COCHRAN, GA – Most young men in motorsports can only dream about sweeping a racing program in their hometown in front of family and friends at their home track with drama and emotion. One young man in Cochran, GA lived that dream on Saturday night. Wil Herrington of Cochran, GA won the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series 60-lap race at Cochran Motor Speedway.

              Herrington was the last qualifier in the fourth and last group. Herrington sailed around his home track in 15.687 seconds aboard the Last Air and Electrical CVR to set fast time among the 30 entrants to earn the pole position for the first heat race. Herrington then led all eight laps to win the fourth heat and earn the pole position for the $4,000-to-win 60-lap main event.

              At the drop of the green flag for the RockAuto.com Winter Shootout Series finale, Herrington took the lead and was never challenged to make a statement of “Not In My House!” He swept the program and parked it Victory Lane. Herrington was also swept with joy and emotion as he savored the win.

              “This is so awesome I hardly know what to say,” Herrington said. “I’ve never been very good at these NeSmith races, but everything went our way tonight. It was just so awesome because we got ready to start the race, and I looked to my right, and there was Ronnie Johnson! He’s in the Hall of Fame!!”

              As his feat of what he did in the event began to sink in, Herrington started to get a little emotional. As his voice trembled and his eyes began to water up, he paused in mid-sentence to gather his thoughts. As he did, the hometown crowd gave him a standing ovation.

              “You fans here at Cochran Motor Speedway are just the best fans in the world, and I can’t thank you all enough,” Herrington said. “You’ve supported me ever since I started racing ten years ago, you’ve stuck with me, and winning this race in front of you all is special.”

              Herrington then turned his attention to the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series Gold Helmet Trophy and the $4,000 NeSmith winner’s check . Herrington had definite plans for both items when asked what his plans were for them.

              “My girlfriend and I just moved into a new house and the NeSmith Gold Helmet Trophy is going front and center in the living room, and I just might have to find a place for the check too,” Herrington said. “If I put the race car in there, we just might to add on and built the rest of the house around it!”

              For the second straight night, Joseph Brown of Cataula, GA finished second in the Lewis Auto Sales Special, and third went to three-time NeSmith Late Model National Champion and Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame Inductee Ronnie Johnson of Chattanooga, TN in the Josh Roberts Trucking Special.

              Johnson was involved in a close battle for the RockAuto.com Winter Shootout Series Championship with Jimmy Elliott of Cleveland, TN. Johnson was trying to make up a 24-point deficit coming into the race, but came up eight points short. Elliott finished 11th in the Mighty Muffler and Brakes Special and was crowned the 2018 RockAuto.com Winter Shootout Champion.

              “We had to venture away from our home base and we traveled to Florida for the first time, and got to go to some tracks we have never been to before,” Elliott said. “I would like to do the NeSmith National Tour someday, and based on the success we’ve had in this eight-race series, that decision may be made sooner rather than later. We’ve got two weeks to decide, and you never know. We might be in Mississippi in two weeks!”

              Michael Page of Douglasville, GA finished fourth in the Troy Baird Trucking Stinger. Page had four top five finishes in four races to earn the third spot in the RockAuto.com Winter Shootout point standings. Joshua Bishop of Statesboro, GA took the fifth spot in the Augusta Industrial Special.

              Ashton Winger of Senoia, GA was sixth in the Keyser Manufacturing Rocket, and Chad Stapleton of Edinburgh, IN finished seventh driving the SSI/Jason Clarkson Logging Special. Jordy Nipper of Gray, GA took the eighth spot in the Scotty’s Muffler Special, and ninth went to Travis Pennington of Stapleton, GA in the U.S. Duffie Site Prep Special. 

            Ricky Culpepper of Hamilton, GA rounded out the top ten in the JC Construction Company Special. Ches Chester of Twin City, GA started 24th and finished 14th in the Georgia Equipment Company Rocket to earn the Beyea Headers Hard Charger of the Race Award. Joining Herrington as eight-lap Hear Race winners were Nipper, Brown, and Johnson. Jimmy Thomas of Phenix City, AL won the 12-lap B-Main Race in the Five Star Hyundai Special.

              The next pair of races for the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series will open the 2018 National Points Tour. The “Rumble On The Gumbo” will feature a pair of races at Greenville Speedway in Greenville, MS on April 6 and April 7. The April 6 show will be $2,000-to-win and 40 laps, and the April 7 race will be 50-laps and pay $2,500-to-win.

            For more information and rules about the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series, visit the series web site at www.nesmithracing.com, 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.


POS      STRT   CAR #  DRIVER                            HOMETOWN                  LAPS    $ WON
1.           1            14          Wil Herrington               Cochran, GA                    60          $4,300
2.           4            92          Joseph Brown                  Cataula, GA                     60          $1,800
3.           2            85          Ronnie Johnson               Chattanooga, TN            60          $900
4.           11          18x       Michael Page                   Douglasville, GA             60          $700
5.           10          J1          Joshua Bishop                  Statesboro, GA                60          $650
6.           7            12          Ashton Winger                Senoia, GA                        60          $550
7.           5            32          Chad Stapleton                Edinburgh, IN                  60          $500
8.           3            1n          Jordy Nipper                   Gray, GA                          60          $450
9.           8            01          Travis Pennington          Stapleton, GA                  60          $425
10.         16          110       Ricky Culpepper             Hamilton, GA                  60          $400
11.         15          J39       Jimmy Elliott                   Cleveland, TN                  60          $380
12.         9            18e        Chase Edge                       Lafayette, AL                  60          $375
13.         20          66          Jody Knowles                  Tyrone, GA                      60          $360
14.         24          9            Ches Chester                    Twin City, GA                  60          $350
15.         13          22a       Austin Burns                    Georgetown, IN               60          $325
16.         12          18          Ben Faircloth                   Swainsboro, GA                             60          $325
17.         19          21          Corey Dunn                      Milledgeville, GA            60          $325
18.         21          5            Rodgerick Dykes            Smith Station, AL           60          $325
19.         22          6r          Shane Riner                      Guyton, GA                      60          $325
20.         14          F1         Payton Freeman                             Commerce, GA                35          $325
21.         17          22          Jimmy Thomas                Phenix City, AL               34          $325
22.         18          27          Larry Harrod                  Plains, GA                         24          $325
23.         6            27t        Terrence Nowell                            Phenix City, AL               16          $325
24.         23          00          Russell Brown Jr.           Valdosta, GA                   4            $325

LAPS LED: Herrington, 1-60
BEYEA HEADERS HARD CHARGER OF THE RACE: Chester (started 24th and finished 14th)
TIME OF THE RACE: 39 Minutes and 53.965 Seconds
NEXT EVENT: NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series National Tour 2018 Season Opener, April 6, Greenville Speedway, Greenville, MS, $2,000-to-win, 40-laps; April 7, Greenville Speedway, Greenville, MS, $2,500-to-win, 50-laps – Rumble On The Gumbo