PHENIX CITY, Ala. – Chase Edge was razor sharp Friday night as he disappeared from the field in his Edge’s Gas Company Special to win the Salute To The Armed Forces 50 for the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series in night two of the four-race Salute To America Nationals at East Alabama Motor Speedway.
Edge led all 50 laps en route to his second career NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series win. He was able to maintain at least a five to seven car-length lead over second-place for the first two-thirds of the race by running the outside groove. It was in lapped traffic on lap 33 that Edge found a new groove on the race track that put him in orbit.
While lapping Shep Lucas in the Performance Kwik Change Trak-Star, Edge had to use the inside of turn one, then slide up the banking and rocket off the second turn. After a lap 41 restart, Edge disappeared from the rest of the field after a lap 41 restart.
“I knew the top groove was beginning to go away, and when I went into turn one low, I found that if I drove the car straight through the bumps, it led me into some great traction for getting off the corner,” Edge said. “This win is big for us, especially coming so close to home in front of friends and family. I prayed to God all week for this, and I just give Him all of the praise for answering my prayer.”
By the time Edge took the checkered flag, he had over a seven second lead over the second-place driver Terrance Nowell in the Dykes Towing Warrior. The only hiccup Edge had all night was on the final lap of the race when he just about gave it all way. When Edge slid up the banking in turn two, he got just a little too high, and almost left the ballpark.
“I knew I was in trouble coming off the second turn when I had the steering wheel turned left and the car was going straight,” Edge said. “I really had to talk to the race car to settle down and get me back to the checkered flag. I mean I led the first 49 laps, and that wouldn’t have been good to give it away on the last lap.”
While Edge was in his own zip code, the racing for the second spot on the other side of the race track was intense with the second, third, fourth and fifth spots changing hands at will during the last ten laps of the race.
Nowell went from third, back to fifth, and then up to second at the checkered flag. Johnny Stokes rallied from the 13th starting to finish third in the Bassett Hound Motorsports GRT. Chris Noah took the fourth spot in the Old Man’s Garage Special. Larry Harrod ran in the second spot for most of the race, but faded in the last five laps of the race and ended up fifth in the Harrod Logging Special.
Chase Edge, Terrance Nowell, Johnny Stokes, Chris Noah, Larry Harrod, Montana Dudley, Josh Adkins, Jak Kicklighter, Todd Morrow, Ronnie Johnson, Ronnie Cooper, Shep Lucas, Brent Barrett, Cord Dodgen, Mark McCarter, Michael Blount, Dylan Knowles, Chad Marchman, Chip Brindle, Jimmy Elliott, Taylor Mitcham, Tyler Clem, Jimmy Thomas, Marcus Minga.