TWO DRIVERS, ONE RACE AND TEN POINTS TO DECIDE DURRENCE LAYNE TITLEnesmith
CARTERSVILLE, GA – Two drivers, one race, and a ten-point difference will decide the $10,000 2018 Durrence Layne Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series Championship this Friday and Saturday night at the $10,000-to-win Possum Town Grand Prix at Magnolia Motor Speedway in Columbus, MS.
The Durrence Layne Dirt Late Model Series point leader is 18-year-old Ashton Winger of Senoia, GA. Winger also leads the 2018 VP Racing Fuels Young Gun Challenge Series points for Durrence Layne Chevrolet Late Model drivers 18 years of age and younger, and he has clinched the 2018 Cruise With The Champions Rookie of Year Championship.
Winger has a ten-point lead over Jake Knowles of Rome, GA going into the season finale. The two championship eligible drivers are more than competitors. Both drivers come from racing families, so it’s a natural that they are racers.
They are friends off the track. Winger, Knowles and their respective race teams travel together to the races from Western Georgia, they park next to each other at every race, and they even eat together. That’s where the likeness ends, as there are 15 years of age difference between Winger and the 33-year-old Knowles.
Winger is very active. He’s always doing something around the race car, and always has someone to say about just about everything. Knowles is quiet and laid back, but you can read in his eyes that he’s always thinking about something while listening to Winger.
Winger grew up around dirt late model racing as his father Gary Winger was an accomplished crew chief, and then became one of the top shock absorber gurus in the country through his GW Motorsports. Gary Winger keeps an immaculate race car under his son, to the point of him yelling to his son, “Get off the damn roof!” when Ashton celebrates a victory with a roof dance!
Knowles comes from a well-known West Georgia racing family. His father Wade Knowles was a very accomplished winning dirt late model driver. For 2018, Jake Knowles is paying tribute to his father by running a car with Wade’s red and white color scheme. Off the track, Jake Knowles keeps his hands in the racing business with his Knowles Race Parts and Bodies in Rome, GA.
On the race track, there is not two other drivers that race each other harder than Winger and Knowles. They have bumped, they have banged, they have bounced off of concrete retaining walls to pass each other, and they have raced each other hard in 2018 while battled for the Durrence Layne Cup. Their dominance of the 2018 Durrence Layne Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series season is shown in the fact that they have combined to win half of the races.
Winger has 1,236 points with three wins, nine top five finishes, ten top ten finishes, 134 laps led, and a series leading four fast time honors in 14 races so far in the 2018 Durrence Layne Chevrolet Late Model season. Knowles has 1,226 points with a series leading four wins, nine top five finishes, 11 top ten finishes, a series leading 137 laps led, and one fast time honor in 14 races.
Here is the 2018 championship scenario: If Knowles wins the race, Winger has to finish fourth or better to win the title. If Knowles doesn’t win the race, Winger has to finish four positions or better behind Knowles to win the title. Knowles has the tie-breaker advantage going into the Possum Town Grand Prix with more wins than Winger.
In addition to the 2018 Durrence Layne Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series National Championship being on the line in the $10,000-to-win Possum Town Grand Prix this Friday and Saturday at Magnolia Motor Speedway, the Top Ten Points Fund-paying position will also be settled. There are still some very tight battles to be contested among those drivers.
Two-time Durrence Layne Chevrolet Late Model National Champion Cory Hedgecock of Loudon, TN is third in the standings with 1,110 points, and Andy Picklesimer of Ooltewah, TN is fourth with 1,080 points. Bryant Marsh of Corinth, MS is fifth with 1,034 points, and Jamey Boland of Cuba, AL is sixth with 1,020 points.
Marcus Minga of Shannon, MS is seventh with 996 points, and T.J. Brittain of Centre, AL is eighth with 994 points. The “Hohenwald Gang” made up of two drivers from Hohenwald, TN are tied for the ninth spot in the Durrence Layne Chevrolet Late Model point standings. Tyler Wood and Oakley Johns each have 912 points to round out the Top 10 in the points chase.
Two other top contenders to watch in the Possum Town Grand Prix are Cooley, who will return to Durrence Layne Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series action are two-time Durrence Layne Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series National Champion Eric Cooley of Fulton, MS, and the 2018 Durrence Layne Chevrolet Weekly Racing Series National Champion Evan Ellis of Plantersville, MS.
Cooley is the youngest driver in series history to win a Durrence Layne Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series National Championship at the age of 18 in 2009. Cooley’s birthday is 39 days after Winger’s. Cooley followed up his first title to become a two-time champion in 2010.
Ellis was able to take 14 wins in 18 Durrence Layne Chevrolet Weekly Racing Series Late Model starts in 2018. Ellis was undefeated in Weekly Racing Series competition this season at Magnolia Motor Speedway. Ellis also collected a Durrence Layne Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series National Touring win in 2018 at North Alabama Speedway in Tuscumbia, AL.
The on track action for the Possum Town Grand Prix begins on Thursday night with an Open Practice from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Following the practice, Magnolia Motor Speedway will have the Make-Up Feature Races from the Magnolia State Cotton Pickin’ event earlier this year.
Friday night will be Knowles Race Parts and Bodies Qualifying and Heat Races for the Durrence Layne Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series to fill the front half of the $10,000-to-win Possum Town Grand Prix on Saturday night. The Pit Gate opens at 11 a.m. with Durrence Layne Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series Pre-Race Registration and Technical Inspection from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Drivers Meeting is scheduled for 2 p.m. with Racing at 3 p.m.
Saturday night’s program will have B-Main Races to fill the back of the starting field for the main event, followed by the 2018 Durrence Layne Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series season finale, the $10,000-to-win Possum Town Grand Prix. The Pit Gate opens at 11 a.m. with the Drivers Meeting scheduled for 2 p.m. and Racing at 3 p.m.
Magnolia Motor Speedway is located west of Columbus, MS at 495 U.S. Highway 45 South, Columbus, MS 39701, just south of U.S. Highway 82. For more information call 662-328-0376, or visit the track web site at www.magnoliadirt.com. You can also like then on Facebook at Magnolia Motor Speedway, or follow them on Twitter @TheMagSpeedway.
For more information and rules about the Durrence Layne Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series, visit the series web site at www.durrencelayneracing.com, or visit the series on Facebook at Durrence Layne Racing. You can follow us on Twitter @DurrenceLayneRacing.
Durrence Layne Chevrolet, Buick, GMC of Claxton, GA is the Title Sponsor of the Durrence Layne Chevrolet Late Models and the Pacesetter Award Sponsor at Durrence Layne Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series events. Durrence Layne Chevrolet, Buick, GMC is one of the nation’s top GM Powertrain and Performance Dealers, with free delivery anywhere in the Southeast. Chevrolet Performance Parts is an Official Sponsor of the Durrence Layne Chevrolet Late Models. Hoosier Racing Tire is the Official Tire Sponsor of the Durrence Layne Chevrolet Late Models. VP Racing Fuels and Lubricants is the Official Race Fuel and Lubricant of the Durrence Layne Late Models, sponsor of the VP Lubricants Starting Box, and the VP Lubricants Smooth Move of the Race Award at Durrence Layne Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series events. RockAuto.com is an Associate Sponsor of the Durrence Layne Chevrolet Late Models. Beyea Headers the Durrence Layne Chevrolet Late Model Hard Charger Sponsor. Knowles Race Parts and Bodies is the Official Parts Supplier for the Durrence Layne Chevrolet Late Models and the Fast Qualifier Sponsor at National Touring events. David Smith Carburetors is the Official Carburetor of Durrence Layne Racing. Freestyle Graphix is the Official Wrap, Banner, and Sign Company of Durrence Layne Racing. Durrence Layne Chevrolet Late Model Contingency Sponsors for 2017 are Out-Pace Performance, CrateInsider.Com, Knowles Racing Parts and Bodies, and FreeStyle Graphix. 2018 Chassis Sponsors are Trak-Star Race Cars, Warrior Race Cars, Rocket Chassis, GRT Race Cars, and CVR Race Cars.