CARTERSVILLE, Ga. – Durrence Layne Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series officials have declared 18-year-old Ashton Winger as the series champion.
Series officials announced Saturday they were considering scheduling another race in the coming weeks to decide the championship, where Winger led Jake Knowles by 10 points, but by the end of the day they felt scheduling another race this late in the season would just be moving the finish line for the season.
The $10,000-to-win Possum Town Grand Prix at Magnolia Motor Speedway in Columbus, Miss., was scheduled for Saturday, and was going to be the Durrence Layne Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series season finale. The preliminary qualifying and heat races were completed on Friday night, but Friday night rains left an already saturated race track unraceable for Saturday’s event, and it was cancelled.
“I made the decision to end the season because it seemed like we were just moving the finish line for the season down the road on short notice, and this late in the season, we really didn’t have any place to put another race,” Durrence Layne Racing Founder and CEO Mike Vaughn said. “We have fought weather more than we have raced this season, as we have had 11 National Touring races rained out this season.”
Vaughn said there was just not another date available to put another Durrence Layne Chevrolet Late Model event with the Performance Racing Industry Show in Indianapolis, Ind., in two weeks, then Christmas a couple of weeks after that, followed by the the Icebowl at Talladega Short Track in Eastaboga, Ala., during the first weekend of January.
With the 14 races the series did get in, Vaughn said they were all memorable events with Winger and Knowles providing most of the highlights. One night would go Winger’s way, and the next night would go Knowles’ way.
“To have two drivers 10 points apart after 14 races is pretty remarkable,” Vaughn said. “They both had great seasons, and combined, they won half the races with Winger winning three races, and Knowles winning four races. In addition to those two, we had eight other drivers in the top ten that also made it a great season, with nine of the Top 10 making all 14 races.”
Winger swept three big annual awards for the Durrence Layne Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series. In addition to the National Championship, Winger also won the Cruise With The Champions Rookie of the Year Award and the VP Racing Fuels Young Guns Challenge Series Championship for Durrence Layne Chevrolet Late Model drivers 18 year of age and younger.