McRee Secures Gumbo Nationals Pole
GREENVILLE, Miss. – Justin McRee drove the High Roller Race Cars Special to quick time honors and then won the first of four ten-lap heat races on Friday night to earn the pole position for Saturday’s NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series $5,000-to-win 60-lap 6th Annual Gumbo Nationals at Greenville Speedway.
McRee out-timed the 39-car field during qualifications with a lap around the quarter-mile gumbo clay oval in 15.089 seconds. That gave McRee the pole position for the first heat race, which he won with a wire-to-wire effort. McRee will be looking for his third straight NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series win and fourth of the season on Saturday night in the Gumbo Nationals.
Jeremy Shaw was the second quick qualifier and won the second heat race in the Summit Resource Development Trak-Star to earn the outside front row starting spot for the Gumbo Nationals.
Shaw will be looking for his second NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series win of the season in the Gumbo Nationals.
Tait Davenport will start third in the Gumbo Nationals after winning the third heat race in the Murtco, Inc. Special. After winning the $10,000 NeSmith Chevrolet Weekly Racing Series National Championship last week, Chase Washington will start the Gumbo Nationals from the fourth spot after winning the fourth heat race in the Jerry Inmon Racing Special.
The top four finishers in each 10-lap heat race on Friday night transferred into the “Sweet 16” for Saturday night’s Gumbo Nationals filling the first eight rows of the 24-car starting field.
Starting spots 17 through 24 will be determined on Saturday night with two B-Main races for the drivers that finished fifth on back in the heat races. The top three in each B-Main transfer to the big show.
Following McRee into the main event out of the first heat were defending Gumbo Nationals Champion Ashley Newman, the 2011 VP Racing Fuels Rookie of the Year Chase Edge, and the 2010 VP Racing Fuels Rookie of the Year Larry Harrod.
Second through fourth respectively in the second heat race behind Shaw were the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series point leader Matthew Turner, Duke Palasini, and Shay Knight.
Also transferring out of the third heat race with Davenport were Bubba Harrison, two-time NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series Champion David Earl Gentry and Michael Blount.
Turner leads Gentry by 18 points in the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series point standings coming into the Gumbo Nationals with two races remaining on the 2012 schedule.
Transferring with Washington out of the fourth heat race were Hunter Carroll, two-time NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series Champion Eric Cooley and Chance Inman.