BRUNSWICK, GA – Rodgerick Dykes of Smith Station, AL drove the Braswell Bodies Warrior to a clean sweep on Sunday night in night two of the East Coast Battle Royal for the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series at Golden Isles Speedway. In taking his first career NeSmith Late Model win, Dykes became the fifth different winner in the first five races in 2015.
Dykes led all 50 laps of the main event after earning the pole position for the race after setting Fast Time among the 29 entrants with a lap around the 4/10-mile clay oval in 16.377 seconds. Dykes was never challenged for the lead, but you couldn’t convince him of that.
“I kept waiting for someone to pull up alongside me, or something to happen to the race car,” Dykes said. “Everything that happened tonight was just too good to be true! I kept hearing noises like something was getting ready to break, or for a wheel to fall off, but it didn’t. I sure was glad to see that checkered flag because I was really nervous those last few laps.”
Dykes carried a 1.140 second margin of victory to the checkered flag over the second-place finisher Corey Gordon of Charlotte, NC in the RGS Products Special. Chesley Dixon of Swainsboro, GA made a late-race charge to take the third spot in the Central Fence Company Special. Chase Edge of LaFayette, AL was fourth in the Edge’s Gas Company Special.
William Thomas of Phenix City, AL finished fifth in the Save More Special and NeSmith Late Model point leader Walker Arthur of Forest, VA drove the Cecil B. Arthur Beef Farms Special to a sixth-place finish. Jeremy Faircloth of Swainsboro, GA was seventh in the LJR Forestry Warrior.
The defending and two-time NeSmith Late Model National Champion Ronnie Johnson of Chattanooga, TN drove the NeSmith Chevrolet Special to an eighth-place finish. Arthur now leads Johnson in the NeSmith Late Model point standings by 72 points after the first five point races.
Ryan Crane of Panama City, FL started 18th in the Panama City Cycle Trak-Star and finished ninth to earn the Beyea Headers Hard Charger of the Race Award and the Cruise With The Champions Rookie of the Race Award. Robert Diekemper of Bloomingdale, GA rounded out the top ten in the Chatham Classic Homes Special.
In other preliminary action, the two ten-lap B-Main Races were won by Jimmy Schiltz of Hickory, NC in the NeSmith Chevrolet Special and Faircloth. The racing program was a twilight show that started in the bright sunshine and ended under the lights.
Dykes took the lead at the start of the race followed by Edge, Gordon, Dixon, and Arthur. On lap two, Arthur and Thomas drove by Dixon to take over the fourth and fifth spots respectively. Thomas was able to get by Arthur for the fourth spot on lap 19. The field raced hard for the first 20 laps before Montana Dudley of Phenix City, AL spun his Thomason Motorsports Rocket in turn two.
The first of five caution periods saw Dykes leading with Edge, Gordon, Thomas, Arthur, Dixon, Johnson, Cecil Eunice of Blackshear, GA in the Ace Pole Company Special, Ryan King of Seymour, TN in the Brian King Roofing Stinger, and Faircloth doubled up behind him for the “Dixie-Style” double file restart.
Gordon was quick to make a move on Edge to take the second spot when the green flag came out, and Thomas also passed Edge to take the third spot on lap 22. Thomas’ move was negated when the second caution flag came out on lap 22 when Schiltz spun in turn one, and then the third yellow flag was unfurled on the restart when Joshua Bishop of Statesboro, GA spun the Augusta Industrial Special.
The top ten running order for the double-file restart behind the leader Dykes was Gordon, Edge, Thomas, Dixon, Arthur, Faircloth, King, Johnson, and Diekemper. The field settled in for the next ten laps until the yellow caution bulb was fired up for the fourth time in the race when Mitchell Coble of Mt. Airy, NC stalled the CVR Race Cars Special in turn four.
Dykes led Gordon, Edge, Thomas, Dixon, Arthur, Faircloth, Johnson, Cale Conley of Vienna, WV in the AAA General Contractors Special and Eunice down the green flag. Dixon made a big move climbing from fifth to third, getting by Thomas and Edge, who dropped back to fourth and fifth respectively.
Dixon cleared Thomas on the outside going into turn one, and then drove under Edge using the inside groove coming off the second turn. The final caution flag of the race came out on lap 41 when Cody Martin of Christiana, TN spun the Martin Motorsports Warrior in turn four. With the race being inside ten laps to go, Dykes brought the field down for a single-file restart.
In the ten lap dash to the checkered flag, Dykes was able to open up a lead over Gordon. Arthur got by Faircloth for the sixth spot, and Crane hustled up into the top ten, taking the checkered flag in the ninth spot.
The next two races for the NeSmith Late Models will be on April 10 and April 11 at Waycross Motor Speedway in Waycross, GA. The April 10 race will be a 40-lap $2,000-to-win race, and the April 11 show will be 50 laps and $2,500-to-win. The two races will be Rounds 6 and 7 of the 2015 NeSmith Late Model season.
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.
OFFICIAL RESULTS OF ROUND 5 AT GOLDEN ISLES SPEEDWAY IN BRUNSWICK, GA ON 2/15/15:
POS STRT CAR # DRIVER HOMETOWN LAPS $ WON
1. 1 5d Rodgerick Dykes Smith Station, AL 50 $2,500
2. 2 23 Corey Gordon Charlotte, NC 50 $1,250
3. 4 3 Chesley Dixon Swainsboro, GA 50 $850
4. 3 18 Chase Edge LaFayette, AL 50 $825
5. 6 19 William Thomas Phenix City, AL 50 $650
6. 5 87 Walker Arthur Forest, VA 50 $675
7. 12 4 Jeremy Faircloth Swainsboro, GA 50 $500
8. 9 5 Ronnie Johnson Chattanooga, TN 50 $575
9. 18 10 Ryan Crane (R) Panama City, FL 50 $525
10. 13 48 Robert Diekemper Bloomingdale, GA 50 $375
11. 19 14 Cale Conley Vienna, WV 50 $475
12. 7 55 Montana Dudley Phenix City, AL 50 $300
13. 16 07 Gib Gibbons Manning, SC 50 $280
14. 20 2c Joey Coulter Concord, NC 50 $260
15. 8 30 Ryan King (R) Seymour, TN 50 $375
16. 21 9 Ches Chester Twin City, GA 50 $240
17. 11 24 Jimmy Schiltz Hickory, NC 50 $220
18. 10 22 Cecil Eunice Blackshear, GA 50 $200
19. 14 21m Cody Martin (R) Christiana, TN 39 $325
20. 22 77 Charlie Flowers Hortense, GA 30 $200
21. 15 16 Mitchell Coble Mt. Airy, NC 29 $200
22. 17 J1 Joshua Bishop Statesboro, GA 21 $200
23. 23 1n Jordy Nipper Gray, GA 21 $200
24. 24 K3 Jamey Smith Purvis, MS 3 $200
FAST QUALIFIER: Dykes, 16.377
LEAD CHANGES: None
LAP LEADERS: Dykes, 1-50
BEYEA HEADERS HARD CHARGER OF THE RACE: Crane (started 18th and finished 9th)
CRUISE WITH THE CHAMPIONS ROOKIE OF THE RACE: Crane
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 1.140 Seconds
TIME OF THE RACE: 37 Minutes and 13.834 Seconds