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Mitchell races to win in Senoia opener

From staff reports

The 2003 season got underway Saturday at Senoia Speedway and headlining the event was the Big-8 Late Model race.

In the Big 8,100-lap feature, Marc Mitchell started the race from the pole, with Ronnie Kittle joining him on the front row. When the green flag waved, Mitchell took the low line going into turn one, with Kittle following close behind. By lap 4, Kittle took over the lead, followed by: Mitchell, Warren Mobley and Rusty Clanton. On lap seven, a caution came out when Al Kuhn's machine experienced mechanical problems as he raced into turn one causing him to spin. Kuhn's was uninjured in the incident, however, he was unable to rejoin the competition because of the damage his machine sustained in the accident.

When racing resumed, Kittle continued to show the way until lap 16, when Mobley took over the top spot; he was followed closely by: Rusty Clanton, Kittle, and Mitchell. On lap 20, Clanton took over the lead position, with Mobley, Billy McGinnis and Mitchell following close behind. By lap 30, Clanton had separated himself from the second place machine, and began to pull away.

On lap 50, a mandatory pit stop brought all the machines into the pits so the speedway officials and race teams could check the condition of the tires. When racing resumed, Clanton continued to show the way, and by lap 70, had once again separated himself from Mobley, who was running in the second place position. By lap 75, McGinnis had passed Mobley to take over the second place position. As the drivers battled for the checkered flag on the final lap, it was Clanton taking the win, followed by: McGinnis, Mitchell, Mobley, and Roger Delp occupying the top five positions.

In other results:

Pro Challenge 20 Lap Feature: 1. Terry Mathis 2. Stephen Curlee 3. Marty Arender 4. Brett McClain 5. Bobby Keys

Sportsman 25 Lap Feature: 1. Johnny Todd 2. Rod Williford 3. Andy Cash 4. Troy French 5. Shane Upchurch

Legends YL/SP1/SP2 20 Lap Feature: 1. Bubba Harry 2. Trent Mayo 3. Shaun Fitzgerald 4. Aron Brooks 5. Sean Davis

Legends Pro 25 Lap Feature: 1. Beau Slocumb 2. Doug Ludwig 3. Nick Hill 4. Dwight Pilgram 5. Jeff Jordan

Bandolero 15 Lap Feature: 1. Darrell Banks 2. Mike Conrad 3. Jody Pilkenton 4. Chase Moody 5. John William Lee

Modified Street Stock 15 Lap Feature: 1. Larry Pierce 2. Landon DeGraff 3. Steve Woodward 4. Wayne Head Modified Mini Stock 15 Lap Feature: 1. Darrell Carlson 2. Dan Oxenford 3. Chuck Oxenford

nAt Lanier Speedway Saturday, Henry County High School student Chris Dilbeck finished second in the Legends Pro and Masters 20-lap event.

Michelle Theriault, the 2001 Semi-Pro points champion at Thursday Thunder, finished 17th in the Pro Late Model Division.