CARTERSVILLE, GA - For the second straight year, the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series and Magnolia Motor Speedway in Columbus, MS have combined to carry on a Thanksgiving Weekend season ending finale.  This Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Magnolia Motor Speedway will present the $10,000-to-win 100-lap Possum Town Grand Prix for the NeSmith Late Models.

Magnolia Motor Speedway Promoter Johnny Stokes and NeSmith Racing CEO and Founder Mike Vaughn first got together in 2006 to put on a Thanksgiving Weekend spectacular.  The NeSmith Chevrolet DLMS then traveled to Florida to run the $10,000-to-win World Championship Race.

While Stokes was running Columbus Speedway in the east side of town, he presented the Possum Town Grand Prix.  The NeSmith Late Models became an annual Thanksgiving Weekend part of Thanksgiving Weekend in Columbus, MS.  Jimmy Owens of Newport, TN took the win in 2006, and Derrick Rainey was victorious in 2007.  The 2008 race was rained out.

Three-time NeSmith Late Model National Champion and National Dirt Track Hall of Fame Inductee Ronnie Johnson of Chattanooga, TN took a pair of Thanksgiving Weekend Columbus Speedway NeSmith wins in 2009 and 2010.   Jeremy Shaw of Millport, AL was the 2011 winner.  That was the last Thanksgiving Weekend race in Columbus, MS until a new dawn took place in 2016.

The NeSmith Late Models moved its $10,000-to-win World Championship Race in Florida to the beginning of the season in February for 2016, but still desired to end each season with a traditional $10,000-to-win race. 

Stokes moved his dirt track promotional duties across town to Magnolia Motor Speedway, where "Dr. Dirt" now manicures the "Black Ice" racing surface to perfection.  The Possum Town Grand Prix and the NeSmith Late Models were together again in 2016 with a new season finale paying $10,000-to-win.

Riley Hickman of Cleveland, TN is the defending champion of the Possum Town Grand Prix, and he will return this weekend trying to join Johnson as a multi-time and back-to-back winner.  Shaw will also return in the GRT House Car trying to become a two-time winner.  They will be joined by some of the top dirt late model drivers in the country looking for the $10,000 top prize.

While Cory Hedgecock of Loudon, TN has clinched his second straight NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series National Championship, several drivers in the top ten of the point standings will be battling for points fund paying positions in the final race of the 2017 season for the NeSmith Late Models.

Grant Garrison of Walton, KY has all but wrapped up the 2017 Cruise With The Champions Rookie of the Year Award.  Garrison is second overall in the NeSmith Late Model standings with 1,170 points and an 86 point lead over 14-year-old Colton Horner of Katy, TX.  Horner is second in the Rookie points and third overall in the NeSmith Late Model standings.

Marcus Minga of Shannon, MS will compete at his home track leading a three-way battle for the fourth spot in the National points standings, with just 32 points separating fifth-place T.J. Brittain of Centre, AL and Andy Picklesimer of Ooltewah, TN.  Minga has 1,024 points, Brittain has 1,000 points, and Picklesimer has 992 points.

Jake Knowles of Rome, GA, Johnson and Matt Henderson of Loudon, TN are locked in a three-way battle for the seventh spot in the National points chase, as they are separated by 46 points.  Knowles has 726 points, Johnson has 720 points, and Henderson, who will drive Brad Logan's GRT in the Possum Town Grand Prix, has 684 points.

Jamey Boland of Cuba, AL will be at the Possum Town Grand Prix with the Trak-Star Race Cars House Car, and Justin McRee of Woodstock, AL will wheel the High Roller Race Cars House Car.  Chris Kratzer of Wichita, KS will make the trip to Columbus, MS this weekend, as will Rodney Martin of Cartersville, GA, Kyle Shaw of Millport, AL, and Monte Skinner of Saraland, AL.

Several drivers will be looking to keep the $10,000 top prize in Mississippi.  Included in the Magnolia State bunch are Spencer Hughes of Meridian, MS, who will be piloting a Sid Scarbrough-owned machine, Scott Dedwylder of Vossburg, MS, Evan Ellis of Plantersville, MS will debut a new Club 29 Race Car, Josh Banes of Learned, MS, two-time NeSmith Chevrolet Weekly Racing Series Champion Jim McDuffie of Meridian, MS, Randy Boyd of Marion, MS, and Chad Thrash of Meridian, MS. 
In addition to the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series, two other NeSmith Racing Divisions will be in action at the Possum Town Grand Prix this weekend at Magnolia Motor Speedway.  The NeSmith Performance Parts Street Stock Division will compete for $2,000-to-win, and the NeSmith Chevrolet 602 Sportsman Division will race for $1,000-to-win.

The on track activities will begin on Thursday night with an Open Practice Session from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.  On Friday, preliminary Qualifying and Heat Races will be run.  The B-Main and the $10,000-to-win, 100-lap Possum Town Grand Prix will be run on Saturday.  On both Friday and Saturday, the Drivers Meeting set for 2 p.m., and Racing is scheduled for 3 p.m.

Magnolia Motor Speedway is located west of Columbus, MS at 495 U.S. Highway 45 South, Columbus, MS  39701, just south of U.S. Highway 82.  For more information call 662-240-3478, or visit the track web site at You can also Like them on Facebook at Magnolia Motor Speedway, or Follow them on Twitter @TheMagSpeedway.

For more information and rules about the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series, visit the series web site at, or visit the series on Facebook at NeSmith Racing.  Becoming a fan of the NeSmith Racing Facebook page will make you eligible for special prizes that will be given away each month.  You can follow us on Twitter @NeSmithRacing.


NeSmith Chevrolet, Buick, GMC of Claxton, GA is the Title Sponsor of the NeSmith Late Models.  NeSmith Chevrolet, Buick, GMC is one of the nation's top GM Powertrain and Performance Dealer seven years running, with free delivery anywhere in the Southeast.  Chevrolet Performance Parts is an Official Sponsor of the NeSmith Late Models.  Hoosier Racing Tire is the Official Tire Sponsor of the NeSmith Late Models.  Sunoco Race Fuels is the Official Race Fuel of the NeSmith Late Models. is an Associate Sponsor of the NeSmith Late Models.  Beyea Headers the NeSmith Late Model Hard Charger Sponsor.  Knowles Race Parts and Bodies is the Official Parts Supplier for the NeSmith Late Models.  Cruise With The Champions is the Official Vacation and Rookie of the Year Sponsor for the NeSmith Late Models.  David Smith Carburetors is the Official Carburetor of NeSmith Racing.  Freestyle Graphix is the Official Wrap, Banner, and Sign Company of NeSmith Racing.  NeSmith Late Model Contingency Sponsors for 2017 are Out-Pace Performance, CrateInsider.Com, Gresham Racing Parts, Knowles Racing Parts and Bodies, and FreeStyle Graphix.  2017 Chassis Sponsors are Trak-Star Race Cars, Warrior Race Cars, Rocket Chassis, GRT Race Cars, and CVR Race Cars.