TAZEWELL, Tenn. – There’s a famous saying in racing that to finish first, one must first finish.
That was the strategy Jimmy Elliott used to win his first NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series race in his first start in the series in the 40-lap main event on Saturday night at Tazewell Speedway driving the Car Smart Auto Sales CVR.
After starting second in the race, Elliott dropped back to the sixth spot in the action packed early laps of the race, but as the competitors in front of him fell to the wayside for various reasons, Elliott took over the lead on lap 23 after leader Johnny Stokes dropped out, and then he held off a late race challenge from Kyle Bronson to take the $2,000 win.
“I fell back early in the race, and that time, I didn’t think I had a very good race car, but as the drivers in front of me kept falling out, the race just came to me,” Elliott said. “I didn’t have anything for Johnny Stokes, and I hated he fell out the way he did, but I’ll take the win.”
Bronson was able to get close to Elliott in the closing laps of the race, but couldn’t make a challenge for the lead and had to settle for second in the Brandon Ford Warrior and was also the Rookie of the Race.
National Dirt Hall of Fame Inductee Ronnie Johnson charged back through the field after changing a cut tire on lap eight to finish third in the NeSmith Chevrolet Special and took over the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series point lead. Johnson now holds a 16 point lead over Ronny Lee Hollingsworth who finished 16th.
Brent Barrett started shotgun on the field in the 24th starting spot, and drove the Custom Spraying, Inc. GRT to a fourth-place finish to earn the Hedman Husler of the Race Award. Josh Adkins joined Bronson and Barrett as the third Rookie of the Year candidate in the top five with a fifth-place finish in the Yellow Hammer Construction Special.