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Fastrak Racing Series News Release: Contact – STAN LESTER – (678) 935-7304
November 20, 2016
LAVONIA FASTRAK ACTION SEES IVEY AS GA STATE CHAMP AND KNIGHT AS NATIONAL CHAMP
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
LAVONIA, GA – Trent Ivey of Union, SC took the lead with four laps to go and captured the $3,000 top prize by winning the Georgia State Championship Race for the Fastrak Pro Late Model Series driving the Ivey Construction MastersBilt on Sunday afternoon at Lavonia Speedway. Not only did Ivey celebrate after the race, but the second-place driver did as well.
Ivey was able to dive underneath the early race leader Jensen Ford of Piney Flats, TN, who pushed up the banking in turn four on lap 37 opening the door for Ivey. With the handling used up on Ford’s Tim Byrd Motorsports TNT, Cla Knight of North Augusta, SC in the Augusta Aquatics Longhorn dove under Ford for the second spot in turn one on lap 38.
“I had to drive my but off this afternoon just to stay in a position to win the race if the opening presented itself, and it did,” Ivey said. “I’ve always wanted to win a Fastrak race, and to win the Georgia State Championship Race in my first visit to Lavonia Speedway is pretty special.
Knight could not catch Ivey to challenge for the win, but in the big picture of things, Knight was crowned the 2016 Fastrak Southeast National Champion. Knight made Fastrak Pro Late Model Series history in 2016, as he also won the 2016 Fastrak Pro Late Model Series Mid-Ohio Valley Championship to become the first driver in the 14-year history of the series to win two championships in the same year.
“We’ll take second, as I could have tried to make something happen at the end of the race, but I had to look at the big picture,” Knight said. “We’ll take this championship back to North Augusta with us and put it on the mantel next to the Fastrak MOV Championship Trophy. I’m proud to have become the first driver in Fastrak history to win two championships in the same year. Just to win one title with the competition in this series is pretty tough, let alone two!”
Ford hung on to finish in the third spot and fourth went to Chris Steele of York, SC in the C&R Handiworks Rocket. Jimmy Mac of Mooresville, NC was fifth in the Lake Norman Motors Barry Wright, and Ron Parker of Belwood, NC took the sixth spot in the Schaeffer Oil Rocket.
Will Beard of Hartwell, GA was seventh in the Jessica Cornett Racing MastersBilt and eighth went to Rusty Jordan of Bowman, GA in the Bar-B-Que Shack of Toccoa Warrior. Parker Herring of Hartwell, GA drove CMP Automotive MastersBilt to a ninth-place finish, and Zack Mitchell of Spartanburg, SC rounded out the top ten in the Mechanic’s Edge MastersBilt.
Knight topped the unofficial point standings with 329 points, and the Fastrak Pro Late Model Series SE National Championship Runner-Up was David Smith of Inman, SC with 298 points in the Hi-Bridge Automotive TNT. Steele finished third in the SE standings with 294 points.
In preliminary action held on Saturday afternoon, November 12, Ford was the Fast Qualifier among the 20 entrants with a lap around the 3/8-mile clay oval in 17.300 seconds. The two ten-lap Heat Races were won by Ivey and Ford.
After being postponed one-week by rain, Ford started the 40-lap feature with an anxious moment when he spun on the high side of turn two on the opening lap of the race while battling from his outside front row starting spot side-by-side with pole sitter Ivey. Ford’s race car was able to continue for the complete restart, but was showing damage on the right-rear spoiler and quarter panel.
Not as fortunate were Hot Rod Lamance of Six-Mile, SC in the Tim King Farms TNT and Dale Timms of Hodges, SC in the Superior Roofing Mastersbilt. They were both caught up in the chain reaction of Ford’s spin and both were out of the race.
When the field took the green flag for the complete restart, Ford took the lead followed by Ivey, the 2016 Fastrak Pro Late Model Weekly Racing Series Champion David McCoy of Franklin, NC in the A1 Tire and Alignment Barry Wright, Dustin Morris of Landrum, SC in the Hi-Bridge Automotive TNT, and Knight.
Smith brought out the second caution flag of the race on lap six when he spun in turn two. Smith’s championship hopes were gone when he pulled his race car to the pit area and was out of the race. Two more left the race on the restart, not due to damage, but rather due to extracurricular activity under the caution flag.
McCoy spun in turn two on the restart, and took exception to the incident when he went after Morris with his race car. The two race cars stopped on the backstretch where both drivers exchanged unpleasantries. Both McCoy and Morris, who were running third and fourth respectively, were parked by Fastrack Pro Late Model Series officials.
That moved Knight up to third, Mitchell up to fourth, and Steele into fifth behind Ford and Ivey for the restart. Another top five driver ran into trouble on lap eight when fourth-place Mitchell stalled on the backstretch to bring out the fourth and final caution flag of the race.
With the green bulb staying lit for the remainder of the race, Ford opened up a six car-length lead over Ivey, with Knight staying within striking distance. Ford, with the damage to his car from the opening lap skirmish, was forced to run a higher line around the track that his tires liked, while Ivey ran a lower groove.
By lap 25, the leaders encountered the cars on the tail of the lead lap, and that forced Ford to run a lower groove than his tires wanted to run with a half of rear spoiler while in lapped traffic. That enabled Ivey to close in on Ford’s back bumper. When Ford cleared the lapped cars on lap 32, he was once again able to open up a three car-length lead on Ivey.
Ivey stayed with Ford for the next five laps. Ford’s car suddenly developed a bad push in turn four on lap 37, and slid up the banking. Ford kept the car off the wall, but Ivey dove for the inside and took the lead down the front straightaway. When Ford’s car pushed up to the high side in turn two on lap 38, Knight was able to drive underneath for the second spot.
Knight was content to ride the remaining two laps running in second behind Ivey to secure the Fastrak Pro Late Model SE National Championship. Ivey took the checkered flag with a .606 second margin of victory over Knight.
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OFFICIAL RESULTS OF GEORGIA STATE CHAMPIONSHIP RACE AT LAVONIA SPEEDWAY IN LAVONIA, GA ON 11/20/16:
POS START CAR # DRIVER HOMETOWN LAPS
1ST HEAT – 10 LAPS: 1. Ivey; 2. Hornsby; 3. McCoy; 4. Smith; 5. Tims; 6. Steele; 7. Mayle; 8. Partain; 9. Beard; 10. Puckett DNS.
2ND HEAT – 10 LAPS: 1. Ford; 2. Knight; 3. Mitchell; 4. Morris; 5. Mac; 6. Parker; 7. Pritchett; 8. Lamance; 9. Jordan; 10. Herring.