Jonathan Findley Sweeps at Southern National, Sets Stage for Epic Championship Finale

LUCAMA, NC – Jonathan Findley made a statement at Southern National Motorsports Park on Saturday night.

Findley swept both Late Model races and put himself in a tie atop the championship standings with teammate Andrew Grady, setting up an epic championship showdown. Findley led wire-to-wire in the first of the two Late Model races but had to race his way from the rear of the field in the second following a full field invert.

“It was pretty fun to come back through the field,” Findley said in victory lane after the race. “We had a dominant car all night long. There were no problems with it. It was flawless. On a rail. Can't thank everyone enough.”

Findley has been riding a wave of momentum through what has been a breakthrough season for the teenager from Virginia who did not expect to even contend for the championship.

“We were not thinking this at all,” Findley remarked. “We were actually going to travel around more this year but it started to take over for points here and we just made the decision that we were going to try here and it seems to be taking its toll that this is going to go our way hopefully.”

Andrew Grady scored finishes of third and second which kept him tied with Findley for the points lead. Grady has scored four wins on the 2015 season. Grady entered the season as a championship favorite after scoring five wins in the Limited Late Model division in 2014 at Southern National – but coming up short against Haley Moody and Dillon Spain in the championship battle.

“First race, we were absolutely junk,” Grady said. “I really don't know what we're fighting with this thing. We haven't ran this bad in two years. The second race, that was all my spotter right there. He was driving the car, I was just behind the wheel. The restart, he's playing games. I don't know if we could have held Jonathan off but we've got to figure this restart thing out. We might not have won the race but we had a shot at it. We'll come back for the next two races and hopefully wrap up this championship.”

The headline race for the evening's racing program was the Mid-Atlantic Street Stock (MASS) Championship Series – the sixth race on the region's premier Street Stock tour. Saturday night's 50 lap race had major implications in the championship battle when Greg Barnett, who entered as the points leader, dropped out of the race and Jeff Melton, who entered third in points, also had problems while Sonny Schoffen, who entered second in points, won the race.

Schoffen held off Gary Ledbetter, Jr., one of the region's Street Stock greats, to score the victory.

“We've been getting our butts kicked for about a month and a half and we've been working real hard,” Schoffen said. “We found a little something and this car was hooked up. It's very rare that you get one that drives like that for 50 laps. I would have really liked to race [Melton} and [Barnett]. I think that they might have had something and I hate that they dropped off. Ledbetter, I'm honored to race that guy. It was a good, clean race.”

Barnett, who is a four-time Street Stock champion at Southern National, felt he could add to his points lead in Saturday night's MASS race but the race he looked forward to the most proved to be his undoing.

“Either the rear end or transmission, drive train or something, it's one of those things,” a dejected Barnett said after the race. “It's really frustrating. We've won a bunch of races and championships here and I thought this would be the place that we could really get the lead on them. It's just one of those racing deals.”

William Haynie finished third in the race while Ricky Locklair, Jr., Jonathan Kornegay, Tommy Poole, Michael Klein, Mike Ganoe, Tom Bradbury and Ron Flynn rounded out the top-10.

Michael O'Brien and Frankie Dominick scored wins in the Charger twinbill. Dominick won the first race over Paul Williamson, who came into the race fresh off his first career win of any kind back on August 1st. O'Brien, who had mechanical problems with his car, competed in the second race in Wayne Goss' car and scored a victory – one that meant a lot to him on a night where Southern National Motorsports Park was honoring wounded warriors.

“We wanted to win so bad tonight,” O'Brien said. “Not for points, not just the win, but to win because these guys are here. They've done so much for us. They've put their lives on the line for us. If it weren't for them, none of us would be standing here right now. I can't thank them enough. I've also got to thank Wayne Goss. If it wasn't for him, we'd be screwed tonight.”

O'Brien entered the night tied for the points lead with Williamson. His victory did nothing to ease that championship battle as O'Brien now leads by a mere two points.

Tyler Horne scored the victory in the U-CAR feature and extended his points lead to five over Travis Miller, who finished third. Kailey Murray was declared the winner of the Bandolero feature after Savannah Beasley, who dominated the race, failed postrace technical inspection. Murray's victory moves her within five points of Josh Kossek, who finished third officially. Dillon Spain scored the win in the Legends feature race, his fifth win of the season, while Will Bristle extended his points lead to 17 over Chris Stancil and appears destined to become the division champion.

After Saturday night's races, the points leaders in four of Southern National Motorsports Park's five regular divisions are separated by five points or less heading into Championship Night on Saturday, September 12th. The championships in the Late Model, Charger, Legends, U-CAR and Bandolero divisions will all be decided that night and the championship races are heading down to the wire.

Official Results

Late Model – Race #1

  1. #4 Jonathan Findley
  2. #16 Rusty Daniels
  3. #1 Andrew Grady
  4. #M3 Shelton McNair
  5. #63 Tyler Matthews
  6. #29 Melvin Langley
  7. #19 Brandon Hobbs
  8. #72 Jeremy Bohne
  9. #99 Zach Henshaw

Late Model – Race #2

  1. #4 Jonathan Findley
  2. #1 Andrew Grady
  3. #63 Tyler Matthews
  4. #19 Brandon Hobbs
  5. #M3 Shelton McNair
  6. #16 Rusty Daniels
  7. #72 Jeremy Bohne
  8. #99 Zach Henshaw
  9. #29 Melvin Langley

MASS Street Stock

  1. #75 Sonny Schoeffen
  2. #32 Gary Ledbetter, Jr.
  3. #12 William Haynie
  4. #25 Ricky Locklair, Jr.
  5. #33 Jonathan Kornegay
  6. #3 Tommy Poole
  7. #5 Michael Klein
  8. #82 Mike Ganoe
  9. #00 Tom Bradbury
  10. #66 Ron Flynn
  11. #26 Chris Gordon
  12. #50 Ricky Locklair
  13. #43 David Earnhardt
  14. #6W Jeff Melton
  15. #8 Greg Barnett
  16. ##54 Ted Somero
  17. #56 Wayne Locklair
  18. #6 Michael Jones
  19. #00 Jesse Council – DNS

Chargers – Race #1

  1. #3 Frankie Dominick
  2. #29 Paul Williamson
  3. #45 Tom Sauls
  4. #61 Michael O'Brien
  5. #06 Alton Coombs
  6. #77 Nicholas Fulghum

Chargers – Race #2

  1. #61 Michael O'Brien
  2. #06 Alton Coombs
  3. #77 Nicholas Fulghum
  4. #45 Tom Sauls
  5. #29 Paul Williamson
  6. #3 Frankie Dominick

U-CAR

  1. #28 Tyler Horne
  2. #4J Ronnie “Buckshot” Jones
  3. #99 Travis Miller
  4. #4 James Stroud
  5. #77 Jamie Tucker
  6. #86 Brandon Allen
  7. #48 Duane Walker
  8. #99 Mickey Conner
  9. #31 Wayne Goss
  10. #48H Eddie Howard

Legends

  1. #7 Dillon Spain
  2. #91 Will Bristle
  3. #10 Justin Mitchell
  4. #30 Billy Hall
  5. #24 Mason Diaz
  6. #11 Chris Stancil
  7. #51 Todd McCollum
  8. #88 Zack Brown
  9. #87 Tommy Jackson, Jr.
  10. #8 Travis Weber
  11. #13 Hunter Hansen
  12. #12 Eric Courtney
  13. #9 Gene Traxler
  14. #29 Brandon Rice

Bandolero

  1. #81 Kailey Murray
  2. #25 Dustin Yeoman
  3. #44 Josh Kossek
  4. #51 Ethan Johnson
  5. #19 Jaiden Reyna
  6. #06 Camryn Rice
  7. #3 Tyler Roberson
  8. #12 Savannah Beasley – DQ

For more information about Southern National Motorsports Park, check out SNMP’s website at www.snmpark.com“like” Southern National Motorsports Park on Facebook or “follow” @SNM_Park on Twitter.

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