Joiner Wins National 100 with Last Lap PassEAMS Media
Joseph Joiner scored a milestone victory on Sunday night winning the 46th Annual National 100 at East Alabama Motor Speedway in Phenix City, AL. The 27-year-old Florida hot shoe rallied from a mid-race pit stop and then took advantage of a last-lap tangle between the top-two to earn the biggest win of his career pocketing the $15,000 top prize.
“I can’t put that into words,” Joiner said when asked to describe his emotions. “I’ll go ahead and tell you, there’s no way I can even try. This is unbelievable, and I got a lot of folks to thank for it, that’s for sure.”
Joiner viewed his breakthrough run as a sign of even better days ahead for him and his team.
“Man, we’re here to stay,” Joiner said. “This is a statement for us, a big confidence booster for our team. We’ve had some rough luck this year. Some things have went our way, some things haven’t. It’s just racing. This is certainly a big help, and we got plenty of places to spend the money, that’s for sure.”
Joiner posted the fourth-fastest lap in his qualifying group during Saturday’s preliminaries. Unfortunately, a broken drive shaft in his heat race resulted in a sixth-place finish.
Saturday’s effort set his starting position as 17th in Sunday’s 100-lap finale. Joiner methodically worked his way through the field, breaking into the Top-5 as the race neared halfway. Several drivers stopped regularly for tires changes in the caution-filled race, including Joiner, who pitted for a new right-rear tire on lap 52 while running fifth.
Working his way back to the front of the field in the second half of the race, Joiner was second when a caution on lap 98 setup are green-white-checkered finish. Jason Heitt overtook Joiner for second on the restart and shot to the inside of leader Parker Martin in turn two.
Entering turn three, however, Martin made contact with Hiett’s left-rear corner, sending Hiett spinning out of contention. Martin lost traction and slid up the track in turn four, opening the door for Joiner to steal the race along the inside of the track.
Joiner became just the second Florida driver to win the marquee event. Martin was disqualified for his contact with Hiett, giving the runner-up spot to Christian Hanger. Ahnna Parkhurst, Rodney Martin, and Dale McDowell rounded out the Top-5 finishers.
“I hate it for Jason and Parker there,” Joiner said on the winner’s stage while celebrating the most prestigious and richest triumph of his budding career. “They race hard, and (tangling) right there in the last corner ain’t no good, but we’ll certainly take it.”
“We’ve dreamed of winning that race for a long, long time, and we couldn’t be more thankful for all our supporters and sponsors that made it possible for that dream to come true. It was a big win and a moment we’ll cherish forever, but we’re looking forward to even bigger wins to come!”
East Alabama Motor Speedway now will get ready to host the Alabama State Championships in early December. The longtime standing championship race event was postponed in September due to track president Billy Thomas’ health issues.