Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway “DIRTcar Clash”

May 28, 2019 --- This past Friday, T.J. Herndon and the UpFront Performance team made their way to the oldest continually operating track in the United States to get in a few test laps before history was to be made at Saturday’s event. After almost two weeks of track preparation and 181 truckloads of dirt, the ¼ mile oval located at the historical Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway was transformed for the first dirt track event to be held on the grounds since 1958. On Saturday, with a few changes made from the knowledge gained on the previous night, Herndon excelled by laying down the fastest lap during qualifying out of the 36 drivers that on hand to contend for the win. By circling the historic quarter mile at 17.235 the Atwood Outlaw etched his name in the Nashville Speedway history books by setting a new track record in the first ever DIRTcar Clash. Herndon then went on to win his qualifying heat by a sizable margin to earn the outside pole starting position in the main event.

As the Quicksilver Street Stock Performance Series took to the track, the twenty four qualifiers circled the track in a four wide salute to the fans before settling into their starting positions for the drop of the green. As the starter gave the green to the field, everyone fired cleanly and Herndon fell in behind his teammate Dale Nelson who started from the pole position. The first caution flew around lap three as Herndon and Nelson made contact while entering turn one. Race officials ruled the contact a spin on Nelson and sent the N1 to the rear on the somewhat questionable call. On the re-start, Herndon took the lead and never looked back with his machine a full second faster than anyone else on the track. As the Atwood Outlaw took the checkers, he would seal the deal by winning his third Quicksilver Series feature event in the three events that he has competed in. Following Herndon to the stripe would be Chad Winkles, Charles Zimmerman, Eddie Rhinehart, J.R. Mason, Kaleb Vandygriff, Trevor Woodard, Dean Travis, Dale Nelson with Cody Nelson rounding out the top ten. For the latest results, information and news associated with this and other special events of the Quicksilver Street Stock Performance Series just follow them by clicking on www.quicksilverseries.com.


“Battle at the Hill” presented by Columbia Powersports

May 20, 2019 --- This past weekend, T.J. Herndon and Cody Nelson made their way to Thunderhill Raceway Park to compete in the $1,000 to win “Battle at the Hill”. On Friday afternoon as the drivers took to the high banks for qualifying, the #57 RaceTek car of Keaton Downing laid down the fastest lap of qualifying with a 14.470 . The Atwood Outlaw registered a 14.558 which punched his ticket for the outside front row of the six lap dash establishing the top six starting positions in Saturday’s Mid-South Big 10 Street Stock Series “Battle at the Hill”. As the quick six dash took the green, Herndon rocketed to the lead and never looked back while taking the win and securing the pole position for a $500 to win weekly feature latter in the evening as well as a pole starting spot for the $1,000 check on Saturday night.

With 22 cars on hand for the night and after starting positions were contested in the heat race format, the cars took to the track for the feature event. As the starter dropped the green, the blue #1 RaceTek machine squirted to the top of the leader board and maintained control of the race from start to finish while picking up the $500 for Thunderhill’s Inaugral Spring Fling event. Following the Atwood Outlaw to the checkers were Eddie Rhinehart, Dillion Scott, Joel Landers, Bryce Trull, Craig Pedrick, Kaleb Vandergriff, Trevor Woodard, Kennan Vandergriff with the #20 car of Michael Kirby rounding out the top ten.

On Saturday night with all of the qualifiers out of the way, the Durrence Layne street stocks took to the track for the $1,000 to win “Battle at the Hill”. As the green waved over the field and the race got under way, Herndon once again assumed the point where he would remain until just beyond the half way point while being pressured by the #93 of Eddie Rhinehart. Rhinehart made it around Herndon for a lead change on about lap eighteen. For the remainder of the event, it would be Herndon’s turn to apply pressure to the #93. As the laps wound down, Rhinehart would circle mistake free and allow no chances for the Atwood Outlaw to pull off a robbery on this occasion. Following Rhinehart and Herndon to the stripe would be Will Burke, Cody “Hollywood” Nelson, Dillion Scott, Trevor Woodard, Michael Blade, Craig Pedrick, Keenan Vandygriff with John Duncan rounding out the top ten for the night. For the latest results, information and news associated with this and other special events at Thunderhill Raceway Park, just follow them by clicking on www.thunderhillracewaypark.com.


2019 Mississippi Golden Egg Spring Nationals

April 29, 2019 --- This past weekend, T.J. Herndon traveled to Magnolia Motor Speedway with the Dale’s Recycling street stock team for the $5,000 to win Golden Egg Spring Nationals. After qualifying 4th overall of the thirty nine cars in attendance, the Atwood Outlaw locked into the main event with five other drivers and would participate in a six lap dash on Saturday afternoon determining the starting positions of the top six. Herndon would go on to finish 2nd in the dash behind Chad Thrash. Following T.J. to the stripe would be Justin McRee, Hayden Moran, Charles Christian and Jason Hollis. The finishing positions of the dash would set the first two rows of the feature event scheduled to start three wide later in the evening.

As the green flag waved to start of the main event, The Atwood Outlaw settled into second place behind the #54 of Chad Thrash. Throughout the fifty lap event, the race was littered with several cautions and one red flag. On each restart, Herndon struggled to get going as a mechanical issue impeded his RT1 from coming up to speed. As the laps ticked off, Herndon managed to keep the blue #1 up front behind the #54 of Thrash but never had quite enough to challenge for the lead. As the checkered fell, Thrash would cross the stripe first followed by the Atwood Outlaw, T.K. King, Spencer Hughes, Kyle Livingood, Neil Brown, Johnny Stokes, Lee Ray, Jamey Boland, Jamie Sudduth with Cody Nelson rounding out the top ten. Unlike most post race inspections, the excitement escalated and rivaled anything that was seen in the previous fifty laps. Unfortunately, as the #54 car of Thrash crossed the scales it would prove to be 55 lbs. light. With the series allowing all drivers a pound per lap allowance for fuel burn-off the #54 would still weigh in as 5 lbs. light at the scales. Next to hit the scales would be the #1 of the Atwood Outlaw. Herndon’s RT1 would prove to be 40 lbs. heavy making him actually 90 lbs. heavy with the fifty pound fuel burn-off allowance. The third place car of T.K. King also made weight before the #54 returned to the scales for a reevaluation.

After the second trip to the scales, the #54 would prove to still be 5 lbs. light giving the unofficial win to T.J. Herndon. As the photo session wound down on the front straightaway, the team was notified that the now second place finisher of T.K. King had filed a protest and that the engine would need to be pulled and compounded for a full engine tear down the following day. On Sunday afternoon, the national tech director for Durrence Layne had made his way from Talladega, AL to do the tear down. After a complete tear down, the tech director declared Herndon’s engine to be 100% legal in all aspects. Herndon also had tire samples pulled that were sent to the lab for testing and they also were shown to be legal as per the lab results. T.J. would like to thank all of his sponsors that do their part to keep him up front. Special thanks to Daniel Potts, Darrell Beckham and Shawn Chizk for staying over and helping with the engine pull and tear down. Two thumbs up for John and Greg at Yeoman Race Engines for getting us freshened up and back going. Also a big shout out to ICI Drywall, Arizona Sports Shirts, Delph Communications, Rockhard Powdercoating, Bell, BSB, Custom Race Carbs, Fike Fab, Super 98 Custom Works, R.C. Mathews Contractor, RaceTek, Dale’s Recycling, Mack’s Camo Connection, XRG Race Graphics, Bodies by Snugs & UpFront Storage. A very special thanks goes out to Cody Nelson for allowing T.J. to be a part of his team and pilot this awesome RaceTek ride. For the latest information and news associated with this and other special events at Magnolia Motor Speedway, just follow them by clicking on www.magnoliadirt.com.


Whynot Motorsports Park Battle of the States

March 25, 2019 --- This past weekend, T.J. Herndon reassumed the wheel of the Dale’s Recycling, RaceTek RT1 street stock at Whynot Motorsports Park in Meridian Mississippi. Herndon entered in contention for the 2019 Battle of the States prize belt as well as $1,200 in spending money. After stripping the car completely down over the winter, the crew worked feverishly to correct issues that were affecting performance on the track. The Atwood Outlaw qualified around 7th during time trails out of the forty something cars in attendance. In the qualifiers, with performance issues continuing to linger, Herndon piloted the #1 machine to a win of the third qualifier which translated into a 3rd place starting position in the main event.

As the green flag waved at the start of the main event, The Atwood Outlaw wasted little time settling in to pressure the leaders. On long green flag runs, Moran and Herndon would be able to put distance between them and the remainder of the field. Throughout the middle of the race, Herndon was able to overcome his mechanical issues and maintain a solid second place but was unable to apply pressure on the leader. Unfortunately, on a late race restart, Herndon got door slammed in a failed pass attempt and was unable to navigate the bottom of the racetrack for the remainder of the race. As the checkered flag waved over the field, it would be Hayden Moran taking home the belt and the big check. Following Hayden to the stripe would be the #5 of Jason Hollis followed by the Atwood Outlaw finishing in the 3rd position. Following Herndon to the stripe would be Johnny Stokes, Ray Lee, Spencer Hughes, Bryan Fortner, Jamey Boland, David Williamson with Race McMahon rounding out the top ten. For the latest information and news associated with this and other special events at Whynot Motorsports Park, just follow them by clicking on www.whynotmotorsportspark.com.


Quicksilver Street Stock Performance Series

March 4, 2019 --- This past weekend, T.J. Herndon stepped out of the role of hired gun and he and the UpFront Performance team carried his own personal car to Clarksville Speedway to compete in the inaugural event of the Quicksilver Street Stock Performance Series. On Friday night, twenty five drivers showed up to compete for the coveted plunger trophy. During the qualifying portion of the event, the “Atwood Outlaw” wasted little time making his presence known by laying down the fastest lap and claiming the pole for the inaugural event. Herndon then continued to parlay his starting position into a feature win by leading all laps from green to checkers. Following Herndon to the stripe would be Tony Cruse, Dale Nelson, Brian Markham, “Hollywood” Cody Nelson, “Shelbyville Shocker” Joel Landers, Lamar Hughes, Tim Wilson, Charles Zimmerman with Mississippi’s own Bryan Fortner rounding out the top ten.

As the program got underway on Saturday afternoon, Herndon once again qualified up front by laying down the second fastest lap while being bested by local hot shoe Brian Markham who would assume the pole in the first qualifying heat. Herndon would assume the pole of the second heat with the N1jr of Cody Nelson on the pole of the third heat. Herndon and Nelson would go on to win their respective heats with David Earl Gentry taking the win in the first qualifier and locking in for the pole position for the main event quest for the porcelain throne.

As the main event took the green, Gentry took the lead down the front straightaway. As the field entered turns one and two, Herndon pulled a crossover move to make the pass on Gentry as they exited turn two. Unfortunately, as the “Atwood Outlaw” completed the pass, the caution flew over the field due to some of the cars in the rear of the field getting tangled. When the caution initially came out and Herndon got hard on the binders, his aggressive brake pads sparked and ignited the vapors emerging from his fuel cell vent. Race officials forced the #1 to the infield and made Herndon exit the car as the fire looked much more serious than it was in actuality. One shot from the fire extinguisher and the “Atwood Outlaw” was ready to saddle back up for the night. Fortunately, the caution had been displayed before Herndon’s incident and no laps were completed mandating a complete restart. As the field took the green for the second time, Herndon took the lead down the front straight and maintained the lead off of turn two and down the back straight. Herndon would go on to lead all laps and take the victory in the caution riddled 25 lap quest for the coveted toilet trophy. Following the #1 car to the checkers would be David Earl Gentry, Wyatt Hill, Tim Wilson, Joel Landers, Charles Zimmerman, Cody Nelson, Craig Pedrick, Bubba Vandygriff with Floyd Clinard rounding out the top ten finishers. For the latest information and news associated with the Quicksilver Street Stock Performance Series just follow them on Facebook.


Herndon is the Durrence Layne Street Stock World Champion!

January 14, 2019 --- T.J. Herndon of Atwood, TN drove the Race Tek/Dale’s Recycling Special to victory on Saturday in the 3rd Annual Durrence Layne Performance Parts Street Stock World Championship Race at Cochran Motor Speedway in Cochran, GA. Herndon took the lead from Ronnie Johnson of Chattanooga, TN on lap 23, and then went unchallenged in the second half of the race. (Tommy Bates Photo)

“Ronnie was tough in the first half of the race and he just could get off the corners better than me,” Herndon said. “I was just trying to be patient and hang on for second until the track came to me. My car got better as the race went on, and I was able to get under Ronnie and take the lead.”

Herndon and Johnson were teammates to make up a potent “Tennessee Trio” with Race Tek Race Cars of Trezevant, TN for a one-two finish with Durrence Layne Chevrolet, Buick, GMC in Claxton, GA helping out with sponsorship on Johnson’s ride. Michael Stalnaker of Ocala, FL was third in the SRE Electrical Special. | full story

 

 


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