Tuesday October 17th, 2017 10:17PM

Barrett gets first NeSmith Chevrolet DLMS win at Whynot

By Roby Helm
  Contact Editor
MERIDIAN, MS - Brent Barrett of Cleveland, MS drove the Custom Spraying, Inc. GRT to his first career NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series win on Saturday night in the Coca-Cola 40 at Whynot Motorsports Park in Meridian, MS, the opening race of the Salute To The Armed Forces Nationals.

Barrett took the lead with five laps to go after Jason Cliburn of Star, MS and Justin McRee of Woodstock, AL crashed while battling for the lead. Barrett led the final five laps to take a .843 margin of victory at the checkered flag over Josh Adkins of Talladega, AL.

"I really hated to see what happened to Cliburn and McRee because they had a good race going," Barrett said. "But it feels good to finally win one these races. We've been trying for a long time, and I hope this is the first of more to come in the future."

Adkins was disqualified from his second-place finish during the post-race technical inspection when it was found that his race car had a chemically enhanced tire. Not only did Adkins lose the second-place finish, but the disqualification also cost him the point lead.

Chase Washington of Houlka, MS moved up to the second spot after starting 18th and Daniel Bridgmon of Meridian, MS finished third. Defending NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series National Champion Ronnie Johnson of Chattanooga, TN was fourth.

Johnny Stokes of Columbus, MS drove to a fifth-place finish and Casey Haney of Meridian, MS came from the 22nd starting spot to finish sixth. Steven Bryan of Collinsville, MS took the seventh spot.

Mack McCarter of Gatlinburg, TN was eighth and Ryan Crane of Panama City, FL finished ninth. Rodney Wing of Meridian, MS rounded out the top ten.

Johnson took over the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series point lead with 620 points and holds a six-point lead over McCarter with 614. Walker Arthur of Forest, VA is third in the battle for the $20,000 Championship with 610 points. Chris Noah of Rainbow City, AL is fourth and the leading Rookie of the Year candidate with 526 points.

In preliminary action, Cliburn drove to Fast Time honors among the 44-car field with a lap in 13.201 seconds. The three ten-lap B-Main Races were won by Stokes, Adkins, and Bridgmon.

Cliburn took the lead at the drop of the green flag followed by Barrett, Randy Boyd of Marion, MS, Wing and Cody Martin of Christiana, TN. While the leaders worked the high side of the race track, McRee came from the seventh starting spot glued to the bottom of the track, and passed Martin for fourth on lap four.

The first of four caution flags came out on lap five for a multi-car tangle on the front straightaway that ended the night for Tim Dees of Meridian, MS, who parked hard against the wall. Martin hit the same front straightaway wall on the restart to end his evening while running fifth.

Cliburn had Barrett, Boyd, McRee, Bryan, Wing, Larry Murphy of Meridian, MS, Adkins, Evan Ellis of Plantersville, MS and Bridgmon doubled up behind him in the "Dixie Style" double-file restart. When the field went back to green, McRee got under Boyd for the third spot coming off the fourth turn to complete lap five.

McRee then executed the same move at the same spot on the race track to claim the second spot from Barrett on lap six. Bryan used the bottom groove to his advantage to pass Boyd for the fourth spot on lap ten. Cliburn began to encounter the cars on the tail end of the lead lap by lap 12, but it went away on lap 13 after Ellis stalled on the backstretch to bring out the third caution flag.

Behind Cliburn for the next double-file restart were McRee, Barrett, Bryan, Adkins, Boyd, Bridgmon, Washington, Murphy and Johnson. Most of the leaders ran the cushion at the top of the 3/8-mile clay oval with the exception of McRee, who stayed camped out on the bottom the track taking the short way around.

Bryan began to fade at the halfway point, as Adkins passed him for the fourth spot on lap 20, and Bridgmon got by on lap 22 to take the fifth spot. Cliburn began to encounter heavy lapped traffic on lap 25, and McRee began to close in.

The battle for the lead was on by lap 30 between the rim riding Cliburn and low running McRee. Coming off the fourth turn on lap 31, McRee drove under Cliburn to take the lead. Cliburn powered back on the outside to retake the lead on lap 34. McRee then drove under Cliburn in turn one on lap 36, but couldn't seal the deal.

McRee slid up the track coming off the second turn in an effort to get in front of Cliburn to slow his momentum, but the top two cars made contact. Cliburn slid along the backstretch wall grinding to a stop in turn three while McRee spun down the backstretch coming to rest at the bottom of turn three.

That put Barrett on the point for a single file restart with five laps to go followed by Adkins, Bridgmon, Washington, Johnson, Bryan, Stokes, Haney, McCarter and Murphy. Barrett pulled away on the restart, while several battles took place behind him. Bridgmon jumped the cushion in turn four on lap 37, giving the third spot to Washington.

Barrett maintained his lead to the checkered flag, while Stokes got by Bryan in the closing laps to what proved to be a top five finish. Haney was also able to get around Bryan for what would turn out to be the sixth spot.

For more information and rules about the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series, visit the series web site.

NeSmith Chevrelet Dirt Late Model Series
Whynot Motorsports Park - Meridion, MS
Coca-Cola 40 - May 24, 2014

1. 2 110 Brent Barrett Cleveland, MS 40 $2,000
2. 18 311 Chase Washington Houlka, MS 40 $1,000
3. 13 09 Daniel Bridgmon Meridian, MS 40 $700
4. 17 R1 Ronnie Johnson Chattanooga, TN 40 $550
5. 11 1 Johnny Stokes Columbus, MS 40 $500
6. 22 14 Casey Haney Meridian, MS 40 $425
7. 8 34 Steven Bryan Collinsville, MS 40 $375
8. 14 51 Mack McCarter Gatlinburg, TN 40 $350
9. 21 10c Ryan Crane Panama City, FL 40 $325
10. 5 48 Rodney Wing Meridian, MS 40 $300
11. 6 27 Larry Murphy Meridian, MS 40 $275
12. 23 87 Walker Arthur Forest, VA 40 $250
13. 16 4b Josh Banes Learned, MS 39 $225
14. 24 56 Chris Noah (R) Rainbow City, AL 39 $200
15. 20 11r Joey Mullenix Elrod, AL 39 $175
16. 15 02 Stephen Brantley Monroeville, AL 38 $150
17. 1 888 Jason Cliburn Star, MS 35 $140
18. 7 25 Justin McRee Woodstock, AL 35 $125
19. 19 760 Jim McDuffie Meridian, MS 35 $125
20. 3 118 Randy Boyd Marion, MS 24 $125
21. 10 73 Evan Ellis Plantersville, MS 12 $125
22. 4 21m Cody Martin Christiana, TN 4 $125
23. 9 11 Tim Dees Meridian, MS 4 $125
24. 12 19m Josh Adkins Talladega, AL 50 $0 DQ-Tire
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