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News

Needmore Hosting Early Bird as Crate Racin’ USA Arrives

Needmore Hosting Early Bird as Crate Racin’ USA Arrives

EASTABOGA, Ala. — Newsome Raceway Parts Crate Racin’ USA Dirt Late Model Series competitors will arrive at Needmore Speedway in Norman Park, Ga., Nov. 17-19, 2022, for the annual Early Bird at the Kelly and Mandy Walker-owned speedplant, and it will be the touring circuit’s third visit of the season to the 3/8-mile oval.

The $10,000-to win event, which will be the next-to-last race of the season for the touring series and also serve as the season finale for the E-Z-GO $100,000+ Challenge circuit, will help decide the latter’s championship with a down-to-the wire conclusion featuring top title contenders Jason Welshan and Jimmy Thomas battling for the $5,000 E-Z-GO crown. Thomas currently leads Welshan by a slim 20-point advantage [594-574] in the chase for the championship.

Still in contention with mathematical opportunities to collect a championship are Jake Rainey [540] and Jake Knowles [530], while Matthew Brocato holds down a distant fifth place in the standings (480].

E-Z-GO $100,000+ Challenge (current points): 1. Jimmy Thomas, 594; 2. Jason Welshan, 574; 4 and . Jake Rainey, 540; 4. Jake Knowles, 530; 5. Matthew Brocato, 480; 6. Randall Beckwith, 474; 7. Hunter Peacock, 382; 8. Clay Harris, 346; 9. Trey Mills, 328; 10. Jason Markewitz, 322; 11. Cody Overton, 298; 12. Jeremy Pate, 264; 13. Tanner Collins, 258; 14. Mark Whitener, 252; 15. Henry Carter, 246; 16. Cameron Weaver, 228; 17. Jeremy Steele, 226; 18. Nevin Gainey, 216; 19. Jackson Hise, 212; 20. Tony Lindsey, 204.

The E-Z-GO title showdown is actually reminiscent of last year’s championship-deciding doubleheader weekend [at Needmore] when Thomas overcame a 22-point deficit to Welshan and walked away with the $10,000 title on the regular touring series by 22 markers after securing two victories.

The same two drivers are now involved in a fight for the E-Z-GO crown, while Welshan has a strong advantage in the chase for the regular series championship, which will end its season Nov. 24-26 with the season-ending Crate Racin’ USA World Championship at Cochran (Ga.) Motor Speedway.

Welshan holds a comfortable advantage over Knowles [1,552-1,402] on the regular touring series, while the top five in the standings is currently filled out by Rainey [1,384], Thomas [1,250] and Brocato [1,232].

Crate Racin’ USA Dirt Late Model Series (current points): 1. Jason Welshan, 1,552 points; 2. Jake Knowles, 1,402; 3. Jake Rainey, 1,384; 4. Jimmy Thomas, 1,250; 5. Matthew Brocato, 1,232; 6. Jason Markewitz, 1,054; 7. Jeremy Pate, 938; 8. Tanner Collins, 916; 9. Randall Beckwith, 736; 10. Dalton Dowdy, 680; 11. Cody Overton, 610; 12. Mark Whitener, 524; 13. Tyler Millwood, 522; 14. Hunter Peacock, 476; 15. Clay Harris, 466; 16. T.J. Brittain, 454; 17. Mark Fleischer, 410; 18. Joseph Joiner, 388; 19. Cory Hedgecock, 372; 20. Matt Henderson, 361.

Large Field Expected
The race has a decade-long history and is entering its 11th version of the event, and is one of the facility’s biggest events of the season. Past winners include Stacey Roberts (2012), Steven Roberts (2013), Travis Carter (2014), Kyle Bronson (2015), Rhett Carter (2016), Jason Fitzgerald (2017), Joseph Brown (2018, 2019 and 2020) and Jimmy Thomas (2021).

It was a race for Super Late Model-styled machines for several seasons, but has been sanctioned by Crate Racin’ USA for the past two years while featuring Chevrolet Performance 604 Late Models.

Weekend Schedule
The three-day event will open Thursday, Nov. 17, with a practice session from 7 p.m. until 10 p.m. Pit gates will swing wide at 4 p.m.

Qualifying and heat races for the Chevrolet Performance 604 Late Models will take place on Sat., Nov. 18, as competitors begin their chase of the $10,000 winner’s share that will be paid out on Sat., Nov. 19, when B-mains are held to fill out the field and the big show receives a green flag later that evening at the semibanked facility.

Other divisions that will compete during the weekend include 602 Sportsman ($2,500 to win), Super Street ($2,000 to win), Crown Vics ($750 to win) and a “run your track rules” Enduro/Factory Stock/Bomber/Thunderstock event that offers $2,000 to the winner.

Pits open Friday at 2 p.m., grandstands at 5 p.m., drivers meeting at 6:30 p.m. and hot laps will begin at 7 p.m. Saturday’s schedule will kick off with pit gates opening at noon, grandstands at 3 p.m., and racing at 6 p.m. For more information, contact Chance Smith at (229) 256-7273, Kelly Walker at (229) 891-1334 or Cindy Brett at (478) 521-2354.

The track is located seven miles west of Exit 49 on I-75, and is a 3/8-mile facility with banking between nine and 11 degrees in the corners. The track is 90 feet wide. Access www.raceneedmorespeedway.com, or www.crateracinusa.com for additional information.

About Crate Racin’ USA
The economical Chevrolet Performance 602 and 604 Circle Track Engine is utilized by competitors in the various divisions presented by Crate Racin’ USA. It’s in stock and available from Newsome Raceway Parts in Hartsville, S.C.

Each engine is built and sealed at the factory to prevent any expensive modifications. To place an order, call 1-877-497-3624.
For more information and rules, visit the organization’s website at www.crateracinusa.com, or follow our extensive social media programs on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Newsome Raceway Parts, a division of Raceway Chevrolet in Hartsville, S.C., is the title sponsor of Crate Racin’ USA. E-Z-GO Golf Carts is the title sponsor of the second-year E-Z-GO $100,000+ Challenge.

Chevrolet Performance is an official sponsor of the organization, along with Advanced Laser & Machine, Cruise with the Champions, Hoosier Racing Tire, KRC Power Steering, Knowles Race Parts and Bodies, My Race Pass, VP Racing Fuels and Lubricants and Willy’s Carburetors.

Official chassis sponsors include Warrior Race Cars, Rocket Chassis and CVR Race Cars.

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