Columbus' Stokes will compete for another world championship


From Special Reports



COCHRAN, Ga. -- Street Stock racers from at least 10 states are preparing for the third-annual Durrence Layne Performance Parts Street Stock World Championship Race on Friday and Saturday night at Cochran Motor Speedway.


The $5,000-to-win event will feature Johnny Stokes, of Columbus. Stokes, the reigning Durrence Layne Performance Parts Street Stock World Champion, won last year's race.


Winning the World Championship trophy was special enough, but an added touch to the victory for the driver and co-owner/promoter of Magnolia Motor Speedway in Columbus, who is known as "Dr. Dirt," is that it came on his 64th birthday.



"I've won a lot of dirt late model races and championships in my career, but winning this race last year was different because I've never been a World Champion," Stokes said. "That's what makes this race so special for any driver because World Champion goes on your resume. It was also special to win it on my 64th birthday, and it would be even more special to win it for the second time at age 65!!"


Justin McRee, of Woodstock, Alabama, finished second in last year's race. Like Stokes, J-Mac has made a name for himself as a dirt late model racer, and recently as a car builder. Even though he finished second, McRee gained notoriety because he also built the top two finishing cars in last year's race. This weekend, McRee hopes to become the first driver/manufacturer winner.


Another dirt late model legend looking to become a World Champion is National Dirt Late Hall of Fame Inductee Ronnie Johnson of Chattanooga, Tennessee. At age 63, Johnson is still winning National Championships. The Chattanooga Flash won is third Chevrolet Performance Super Late Model Series National Championship in 2018.


Johnson has won two dirt late model World Championship Races, and he is capable of adding a Durrence Layne Performance Parts Street Stock World Championship cup to a trophy case that includes three Durrence Layne Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series titles.


The Durrence Layne Performance Parts Street Stock World Championship Race is just as much of a challenge to make the 24-car starting field for the main event as it is to win it. Some of the most intense racing of the weekend will take place Friday night for qualifying and heat races that will set the front half of the Big Show starting lineup for Saturday night.


Just prior to the main event Saturday night will be the B-Main Races that will give drivers one last chance to earn a seat for the $5,000-to-win Big Show.


Also expected for the $5,000-to-win 3rd Annual Durrence Layne Performance Parts Street Stock World Championship Race is the 2017 third-place driver Bryan Fortner, of Millport, Alabama; Kyle Livingood, of Bristol, Georgia;, David Earl Gentry, of Murfreesboro, Tennessee; Richie Stephens, of Smith Station, Alabama; Colby Giddens, of Cochran, Georgia; Bud Chancey, of Yulee, Florida; Chad Tuten, of Blackshear, Georgia; Brian Wooten, of Brunswick, Georgia; and Mike Stalnaker, of Ocala, Florida.


Action at Cochran Motor Speedway will begin Thursday night with an open practice session. The pit gate for the open practice will open at 4 p.m. The track will be open for practice from 6-9 p.m.


On Friday, the pit gate will open at 2 p.m. Durrence Layne Performance Parts Street Stock Division Pre-Race Registration and Technical Inspection from 2:30-5:30 p.m. The drivers' meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Hot laps are set for 6 p.m.


On Saturday, the Cochran Motor Speedway pit gate will open at noon. The drivers' meeting will be at 3:30 p.m. Hot Laps will begin at 4 p.m.


Cochran Motor Speedway is located at 241 Jim Wimberly Road, Cochran, GA 31014. For more information, call 478-456-4036, or visit the track web site at




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