CARTERSVILLE, GA – Jimmy Elliott of Cleveland, TN is the 2018 RockAuto.com Winter Shootout Champion for the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series. Elliott edged out three-time NeSmith Late Model Champion and National Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame Inductee Ronnie Johnson of Chattanooga, TN by just eight points to claim the title.

              Elliott had a 24-point lead coming into the $4,000-to-win 60-lap sixth and final Round of the 2018 RockAuto.com Winter Shootout at Cochran Motor Speedway in Cochran, GA on Saturday night. While Johnson finished third, Elliott drove his Mighty Muffler and Brake Center Longhorn to an 11th-place finish that was good enough to secure the title.

              “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!”

              The Champ competed in all six RockAuto.com Winter Shootout races and had one top five finish and four top ten finishes. Johnson had to settle for second in the points chase after running all six races and winning the series opener in January at the 27th Annual Ice Bowl at Talladega Short Track in Eastaboga, AL driving the Josh Roberts Trucking Special.

              Michael Page of Douglasville, GA used four top five finishes in four starts to finish third in the RockAuto.com Winter Shootout point standings driving the Troy Baird Trucking Stinger, and fourth went to Rodgerick Dykes of Smith Station, AL in the Brasswell Bodies Warrior. Andy Picklesimer of Ooltewah, TN was fifth in the points chase in the Hyma Motorsports Special. 

            Kyle Bronson of Brandon, FL made three appearances in the RockAuto.com Winter Shootout Series, and made them all count with two wins and a second-place finish driving the Brandon Ford Longhorn to the sixth spot in the points chase. One of Bronson’s wins was his second straight victory in the Chevrolet Performance World Championship Race at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, FL.
            Chad Stapleton of Edinburgh, IN ran in four RockAuto.com Winter Shootout races, and used a pair of top ten finishes last Friday night and Saturday night at Cochran Motor Speedway to take the seventh spot in the point standings driving the SSI Club 29. Sam Seawright of Fort Payne, AL finished eighth in the points chase driving the J&R Lumber Special.
            Former NeSmith Late Model Rookie of the Year Chase Edge of LaFayette, AL ran the last four of the six races to pilot the Edge’s Gas Company Special to a ninth-place finish in the RockAuto.com Winter Shootout Series point standings. A pair of second-generation drivers rounded out the top ten in the point standings.
            Hudson O’Neal of Martinsville, IN in the Ayres Trucking Special and Tyler Bare of Rockridge Baths, VA in the Blue Grass Farms Rocket tied for the tenth spot in the RockAuto.com Winter Shootout point standings. Both drivers had three starts.
            Along with Johnson and Bronson, 2018 RockAuto.com Winter Shootout Series wins went to Mark Whitener of Middleburg, FL in the Whitener Motorsports Special at Bubba Raceway Park, Jimmy Thomas of Phenix City, AL in the Five Star Hyundai Special at Cochran Motor Speedway, and Wil Herrington of Cochran, GA in the Last Heat and Electrical CVR at Cochran Motor Speedway.
            Over six RockAuto.com Winter Shootout Series events from January 7 through March 24, a total of 101 different drivers from 14 different states competed in the series. The breakdown of drivers from each state is as follows:

Georgia – 29
Tennessee – 17
Alabama – 16
Florida – 13
Virginia – 6
South Carolina – 4
Pennsylvania – 4
Indiana – 4
Kentucky – 3
New York – 1
West Virginia – 1
Illinois – 1
Ohio – 1
North Carolina – 1


1. J39 Jimmy Elliott, Cleveland, TN – 492
2. 85 Ronnie Johnson, Chattanooga, TN – 484
3. 18x Michael Page, Douglasville, GA – 374
4. 5 Rodgerick Dykes, Smith Station, AL – 308
5. P1 Andy Picklesimer, Ooltewah, TN – 304
6. 40b Kyle Bronson, Brandon, FL – 296
7. 32 Chad Stapleton, Edinburgh, IN – 294
8. 16 Sam Seawright, Fort Payne, AL – 292
9. 18e Chase Edge, LaFayette, AL – 288
10. 24r Hudson O’Neal, Martinsville, IN – 268
10. 30 Tyler Bare, Rockridge Baths, VA – 268

              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.