BRUNSWICK, Ga. — Ray Cook took the lead with five laps to go and drove the Tri-County Race Track Special to victory in the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series season opener on Friday afternoon in the Super Bowl of Racing Presented By Rock Auto.com at Golden Isles Speedway.
Cook started ninth and moved up to the second spot by lap eight. When early race leader Walker Arthur began to encounter lapped traffic with 10 laps to go, Cook closed in and made up a half straightaway deficit. Arthur pushed up the banking in turn one on lap 26, and Cook dove underneath to take the lead.
“I couldn’t catch Arthur until he got into that lapped traffic because until then, it seemed like we were running the same speed,” Cook said. “He tried to lap a car on the outside and the lapped car moved up in front of him. That opened the door for me to take the lead.”
The victory was the second straight NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series win for Cook, who won the 2013 season finale in November in the Chevrolet Performance World Championship Race. That win was in a different car, but Cook had some valuable pieces from that winning mount on his car Friday afternoon.
“We won the race in November with another car, but we took the shocks off that car and put them on my car that I drove today,” Cook said. “We put the same set up under it, and it worked again for us this afternoon.”
Jak Kicklighter drove the Kicklighter Construction Special to a second place finish and was the rookie of the race. NASCAR star Joey Coulter took the third spot in the Wolfpack Racing Rocket and Mack McCarter was fourth in the CVR Race Cars Special.
Scott Lagasse Jr. finished fifth.
Ray Cook, Jak Kicklighter, Joey Coulter, Mack McCarter, Scott Lagasse Jr., Mark Whitener, Josh Adkins, Chris Noah, Tait Davenport, Rober Diekemper, Montana Dudley, Mallory Harvey, David Earl Gentry, Jeremy Faircoth, Ronnie Johnson, Chase Edge, Steve Cooke, Michael Blount, Walker Arthur, Stacey Roberts, Justin McRee, Kelly Walker, Ben Faircloth, Chase Washington.