Monday, June 6, 2011

Gladiators Announce Schedule for 9th season at Gwinnett Arena

The Gwinnett Gladiators announce the schedule for the 2011-2012 season as the team returns for their 9th season in the ECHL in October of 2011.

Opening Weekend at the spectacular Gwinnett Arena (seating capacity: 11,355) is scheduled for Friday, October 21st and Saturday, October 22nd, as the “I-85 Series” continues when the Gladiators host the Road Warriors from Greenville, South Carolina. The Gladiators have posted an impressive 6-0-2 record all-time in regular season home openers.

The weekend prior, the Gladiators will open the season on the road with a pair of games against the Florida Everblades on Friday, October 14th and Saturday, October 15th. It will be the second consecutive season that the Gladiators will open the season on the road and against the Everblades in Estero, FL.

Many Gladiators games have turned into annual events featuring various community, charitable, and holiday themes, and those traditions will continue during the 2011-2012 season. For the 9th consecutive season, the Gladiators will host the annual Thanksgiving Night matchup and Kroger Food Drive on Thursday, Nov. 24th. The Gladiators will again feature the “Kids Day Out” MLK Jr. holiday matinee matchup on Monday, January 16th, the hugely popular annual Teddy Bear Toss returns on Saturday, January 14th, and the team will host a special St. Patrick’s Day celebration on Saturday, March 17th.

Of the Gladiators 36 home games during the 2010-11 season, 27 games are on either Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Start times for all home games remain unchanged from last season with all games starting at 7:05 p.m. except Friday games, which will begin at 7:35 p.m., and Sunday games, which will again start at 4:05 p.m. As previously established, the Gladiators annual Kids Day Game on the MLK Jr. Holiday will start at 12:30 p.m.

The Gladiators will face each team from the ECHL’s Eastern Conference at least one time at the Gwinnett Arena during the 2011-12 season. The Gladiators will see the defending Eastern Conference Champion Kalamazoo Wings on Sunday, February 12th while ECHL newcomer Chicago Express will visit the Gwinnett Arena on Saturday, February 11th. In addition, the Gladiators will host the Greenville Road Warriors eight times, the South Carolina Stingrays and the Florida Everblades seven times, the Cincinnati Cyclones and Trenton Devils three times each, the Wheeling Nailers and Elmira Jackals two times and the Reading Royals and Toledo Walleye once each at the Gwinnett Arena.

Gwinnett Gladiators 2011-2012 Schedule

Friday, October 14th @ Florida

Saturday, October 15th @ Florida

Friday, October 21st vs. Greenville

Saturday, October 22nd vs. Greenville

Wednesday, October 26th @ Trenton

Friday, October 28th @ Wheeling

Saturday, October 29th @ Reading

Tuesday, November 1st vs.. Florida

Saturday, November 5th vs. Reading

Sunday, November 6th vs. Toledo

Wednesday, November 9th @ Elmira

Friday, November 11th @ Toledo

Saturday, November 12th @ Toledo

Sunday, November 13th @ Chicago

Friday, November 18th vs.. South Carolina

Saturday, November 19th @ South Carolina

Sunday, November 20th @ South Carolina

Thursday, November 24th vs. Wheeling

Friday, November 25th vs.. Wheeling

Saturday, November 26th @ South Carolina

Wednesday, November 30th @ Florida

Friday, December 2nd @ Florida

Saturday, December 3rd @ Florida

Thursday, December 8th @ Greenville

Saturday, December 10th vs. South Carolina

Sunday, December 11th vs.. South Carolina

Thursday, December 15th vs. Florida

Friday, December 16th @ South Carolina

Saturday, December 17th @ South Carolina

Tuesday, December 20th @ South Carolina

Monday, December 26th vs.. South Carolina

Wednesday, December 28th vs. South Carolina

Friday, December 30th vs.. Florida

Friday, January 6th vs. Florida

Saturday, January 7th vs.. Florida

Thursday, January 12th @ Greenville

Friday, January 13th @ Greenville

Saturday, January 14th vs. Greenville

Monday, January 16th vs. Greenville

Friday, January 20th vs. Florida

Saturday, January 21st @ Greenville

Sunday, January 22nd @ Greenville

Thursday, January 26th vs. Elmira

Saturday, January 28th vs. Elmira

Sunday, January 29th vs. Trenton

Friday, February 3rd vs. Greenville

Saturday, February 4th vs. Greenville

*Friday, February 10th vs. Florida

Saturday, February 11th vs. Chicago

Sunday, February 12th vs.. Kalamazoo

Tuesday, February 14th @ Greenville

Friday, February 17th @ Chicago

Saturday, February 18th @ Kalamazoo

Monday, February 20th @ Cincinnati

Wednesday, February 22nd @ Cincinnati

Friday, February 24th @ South Carolina

Saturday, February 25th @ South Carolina

Wednesday, February 29th vs. South Carolina

Friday, March 2nd vs. Trenton

Saturday, March 3rd vs. South Carolina

Sunday, March 4th vs. Trenton

Tuesday, March 6th @ Greenville

Saturday, March 10th vs. Cincinnati

Sunday, March 11th vs. Greenville

Wednesday, March 14th vs.. Cincinnati

Friday, March 16th vs. Cincinnati

Saturday, March 17th vs. Greenville

Friday, March 23rd @ Greenville

Saturday, March 24th @ Greenville

Wednesday, March 28th @ Florida

Friday, March 30th @ Florida

Saturday, March 31st @ Florida

The Gladiators are members of the ECHL, the Premier “AA” Hockey League and play all home games at the 11,355-seat Arena at Gwinnett Center, located just off I-85 on Sugarloaf Parkway in Duluth.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Repeat Winners Create a Freeze Frame at New Senoia Raceway

Saturday night’s results at New Senoia Raceway were a freeze frame from the previous Saturday night as all winners from May 28th repeated as winners on June 4th with the only exception in the Mini Stocks.

Racin’ Jason Williams repeated in the Mike Wheelers Automotive & Transmission Late Models as did his teammate Doug Stevens in the Crown Security Crate Late Models. Billy Bright, Sr. picked up the laurels for the second straight week in the Newnan Bonding B Cadets while Clifton ‘Hog Head’ Moran won for the sixth time in the Summit Racing Equipment Hobby Stocks. The only change in the winner’s line-up from the previous week was in the Mini Stocks where Dusty Jones claimed the victory, but Jones was piloting the same four cylinder stock car that won the previous week with Eric Hogsed behind the wheel.

Locust Grove’s Williams paced the field of Late Models for the entire 25 lap feature race. He was pressured for several laps at the mid-point of the contest by Thomaston’s Shane Fulcher, but pulled away in the end to garner his second straight win and third of the season. The final order also pulled Williams and Fulcher closer to current point’s leader Lavon Sparks who finished third. The three drivers enter this Saturday’s (June 11) double points contest separated by only eleven markers.

Griffin’s Doug Stevens capped his week with a second straight trip to victory lane for the Crown Security Late Models. Stevens bookended a win at Rome Speedway on Sunday evening with the back to back victories at New Senoia Raceway. LaGrange’s Tod Darda followed Stevens across the finish line with Grantville’s Doug Ludwig nabbing third place.

The best race of the night for the Crown Security Crate Late Models was the battle for fourth, fifth and sixth. Waco’s Tim Bright, Jr., Newnan’s Parrish Duncan and Jenkinsburg’s Trey White swapped positions throughout the 25-lap main event. White snuck past Duncan at lap seven before moving past Bright with only ten circuits remaining. Bright and Duncan fought back, but White held off all the challenges to finish in the number four spot. Duncan would come home fifth and Bright would end up one lap down in sixth.

A four car pile-up at the beginning of the Newnan Bonding B Cadet feature started when Lithia Spring’s pilot TJ Joiner lost the grip in turn four and spun in front of the hard charging field. Union City’s Billy Bright, Jr. was caught in the melee for the second straight week while West Point’s Charlie Garrett and Gay’s Jay Conner also plowed in behind.

When the action resumed Union City’s Billy Bright, Sr. bested the field for the second straight week. Teammate and son Billy Bright, Jr. recovered from the early race wreck to finish second. Villa Rica’s ‘Smokin’ Joe Hillman finished third. Bright, Sr. showcased his familiar fedora hat during the victory lane interview and was quickly dubbed the ‘Cat in the Hat’ by the New Senoia Raceway track announcer.

Carrollton’s Clifton ‘Hog Head’ Moran bounced back from an initial start altercation with Locust Grove’s Wilson Boozer to snare his sixth win of the season in the Summit Racing Equipment Hobby Stocks. Newnan’s Rusty ‘Rocketman’ Johnson finished second while Barnesville’s Eddie Albitron gained his second straight top three finish of the season. Temple’s Steven Parker and Brook’s Kerry Carden rounded out the first five.

A classic New Senoia Raceway battle formed in the mighty Mini Stock class Saturday night. Barnesville’s Gary Parker was chasing down Douglasville’s Matt Black while Whiteburg’s Dorough Bright and LaGrange’s Dusty Jones charged through the pack. Jones came from the back row of the starting field to snare fourth by the second circuit of the 15-lapper.

Jones made his way past Parker on lap eight and set his sights on Black who had bolted out to a several car length lead over the race for second. Dorough Bright continued Parker’s descent on a lap 10 restart which set the stage for the final five laps.

Black used the high side of the track while Jones worked the bottom side. Bright followed closely as did Parker waiting for the chance to move up a spot or two. Jones worked the low side to perfection coming out of turn four to receive the white flag. He powered past Black on the final lap to snare the victory in the same car that won the previous Saturday only with Eric Hogsed behind the wheel. Black would come home second, Dorough Bright third followed by Parker and Newnan’s Joe Spencer.

The Mini Stocks final tally would change after Matt Black’s mustang was found to be outside the rules and was disqualified. Black’s engine was found to have solid lifters which are not allowed in the class at New Senoia Raceway. The disqualification cost Black his position, points and prize money for the night. The result drops the recent high school graduate out of the points lead and hands it back over to Dorough Bright. The two drivers have swapped the lead back and forth over the past three races.

The highlight of the night for the track’s youngest race fans was New Senoia Raceway’s newest promotion of allowing the kids to ride in the race cars prior to the racing action. Hundreds of kids hopped on board with their favorite driver to ride along for a few controlled laps on the high banked 3/8ths mile clay oval.

This Saturday night, New Senoia Raceway will entertain the kids again as they present the Kid’s Box Car Races. This special event allows kids to create their own race cars made from cardboard boxes. The young race fans should cut openings in the box for their arms and head (they must wear the boxes). They should decorate, paint and make-up their box car racers with numbers, sponsors and racing decals. The track will award prizes for the best decorated, designed and engineered box car racers. The kids will also have the opportunity to participate in Box Car races where they will wear their creations while racing each other.

The fun, family oriented event will also feature a full night of stock car racing with double points on the line for the drivers in the Mike Wheeler’s Automotive & Transmission Late Models, Crown Security Crate Late Models, Newnan Bonding B Cadets, Summit Racing Equipment Hobby Stocks and the Mini Stocks. The Bombers have also been added to the racing action this Saturday, June 11th.

The pit gates open at 5:00pm Saturday. The grandstands open at 6:00pm. Hot laps begin just after 7:00pm with racing set to go green at 8:00pm.

For additional information on New Senoia Raceway, visit the speedway website at, join their family of friends on Facebook or call the speedway at 770-599-6161.

By Katherine Adams

Mike Wheelers Automotive & Transmission Late Models

Feature: 1-Jason Williams, Locust Grove 2-Shane Fulcher, Thomaston 3-Lavon Sparks, Phenix City, AL 4-Glenn Morris, Fayetteville 5-David Burton, Fayetteville 6-Laddie Fulcher, Thomaston Fast Qualifier: Williams (15.349 seconds)

Crown Security Crate Late Models

Feature: 1-Doug Stevens, Grffin 2-Tod Darda, LaGrange 3-Doug Ludwig, Grantville 4-Trey White, Jenkinsburg 5-Parrish Duncan, Newnan 6-Tim Bright, Jr., Waco 7-Russ Ogletree, Phenix City, AL Fast Qualifier: Stevens (15.692 seconds)

Newnan Bonding B-Cadets

Feature: 1-Billy Bright, Sr., Union City 2-Billy Bright, Jr., Union City 3-Joe Hillman, Villa Rica 4-Marcus Caswell, Newnan 5-TJ Joiner, Lithia Springs 6-Jeff Carter, Stockbridge 7-Corey Payton, Newnan 8-Chris Carr, Newnan 9-Jay Conner, Gay 10-Charlie Garrett, West Point

Summit Racing Equipment Hobby Stocks

Feature: 1-Clifton Moran, Carrollton 2-Rusty Johnson, Newnan 3-Eddie Albitron, Barnesville 4-Steve Parker, Temple 5-Kerry Carden, Brooks 6-Zak Sockwell, Newnan 7-Randy Futral, Covington 8-Bill Brown, Loganville 9-Brandon Jones, Newnan 10-Wilson Boozer, Locust Grove

Mini Stocks Feature: 1-Dusty Jones, LaGrange 2-Dorough Bright, Whitesburg 3-Gary Parker, Barnesville 4-Joe Spencer, Newnan 5-Matt Thompson, Douglasville 6-Matt Swancey, Hogansville 7-Robbie Scardon, Senoia 8-Rocky Johnson, Douglasville 9-Stephen Hill, LaGrange DNS-Bobby Arnold, Newnan DQ-Matt Black, Douglasville