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JACKSONVILLE, NC – Tony Arnold picked up an emotional victory in a Champ Kart thriller at Goodyear All American Speedway on Saturday afternoon just days after his father, Paul Parker, passed away.
Arnold flashed past Tommy Elliott during a green-white-checkered finish of what was an exhilarating 25 lap Champ Kart feature race to take the lead. From there, the Creedmoor, North Carolina driver was able to hold off Elliott, Todd Grinolds and a host of other challengers on the last lap to hold on for the win – his first at Goodyear All American Speedway. After he pulled into victory lane, he let his emotions out while surrounded by friends and family.
“I couldn’t have written this moment any better,” Arnold said in victory lane. “I came down here with a mission. We buried my dad on Tuesday and it’s killing me man. I don’t know what to say. I can’t thank these guys enough. This is unbelievable. We won the Rodney Cook Classic at Ace Speedway last year and that was really special too, then haven’t run a lot since.
“My dad got sick and this is the second time I’ve been in a car this year and it’s just unbelievable. I don’t know what to say, my wife supports me so much, my mom supports me, all my nieces, nephew and everybody.”
Arnold has had a lot of success in racing over the years in various roles – but Goodyear All American Speedway, formerly known as Coastal Plains Raceway, has always held a special place in his heart.
In 2011, his nephew, Trey Massengill, won a Southeast Limited Late Model Series race at the track with Arnold as his spotter and crew chief. That previous success at the track made Saturday’s win even more special.
“To get a win here especially, at a place that’s been so good to me over the years, it’s really special to be in the seat and get a win. This one’s for pops. He didn’t make it the last few years I was racing a lot but I know he was with me today.”
Trey Massengill finished second while Tommy Elliott, Josh Eubanks, and Matt Broughton rounded out the top-five.
Morehead City driver Carsyn Gillikin had a memorable day at the track as well.
After finished fifth in the Legends feature, which was won by Burgaw’s Chase Singletary, Gillikin competed in the Powder Puff feature. Midway through the race, she charged past Amanda Danielle to take the lead and never looked back as she went on to score the win.
“It feels really good to win honestly,” Gillikin said. “I haven’t been behind the wheel with my little cousin Summer [Sullivan] probably in a year or so, so it was fun to get out here and run a few laps with her. I’m surprised, my arms are about to die after that Legends race but I’m still here. It was a pretty hard thing to adjust from the Legend to this car. You’re hot and worked up from the last race especially when things don’t go as planned but it was fun. It was something I’ve always wanted to do.”
Clifton Black picked up the Charger victory, his first win since racing at the now-defunct Myrtle Beach Speedway, after passing and holding off Michael O’Brien in the closing stages of the 35 lap race. Andrew Warner won in Bombers, while Joshua Lowe clinched the Bandolero victory, and Joe Lanier inherited the U-CAR win after Curtis Lanier was disqualified in postrace technical inspection for a ride height violation.
Goodyear All American Speedway returns to action once again on Saturday, February 19, with the final race of the Winter Heat Series – featuring Late Models and Street Stocks. Winter Heat championships will be decided in U-CARs, Bombers, Legends, and Bandoleros. The green flag will fly at 2pm.
Goodyear All American Speedway is Jacksonville’s Action Attraction featuring racing and other events. For more information about Goodyear All American Speedway, check out the speedway’s website, like/follow “Goodyear All American Speedway” on Facebook, or follow the track on Instagram.
Winter Heat Series – Unofficial Results
Saturday, February 12, 2022
-Goodyear All American Series Press Release
-Photo credit: Eric Creel