Race Weekend Central

This Weekend in Dirt: Tech Shed Decides Swamp Cabbage 100 at Hendry County, 5-Figure Payday

Dirt Racing’s Winning Moment: Archer, Fla.’s Patrick Williams unexpectedly went higher than any driver on the racetrack, made it stick and drove past Ronnie Newsome with 15 laps to go to win the inaugural Swamp Cabbage 100 at Hendry County Motorsports Park in Florida Saturday night (Feb. 25).

That pass, however, ultimately proved all for naught. Both Williams and second-place finisher Kevin Durden were disqualified post-race, handing the huge $20,000 payday to Newsome.

Heading back to GA with a $20,000 check, a big trophy, & the motor in a box!! We did it!!! We started 4th and took the…

Posted by Ronnie Lee Newsome on Sunday, February 26, 2023

Dirt Racing’s Dramatic Moment: Even before two DQs radically altered the finishing order of Saturday’s Swamp Cabbage 100, the starting lineup itself was embroiled in controversy after a heat race situation arose Friday where the final transfer spot was in question. The transponders on the rear axles of the cars showed one finisher as the final transferee while the track’s start/finish line camera showed the exact opposite. In the end, the track promoter opted to start both Ron Adams and Jason Floyd in Saturday’s Swamp Cabbage 100. 

What Dirt Racing Fans Will Be Group Chatting About This Morning

It’s really sad to see what may end up being the biggest payday for “thunder” stocks in all of 2023 be decided off the racetrack, but it’s hardly unexpected. The rulebook had been a subject of discussion since Hendry County Motorsports Park announced the Swamp Cabbage 100 last fall, and with the track opting to use a rulebook that allowed drivers to show up with racecars built to the rules of their home tracks, confusion was sure to follow. A five-figure payday is too much to give up by bringing your own rules with you, as was referred to on the Hendry County Facebook page multiple times.

Also, notice how when describing the DQ situation and the race winner that I included a link to a driver’s post rather than the racetrack’s? That’s because, as of this writing in the wee hours of Monday morning, the Hendry County Motorsports Park website and Facebook page have not made any posting announcing disqualifications or a new race winner. Two words to describe that: amateur hour. There is no place for such a lack of transparency or communication in five-figure race promotion.

The Swamp Cabbage 100 weekend at Hendry County was certainly marketed well, as the grandstands were visibly packed, with fans reporting having to park on the actual highway at the track as opposed to the parking lots or access roads.

While obviously a promotional success, it was disappointing, though not surprising, to see swathes of empty grandstands during the signature 100-lap factory stock event, which had been preceded by a 75-lap Florida late model feature that disintegrated into an absolute wreckfest. Even if the race hadn’t been such a calamity, I’d argue having a 75-lap late model race as a support class couldn’t help but suck momentum away from the actual Swamp Cabbage 100. Too much of a good thing is just that.

Of course, I’d make that same argument about Lincoln Speedway’s Icebreaker in Pennsylvania becoming a multi-day event. After seeing absolutely jammed grandstands Thursday night that required a brief pause on track to allow admission gates to clear, there was no way a second day of racing, especially after a two-day layoff in colder weather, was ever going to do anything except take away luster and hype from the season-opening event.

See also
This Day in Dirt: Suds Fly as Freddie Rahmer Grabs 2nd Straight Icebreaker Win at Lincoln

Having said that, yes, helmets did fly Sunday at Lincoln Speedway, so I’m sure some fans will be saying Sunday was the more notable of the Icebreaker features (the scuffle can be seen in this video at the 1:21 mark). 

My only question watching that incident was how it was allowed to happen in the first place. With as many officials as were on the scene at the time, there’s no reason those two drivers should have ever been able to lay hands on each other.

I know Flo Racing’s coverage won’t be as frequent at Lincoln this season, but when they’re there, please stop using the turn 3 camera that was all over the stream of Sunday’s Icebreaker feature. The corners at Lincoln are so tight, the camera angle fails to give any perspective as to what’s going on during a race.

See also
This Day in Dirt: Flo Racing All Over the News

Between the Swamp Cabbage 100 and USCS sprint cars running at Southern Raceway, plus the IMCA modifieds about to start a stretch of four races in six days between Southern and Northwest Florida Speedway, did Florida/Georgia Speedweeks ever end?

I spent Saturday catching the Winter Rumble at Harris Speedway, where the race’s invocation stated, “let us have so much fun dirt racing that Charlotte repents.” Yes brother, you can get an amen after that zinger.

Dirt Racing’s Hero of the Weekend

Newsome may have had to rely on the tech shed to score the Swamp Cabbage 100 victory, but the move he made early in Saturday’s race to take the lead was ovation-worthy. Newsome ventured well into the crumbs on turn 3 entry to make a high-enough line to pass, perhaps the most aggressive use of the cushion Florida dirt racing has seen since Aaron Reutzel literally ran over it to win a World of Outlaws feature at East Bay back in 2021.

Given just how bottom-dominant said feature was Saturday night, Hendry race officials should be thanking Newsome for keeping race fans and viewers awake.

Dirt Racing’s Victims of the Weekend

We’ve already covered the fight between Michael Millard and Glenndon Forsythe, but the post-incident scuffle doesn’t change the fact these two were involved in a destructive accident that saw two sprint cars go over during the Icebreaker B-main on Sunday.

And small cars can also crash big. Statesboro, Ga.’s Ryan Brown went for an ugly tumble at Lavonia Speedway (also in Georgia) to start his 2023 season, though he was fortunately uninjured.

Numbers Game


Dirt tracks that ran oval-track racing programs in the U.S. this weekend.


Nation’s largest car count this weekend, the Spring Kickoff at Kennedale Speedway Park Saturday night.


The nation’s largest purse awarded this weekend, to the winner of the Swamp Cabbage 100 factory stock race at Hendry County Saturday night.

Up Next: Frontstretch will be back Tuesday morning (Feb. 28) with coverage of the opening night of the Clash at the Coast from Northwest Florida Speedway. Streaming can be found on IMCA TV.

About the author

Richmond, Virginia native. Wake Forest University class of 2008. Affiliated with Frontstretch since 2008, as of today the site's first dirt racing commentator. Emphasis on commentary. Big race fan, bigger First Amendment advocate.

Sign up for the Frontstretch Newsletter

A daily email update (Monday through Friday) providing racing news, commentary, features, and information from Frontstretch.com
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.

Share via