Claxton, Georgia-based NeSmith Chevrolet, Buick, GMC has been a part of Crate Racin’ USA since the sanction was first created in 2005. The company’s involvement in racing began as the sponsor of the national tour’s hard charger award, but it quickly grew.
In 2008 the NeSmith dealership significantly increased its role with the sanctioning body by becoming the title sponsor. Since then the sanction has grown by leaps and bounds to include four weekly divisions and two touring divisions.
As it embarks on the 2018 season the NeSmith Crate Racin’ USA family is now bigger than ever.
However, in life things change. Racing is not immune to this fact.
Georgia businessman Kyle Durrence recently completed the purchase of NeSmith, Chevrolet, Buick, GMC. The good news is that Durrence will continue the long-standing involvement that the NeSmith family has had with Crate Racin’ USA.
“Before I bought this dealership, I had been to two NASCAR races, and that was the extent of my racing knowledge,” Durrence said. “After attending a few NeSmith Racing events, I had all access to really get into it, and see what goes on. These dirt track races are exciting with close competition in a family atmosphere. I want to be a part of that!”
With Durrence persevering the history of his dealership’s involvement with the Crate Racin’ USA, there will only be one change. It comes in the form of a name and branding change for the sanction. A slow but gradual transformation will begin this year to change the name to Durrence Layne Racing.
“I started talking to Kyle Durrence about the racing series last fall, and he is the type of person that just fits right in with the racing crowd,” Crate Racing USA CEO Mike Vaughn said. “We enjoyed our relationship with the NeSmith Family through the years, and they have really been a big part in branding a new affordable and exciting type of racing. Everyone knows the NeSmith Racing brand, and we are now in the process of working in the Durrence Layne brand into our racing program.”
The first division to assume the new name will be the recently added Sportsman division, which utilizes Chevrolet Performance 602 engines. The class will now be known as the Durrence Layne Modified Sportsman Division.
In addition, the two touring divisions will receive a nightly sponsorship from the dealership. Each racing program will see the feature’s most dominant driver receiving an accolade sponsored by Durrence Layne. The award – which recognizes the driver who leads the most laps in the feature – will be known as the Durrence Layne Pacesetter Award in both the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series National Tour and Chevrolet Performance Super Late Model Series National Tour.
Kyle Durrence is a fourth-generation pecan farmer, who is now one of the largest pecan brokers in the world through the Durden Pecan Company. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Georgia Pecan Association.
“Kyle Durrence is to the pecan industry what the late J.W. Hunt was to the strawberry industry,” Vaughn said. “After spending some time with him at the races, I think he has the same passion Mr. Hunt did for the sport. I am proud and excited to have him as a new marketing partner for many years to come.”