COLUMBUS, Miss. – Justin McRee rallied from third to first after a lap 32 restart to win the Salute To The Air Force 40 for the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series on Sunday night at Magnolia Motor Speedway.
It was McRee’s second series win in the last three races.
McRee ran the high side all night long and led the first 20 laps before giving up the point in heavy lapped traffic to Ashley Newman. Kyle Shaw put McRee back to third with 10 laps to go, but a late caution flag on lap 32 slowed the field for a nine lap dash to the finish.
“I wouldn’t have won this race if it wasn’t for that late caution flag,” McRee said. “I went with the softer tires and committed to the high side, so when we had to get down on the bottom to get through lapped traffic, the tires got hot and there was no grip. The caution let me cool off the tires and take care of business on the restart.”
McRee sailed around the outside of Shaw on the restart for second and then made the winning outside pass on Newman with six laps to go to chalk up his 11th NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series win and share the third spot with William Thomas on the career win list.
Newman finished second in the Greg’s Sawmill Special and Shaw took the third spot in the Sweddenberg Logging Trak-Star. Evan Ellis drove the Ellis Welding Special to the fourth spot, and Mack McCarter was fifth in the CVR Race Cars house car.
McCarter took over the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series point lead by two points over Ronnie Johnson in the battle for the $20,000 National Championship. The point lead changed hands three times over the weekend.
Justin McRee, Ashley Newman, Kyle Shaw, Evan Ellis, Mark McCarter, Jeremy Shaw, Johnny Stokes, Brent Barrett, Ronnie Johnson, Chandler Petty, Nathan Mayes, Jason Cliburn, Jamey Boland, Daniel Bridgmon, Jonathan Rowan, Josh Banes, Cody Smith, Roland Dunn, Michael Blount, Marcus Minga, Jimmy Elliott, Walker Arthur, Chris Noah, Nick Thrash.