Senoia Raceway was the perfect place for Kyle Bronson to end his years of losing streak. And the Brandon, Fla. driver was quick to thank his crew, family and car owners Wayne and Shirlene Hammond after winning Friday’s Castrol® FloRacing Night in America on the opening night of the Peach State Classic.
“I’m just glad they didn’t give up on me,” Bronson said. “It’s been a tough year here, man.”
Bronson, 32, left the pain of a winless season behind to lead all 50 laps from outside the front row, staying one step ahead of the lively action behind him by earning a $20,000 payday and his first Castrol -Tour win (last year Peach) won the State Classic was a non-Tour event).
11-12 November Continues yesterday at 21:00 UTC
2022 Peach State Classic at Senoia Raceway
Struggling against a track surface soaked by Tropical Storm Nicole, Bronson prevailed against several challengers to win the checkers by 0.893 seconds over second-place finisher Spencer Hughes of Meridian, Miss. Dennis Erb Jr. of Carpentersville, whose heat race miscue forced him to rally from 19th place in the main event, finished fourth and Hudson O’Neal of Martinsville, Indiana, finished fifth despite contact with fast qualifier Tyler Millwood as he took over the controls, causing O’Neal’s car to spin into the first corner.
At the end of the caution-ridden race, two of Bronson’s biggest challengers were absent. Gray Court, SC’s Chris Madden suffered a flat left rear tire on lap 11 that put him out of contention, and Winfield, Tennessee’s Mike Marlar saw his chances after a turn three contact from track nine by Ashton Winger rounds remain.
Bronson will be among the favorites when everyone returns for Saturday’s tour finals, which pays $53,053 to win the Castrol Series’ richest event in its second year.
“It’s great, you know. It’s $20,000,” Bronson said on the winning lane. “We’re close to home, just four hours from home. I’m really looking forward to coming here. I know tomorrow these guys will have this Class A facility here.”
Bronson competed in a 1 race old Rocket chassis that carried him to victory.
“We raced our other car a little bit and had some ignition issues and (team owner) Wayne (Hammond) told us to get that other car out this week and we tested some this week,” Bronson said. “I put my Integra shocks back on – like I said these guys have been a great help to me and Rocket Chassis, Mark Richards and Steve Baker have always been a great help to me. My boys, they’re busting their butts here. I have Tanner, Josh, Sonny and my beautiful wife, all my children. Wayne and Shirlene, they gave me everything I needed to win here.”
Bronson had made the jump on pole-started Winger early on and comfortably controlled most of the race, but Marlar pulled away within three-tenths of a second just past the middle of the race.
“In the beginning I was just trying to drive the car as straight as possible and not get tired because we’re all on soft tires here tonight. I just didn’t want to slide my tires a lot and my tires would get too hot there,” Bronson said. “Then I saw Marlar digging into the ground down there and I knew how to get into (turns) three and had to move four down there. But I had a really good car and I felt like we could catch up a bit.”
He credited the track crew with getting the surface in shape at a track that’s typically dry and smooth rather than so wet that riders had to stop to replace mud-caked helmets during a mid-race precaution. That the race would take place at all was doubtful only a few hours before the event.
“You’ve been busting your butt here for the past few days. I looked Monday, Tuesday (the weather forecast) and said, ‘No way these guys race.’ But they proved me wrong. They work harder than anyone else in the country, I can promise you that,” said Bronson, looking forward to Saturday’s action. “I think we need to tune the car a bit. It’s definitely a different state than we’ve ever been in seen here before, but you know, I’m looking forward to it. I’m looking forward to the challenge. I love the place and I’m ready to go tomorrow.”
Third-starting Hughes slipped early to fifth before slowly working his way back up to the top, avoiding pitfalls that eliminated others.
“For all the weather they had and the short time it took them to get it ready I can’t complain. It was far better than it could have been for sure. But hats off to Kyle, he was really good all night tonight and I’m glad to see he’s finally getting him one. We’re just patching this thing back together and getting ready for another day tomorrow,” said the runner-up. “I’m sure the circuit will probably be very different tomorrow as well. We just need to get back to the drawing board and get a little bit better . If that state comes back, I know that we definitely, we have some things we can improve on, hopefully we can work on that and maybe get a place tomorrow.”
Alberson started on row six but got into the top five before the halftime mark.
“It was pretty intense there. Man, that car was really good. As soon as we got on the gas out there I felt like I was passing cars. I had good grip and I was able to turn pretty well. I was really happy in order to.” ,” he said. “I would say they (the track conditions) will be very different (Saturday) so we’ll definitely see a few different sides of this place. My car has been pretty good here in the mud lately, so can hopefully we’ll turn around and make it up to the slick and we’ll see what we can do.
The race was slowed by nine yellow flags, including the cautions that saw the deaths of Madden and Marlar, who pitted with Winger after his lap 41 crash.
“I really think I could have won that race there,” said a disappointed Marlar, who said he was “run over” by Winger.
On the ensuing restart, Winger broke out of turn four and picked up Ricky Thornton Jr. and another quick warning appeared when Thornton Jr. spun at turn one after pitting to make repairs.
Other cautions appeared for a slowing Ryan Gustin on lap 9 and a slowdown on the same lap when Tyler Erb had a pair of flat rear tires. A lap 15 warning was issued for a slowing Cla Knight (shock issue) and yellows appeared on lap 21 when Sam Seawright slowed down with physical damage after going as high as sixth place.
The final warning came on lap 49 when Ricky Weiss had a right rear puncture and stalled between turns three and four.
The second annual Peach State Classic weekend concludes Saturday night at Senoia Raceway with a $53,053 up for grabs / $1,053 up for grabs Castrol® FloRacing Night in America program.
Castrol® FloRacing Night in America wallet
Senoia Raceway (Saturday 12th November)
1) $53,053 2) $20,053 3) $10,053 4) $8,053 5) $7,053 6) $6,053 7) $5,053 8) $4,053 9) $3.053 10) $2.053) $1.953 $1.953 $1.953 $1.853 1.853 ) $1,253 19) $1,153 20-24) $1,053
TOTAL – $137,782
Saturday Non-Qualification Fee: $50
Entry Fee Saturday: $150
Entry fee includes 1 ATV/4-Wheeler/Side-By-Side/etc pass. Additional passes are $10 per day or $25 for every three days.
Full series rules are available at www.FloSeries.com and setup information, see www.SenoiaRaceway1969.com .
On Saturday, November 12, the pit gates open at 12:00 p.m. ET and the grandstand doors open at 3:00 p.m. The driver briefing takes place at 4:00 p.m. The hot laps take place at 4:30 p.m., followed by racing action.
On Saturday, November 12, grandstand admission is $40 per person, children (12 and under) are free. Saturday night pit passes are USD 45 per person with children (6-12 years) USD 30 and children (5 years and younger) are free when accompanied by a paying adult.
For more information on Senoia Raceway, visit www.SenoiaRaceway1969.com .
Learn more about Castrol® FloRacing Night in America sponsors, visit the company websites at www.castrol.com; www.renegaderacefuel.com; www.integrashocksandsprings.com; www.pitstopusa.com; www.k1racegear.com; www.buzzerracing.com; www.hokertrucking.com; www.rocketchassis.com; www.dirtdraft.com; www.hoosiertire.com; and www.fkrodends.com.
For full Castrol® FloRacing Night in America details, visit the series website at www.FloSeries.com.
Castrol® FloRacing Night in America
Senoia Raceway (Senoia, Georgia)
November 11, 2022 Feature Results
A Feature 1 (50 rounds): 1. 40B-Kyle Bronson; 2. 11-Spencer Hughes; 3. 58-Garrett Alberson; 4. 28-Dennis Erb Jr; 5. 71X-Hudson O’Neal; 6. 31-Tyler Millwood; 7. 19M-Wil Herrington; 8. B5 Brandon Sheppard; 9. 20RT-Ricky Thornton Jr; 10. 7W-Ricky Weiss; 11. (DNF) 12 Ashton winger; 12. (DNF) 157-Mike Marlar; 13. (DNF) 1T-Tyler Erb; 14. (DNF) 66K – Dylan Knowles; 15. (DNF) 3S-Brian Shirley; 16. (DNF) 22-Will Roland; 17. (DNF) 22E-Russell Erwin; 18. (DNF) 16S-Sam Seawright; 19. (DNF) 99-JR Moseley; 20. (DNF) 42 Cla Knight; 21. (DNF) 44-Chris Madden; 22. (DNF) 17M-Dale McDowell; 23. (DNF) 19-Ryan Gustin; 24. (DNF) 93-Carson Ferguson
DNA: Rucker Orr, Jim Rogers, Morgan Bagley, Kyler Haygood, Lamar Haygood, Pearson Lee Williams, Booger Brooks, Parker Martin, Cody Haskins, Morgan Alexander, Devin Moran, Joseph Joiner, Austin Horton, Montie Vaughn, David Breazeale, Jody Knowles , Oliver Gentry, Corey Roulette, Tanner Collins, Mason Zeigler, Scott Bloomquist, Payton Freeman, Jamie Maurice, Glenn Morris, Bailey Williams, Ty Ellis, Jordy Nipper, Jason Croft,
Renegade Race Fuels Fast Qualifier Group A: Dennis Erb Jr. (13.605 seconds)
Renegade Race Fuels Fast Qualifier Group B (and overall): Tyler Millwood (13.594 seconds)
Integra Racing Shocks Heat Race #1 Winner: Ashton Winger
Pit Stop USA Heat Race #2 Winner: Spencer Hughes
K1 Race Gear Heat Race #3 Winner: Mike Marlar
Buzze Racing Heat Race #4 Winner: Kyle Bronson
FK Rod Ends Heat Race #5 Winner: Chris Madden
Hoker Truck Heat Race #6 Winner: Cla Knight
Hoosier Tire B Grand Prize Winners: Dennis Erb Jr., Brian Shirley, Dylan Knowles
Hoosier Hoop Draw Winners: Parker Martin, Dale McDowell
$150 Cash Draw Winners: Ricky Weiss, Tanner Collins