TALLADEGA, Ala. – Jeff Smith was the dominant force Thursday night in winning the first of four Salute To America Nationals races for the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series Touring Division at the Talladega Short Track.
Smith never faced a challenger all night as he was the fast qualifier among the 44 entrants at 14.676 seconds, and then led all 40 laps to record his second career NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series victory.
At one point in the race, Smith held a half straightaway lead on Todd Morrow, who finished second in the A-Plus Collision Center GRT. The only time Morrow could get close to Smith was in heavy lapped traffic in the closing laps of the race, but he took the checkered flag .413 seconds behind Smith.
“We brought the same set up here that we use at Boyd’s Speedway and we were fast right out of the box tonight,” Smith said. “I was a little anxious towards the end of the race in lapped traffic because you never know how close someone is to you. This was a good opportunity for us here tonight because we love running at Talladega Short Track and we love running with the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series. We got the best of both worlds tonight.”
The 12-year-old sensation Cruz Skinner showed the world that he is for real, as he drove the Skinner’s Body Shop Special to a third-place finish. The youngster showed that he knows his way around his home track where he has three NeSmith Chevrolet Weekly Racing Series Late Model wins this season.
Chris Noah finished fourth in the Old Man’s Garage Special and was the Rookie of the Race. The NeSmith Chevrolet Weekly Racing Series point leader Adam Gauldin took the fifth spot in the Adam Gauldin Racing GRT at his home track where he also has three wins this season.
Jeff Smith, Todd Morrow, Cruz Skinner, Chris Noah, Adam Gauldin, Montana Dudley, Josh Adkins, Chip Brindle, Ronnie Johnson, Mark McCarter, Grant Pearl, Tanner Works, Jimmy Elliott, Kyle Clifton, Lee Burdett, Marcus Minga, Chase Edge, Johnny Stokes, T.J. Brittain, Rodgerick Dykes, Michael Blount, Josh Trammell, Justin McRee, Shay Knight.