berry                       Attalla, AL                       32          $200
25,         20          15          Jason Britton                   Alexander City, AL        31          $200

PROVISIONALS: Boland, Minga, and Marsh
LAP LEADERS: Seawright, 1-14; Knowles, 15-50
LAPS LED: Knowles, 36; Seawright, 14
BEYEA HEADERS HARD CHARGER: Morrow (started 21st and finished 11th)
TIME OF THE RACE: 22 Minutes and 27.187 Seconds
NEXT EVENTS: July 20, Oglethorpe Speedway Park, Savannah, GA, $2,000-to-win, 40-laps; July 21, Cochran Motor Speedway, Cochran, GA, $4,000-to-win, 60 Laps