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2006 Alabama State Championships

The Chattanooga Flash Strikes East Alabama, Again
By Jay Vaquer
Phenix City. ALA - October 1, 2006 - The 28th Annual Alabama State Championships were held at East Alabama Motor Speedway as one of the South's premier dirt track racing events. The 4- day gala event offered nearly 400 racing teams in nine divisions, from several states, an absolutely perfect weekend of great weather, non-stop racing excitement, and the total enjoyment of one of America's greatest traditional freedoms. In the Super Late Model division, Ronnie Johnson, The Chattanooga Flash, from Chattanooga, Tennessee, made a brilliant strategic move, which electrified the thousands of fans, shocked the other 25 highly skilled and successful race teams, and with blinding rays of white light, captured the accolade of 2006 Alabama State Champion. It was no surprise to see Jake Knowles win the pole for the feature event in view of his 2006 Jimmy Thomas Memorial Championship victory. Terrance Nowell, with some previous top five finishes was a local favorite to win and earned the outside pole, and admiration of his many fans with the second fastest qualifying time. The incumbent Alabama State Champion, Clint Smith from Senoia, Georgia, with four previous victories, arrived after qualifying and took a provisional to enter at the rear of the field. When the green flag dropped on the feature, Jake Knowles fired first at turn 4, but by the time they reached turn one, Terrance Nowell was in the lead pulling away from the pack. Ricky Williams, who raced in the inaugural Alabama State race in 1979 won by Ben Thomas, starting from the inside second row, was able to keep pace with Nowell and moved into second. Knowles was in third as this trio quickly separated themselves from Stacy Holmes and the rest of the full field. On lap 3 Clint Smith had moved up 4 positions as he began one of his famous "from last to first" runs like last year's Championship. Ethan Hunter suddenly got a flat tire catching Lavon Sparks and Kenny Hall checking up and spinning into each other coming to a stop in turn four to bring out the lap 5 caution. Since the track officials made the use of Race-ciever radios mandatory, it was easy to set the field into their correct positions in an Alabama Double File restart and we were back to green flag racing. Again Nowell blasted out and got a comfortable lead from Williams. Holmes was attacking Knowles from the inside but Knowles always managed to keep his position. By lap 9 Clint "Cat Daddy" Smith had moved up 12 spots and was watching Jack Pennington putting the moves on William Thomas running in tenth. Nowell was in the lap traffic weaving through with Williams as his shadow and they began lapping the field putting Ethan Hunter and Byran Sumner a lap down. As soon as they came up on a clear piece of track, Williams would pull inside Nowell in the turns looking for the lead but Nowell had the power to stay in front. The Chattanooga Flashstarted in fifth and was biding his time, avoiding attrition, and still running in fifth at lap 22. Jack Daughtry and Byran Sumner entered the pits on lap 25 then Mike Head come to a stop in turn four to bring out the yellow caution flag. The lap 29 restart leaders were Nowell, Williams, Knowles, Ronnie Johnson, Johnny Cloer, Sam Simmons, Robert Grant, Clint Smith, Jack Pennington and Stacey Holmes rounded out the first ten. When the green came back William Thomas entered the pits with a mechanical failure. Devin Jones, Lee Sutton, Sam Simmons, and Jack Pennington chain react into a spin in turn four to bring the yellow back out. By lap 30 Cat Daddy, starting last in row 12 had moved into row 6 and was looking at passing the Chattanooga Flash in fifth. Aaron Ridley pulled into third place ahead of Cloer. Robert Gant and Knowles were at it and there was racing excitement at its best all around the track. Clint Smith powered around Ronnie Johnson to take fifth. Numerology came into play as Cat Daddy's JP Drilling, Base Race Fuels, Integra Racing Shocks, Oval Craft Aluminum Designs, Race-Tek Racing Engines, Hoosier tire, GRT Race Cars Pontiac GTO # 44 passed the # 44 of Johnny Cloer on lap 44 to move into 4th place. Jack Pennington lost power and rolled into the pits on lap 49 as did Byran Sumner. Robert Gant passed Cloer to move into fifth and Cat Daddy passed Ridly to move into third on lap 75. Smith next moved on his life long friend Ricky Williams looking for second place. On lap 80 Cloer had a flat which brought out the yellow. The Flash entered the pits and it looked like he was done for the evening but this was part of his ingenious plan to win the race. Johnson made it back out and stayed at the end of the lead lap but ahead of all the lap cars. Green was back out and the 100-lap event was coming to a swift close. The top 5 leaders were Nowell, Williams, Smith, Ridley, and Jake Knowles and they were still blistering the track with super fast times. On lap 90 the Cat Daddy used up one of his nine lives when a flat forced him into the pits. His crew changed one tire and he was back in the hunt with only ten laps left and he went to the ninth position as everyone else had been lapped. When this green flag came out the Flash executed his perfect battle plan. He charged the field, outside the preferred line, running a unique groove at the top of the track he found cool, sticky clay which, with his two new rear tires from his last pit stop allowed him to stick like glue and run in a world of his own. He was several seconds faster than everyone else on the track and he passed them at will. He took Knowles out and went to fifth spot. He charged right on faster than lightning and the crowd stood in awe as he whizzed past Ridley and Ricky Williams. Then, on lap 95, Ronnie Johnson, once again validated his moniker, The Chattanooga Flash, taking the lead and powering away from Nowell. Johnson was so fast there was no hope of anyone catching him as he took the checkers in front of the thousands of cheering fans in disbelief. Terrance Nowell finished second, Ricky Williams third, Aaron Ridley fourth, Lee Sutton fifth, Clint Smith sixth, Jake Knowles seventh,Stacey Holmes eight, Johnny Cloer ninth, and Sam Simmons rounding out the top ten in tenth.

Late Model

5 - Ronnie Johnson
55 - Terrance Nowell
17 - Ricky Williams
81 - Aaron Ridley
L7 - Lee Sutton
44 - Clint Smith
66 - Jake Knowles
H2 - Stacey Holmes
J44 - Johnny Cloer
12 - Sam Simmons
101 - Ethan Hunter
22 - Robert Gant
8 - David Burton
72 - Frank Wilson
92 -Rodney Martin
42 - Kenny Hall
68r - Brandon Register
41 - Byran Sumner
01 - Jack Pennington
11 - Lavon Sparks
00 - Devin Jones
6 - Jack Daughtry
54 - Mike Head
R1 - Riley Hickman
22 - William Thomas

Sportsman

90 - Bobby Thomas
18 - Terrance Nowell
K9 - Dana Eiland
99 - J.R. Moseley
888 - Dennis Hale
34 - Alan Sparks
M2 - Tim Thomason
45 - Dewayne Johnson
32 - Bubba Russell
15 - Randall Walker
110 - Ricky Culpepper
94 - Jeff Robinson
66 - Johnny Tribble
66e - Keith Edge
7 - Jack Mills
5 - Rodgerick Dykes
27 - Larry Harrod, Jr.
0 - Mike Nasworthy
91 - Tod Darda
18 - Jake Herrell
5 - Ronnie Johnson
2 - Mickey Benton
27 - Glenn Morris
4 - Brad York

Crate Late Model

17 - Ricky Williams
22 - William Thomas
16 - Ronnie Johnson
17 - Larry Eldridge
01 - Jack Pennington
00 - Shane Thompson
75 - Eddie Rowland
54 - Mike Head
31 - Anthony Meadows
10 - Jeff Culpepper
44 - Jim Till
58 - Larry Boutwell
45 - Dewayne Johnson
7 - Jack Mills
34 - Chad Wallace
00 - Jeff Smith
27 - Larry Harrod, Jr.
7 - Tracy Watson
32 - Bubba Russell
16 - Jeff Fields
17 - Chad Smith
4 - Steve Richardson
K9 - Dana Eiland
43 - Tom Maddox

Super Street

1 - Gene Nasworthy
50 - Steven Gaines, Jr.
91 - Josh Weathers
4 - Mike Parker
M1 - Marc Collins
25 - Chad Marchman
1 - Monk Gulledge
K17 - Cory Korrecht
6 - Jim Brophy
71 - Jimmy Maness
21 - Brady Betsill
K17 - Mark Knight
22 - Danny Stroud
50v - Monte Vaughn
M4 - Daniel Goodman
66 - Jody Knowles
27 - Roy Whitehead
21 - Ricky Welch
2 - John Henderson
4b - Brian Ligon
54 - Tim Dixon
29 - Doug Lumley
47 - Jimmy Booth, Jr.

Modified

00 - Stanley Donahoo
07 - Anthony Meadows
99 - Eddie Brannon
6 - Calvin Cook
18 - Randy Darby, Jr.
42 - Zeb Tanner
12 - Rusty Harmon
4 - Tony Robinson
7 - Jeff Elliott
17m - Bobby Morrison
1 - Jason Barnhill
21 - Jessie Barnhill
22 - John Rodgers
777 - Buster Foley

Hobby

T1 - Greg Chumley
10 - Jeff Chumley
29 - Joey Eiland
A18 - Mike Archer
92 - Danny Earl Warren
5 - Andrew Barber
11 - Derrick Pearce
99 - Randy Renfroe, Jr.
22g - Ricky Haugen
11 - Bart Starr
3 - Donnie Cheney
7 - David Windham
91 - Tim McCurdy
7 - Chris Arnett
33 - Rusty Johnson
73 - Jason Floyd
31 - Mikey Mount
55 - Chuck Compton
X - Jim Brophy
22 - Dustin Smith
3 - Jeff Carter
47 - Jerry Luke
54 - Clint Vaughn
06 - Miles Holton


4-Cylinder

J3 - John Capps, III
2 - PJ Taylor
11 - Greg Gatlin
99 - Ronnie Poole
99 - Kenny Dobbs
74 - Gary Gunter
16 - Huie Stewart
33 - James Goff
28 - Daniel Kelly
9 - Koty Perry
8 -Bo Rutherford
27 - Tallmadge Simpson
8 - Doug Sellers
2 - Jamie Ward
89 - Hugh Shaffer
6 - Kris Poe
21 - Matthew Gainer
15 - Jon Smith
JT9 - Jason Tyree
4 - Richie Stephens
9 - Pery Crowe
14 - Ross Baines
14 - Anthony Craft
80 - Terry Gant

Bomber

25 - Michael Cauley
0 - Gene Nasworthy
48 - Jeff Walker
83 - Chuck Page
17 - Jason Price
22 - Clint Stone
58 -Steve Jenson
28 - Jay Kunice
8t - Darrell Tumlin
07 - Todd Brannon
16 - Christy Noles
7 - Leon Childs
6 - Calvin Cook
28 - Robert Ethridge
55 - Colden Vinent
12 - Bobby Thomas, Jr.
25 - Robbie Burt
7 - Trevor Elliott
18 - V.J. McDonald
294 - John Michael
68 - Tim Jenson

Cruiser

18 - Paul Goodroe
7 - Jason Floyd
0 - Jaye Hutchison
41 - Lanny Cross
17 - Karl Willard
55 - Josh Howell
22 - Josh Taylor
7c - Chris Casteel
7 - Billy Nipper
33 - Joe Trantham
32 - Ricky Floyd
7k - Jerry Lewis
77 - Jack Rayburn
69 - Chad Jordan
55 - Robert Combs
36 - Tommy Pantone
58 - Jason Patrick
00 - Richie Stephens
2 - Steven Garnto
22 - Dustin Miller
2 - David Lowe
89 - Jason Howell
02 - Tommy Johnson
69 - Jesse Jenson







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