Whynot Motorsports Park
McRee races to second NeSmith win at Whynot
By Roby HelmNeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series
MERIDIAN, Miss (Sept. 1) — Justin McRee of Cottondale, Ala., raced to victory in Saturday night’s seventh annual Coca-Cola 50 at Whynot Motorsports Park, earning $2,500 in completing a sweep of the third-mile oval’s two NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series this season.
McRee took the lead on the second lap and never looked back, topping 14th-starting Mike Boland of Cuba, Ala. Klint Byers of Calhoun City, MS. finished third in a rare Crate Late Model start while former series champion of David Gentry of Murfreesboro, Tenn., finished fourth to take over the series points lead and Ronny Lee Hollingsworth of Northport, Ala., advanced from the 20th starting spot to round out the race’s top five finishers.
Gentry capitalized on a rough night for championships contender Mathew Turner of Dawsonville, Ga., to grab a two-point advantage in the chase for the Crate Late Model tour’s $20,000 championship with three events remaining.
Turner came into the race with an 18-point lead over Gentry, but had to use a provisional after suffering mechanical woes in a consolation race. He advanced from 23rd to finish 11th while driving a backup car in the main event.
The polesitting McRee and fellow front-row starter Gentry raced side-by-side for the first lap of the 50-lap race with Gentry being scored the leader of lap one. McRee drove under Gentry on the second lap to take the lead in turn two.
McRee set a fast pace as he caught the tail of the field by lap seven. The traffic was cleared away from the leader on lap eight when the first of three caution flags came out when Jon Biles of Centerville, Ala., spun in turn two.
The field went back to green for three more laps before the caution light was lit for the second time when Jamey Boland of Cuba, Ala., and Monte Skinner of Saraland, Ala., tangled in turn four.
Michael Blount of Sumrall, Miss., cut down a right-rear tire on lap 40 to bring out the third and final caution. While McRee pulled back ahead, Gentry and Byers raced side-by-side for second on the restart with Byers taking the position going down the backstretch.
Boland dropped Gentry back to fourth on lap 41, and then set sail to challenge Byers for second. He began to challenge Byers with five laps remaining, taking the spot on lap 46. Byers made an outside last lap charge on Boland in attempt to retake the position, but came up a half car-length short at the checkered flag.
The NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series Touring Division will travel to Magnolia Motor Speedway in Columbus, Miss., for the $2,000-to-win Black Ice 40 on Sunday night.
Coca-Cola 50: (1) Justin McRee, (2) Mike Boland, (3) Klint Byars, (4) David Gentry, (5) Ronny Lee Hollingsworth, (6) Evan Ellis, (7) Larry Harrod, (8) Jim McDuffie, (9) Daniel Bridgemon, (10) Michael Arnold, (11) Marty Hardy, (12) Johnny Stokes, (13) Chase Edge, (14) Matthew Turner, (15) Jamey Boland, (16) Monte Skinner, (17) Michael Blount, (18) Cody Kierrre, (19) Tim Dees, (20) Cody Martin, (21) Chris O’Connor, (22) Jon Biles, (23) Cliff Williams, (24) Jeremy Shaw. Fast qualifier (among 28 cars): McRee, 14.426 seconds. Consolation race winners: Arnold, Shaw.