Magnolia Motor Speedway
McRee wins Magnolia for NeSmith weekend sweep
By Roby HelmNeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series
COLUMBUS, Miss. (Sept. 2) — Completing a sweep of the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series Labor Day weekend doubleheader, Justin McRee of Cottondale, Miss., raced to a $2,000 victory in Sunday night’s Black Ice 40 at Magnolia Motor Speedway.
McRee, who opened the weekend by winning Saturday’s Coca-Cola 50 at Whynot Motorsports Park in Meridian, Miss., survived a mid-race battle with David Gentry of Murfreesboro, Tenn., in Sunday’s feature before pulling away to his third victory of the season on the Crate Late Model tour.
Gentry, the two-time series champion, overtook McRee for the lead with a strong high-side run on lap 21 before McRee moved to the high groove himself and retook the top spot one lap later. The 26-year-old driver cruised through the remaining distance, crossing the finish line with an advantage of 2.341 seconds after a restart with three laps remaining.
“We checked out early running the bottom of the track, but when I saw David Earl up on the high side, I knew it was time to get up there,” said McRee, who drove his self-designed chassis to the victory. “That’s where I need to be anyway because this is a High Roller Race Car that we built in our shop. We’ve been working with it all season, and I think we’ve got it where we want it.”
Larry Harrod of Plains, Ga., outdueled 15th-starting Mike Boland of Cuba, Ala., in the closing laps to finish second while Millport, Ala., drivers Kyle Shaw and Jeremy Shaw rounded out the race’s top five finishers.
Gentry, who entered the night with a two-point advantage over Matthew Turner of Dawsonville, Ga., in the chase for the tour’s $20,000 championship, dropped out with two laps remaining in the race. He ended up 19th in the final rundown while Turner finished ninth to take an 18-point lead with two series races remaining.
The penultimate race for NeSmith’s 2012 season will be the $5,000-to-win sixth annual Gumbo Nationals Oct. 5-6 at Greenville (Miss.) Speedway.
Black Ice 40: (1) Justin McRee, (2) Larry Harrod, (3) Mike Boland, (4) Kyle Shaw, (5) Jeremy Shaw, (6) Brett White, (7) Evan Ellis, (8) Michael Blount, (9) Matthew Turner, (10) Tony Gray, (11) Daniel Bridgemon, (12) Hunter Carroll, (13) Marcus Minga, (14) Johnny Stokes, (15) Doug Sanchagrin, (16) Ronnie Cooper, (17) Chance Inman, (18) Chase Edge, (19) David Gentry, (20) Cody Kierre, (21) Cody Martin, (22) Sid Scarbrough, (23) T.K. King, (24) Carlton Freeman. Fast qualifier (among 32 cars): McRee, 14.081 seconds. Consolation race winners: Edge, White.