McDowell Captures Spring Nationals Opener

Updated 11:34 PM CT [Updates from Cole Perkins & Trevor Gonzales(RPM)]

Dale McDowell wins the Spring Series Opener tonight at Olgethorpe Speedway Park. (Trevor Gonzales)

By Trevor Gonzales (RPM Writer)

The 2019 Schaffer’s Oil Spring Nationals kicked off Friday night with the first ever appearance at Oglethorpe Speedway Park In Pooler, GA with a 40 lap, $4,000 to win show. At the conclusion of the night, it would be National Late Model Hall of Famer Dale McDowell from Chickamauga, Georgia who would take the checkers and win the $4,000 prize.

18 cars were signed in for the opening race with entrants such as McDowell, Casey Roberts in the Wynn Motorsports Longhorn Chassis, 2-time Spring Nationals champion Donald McIntosh, and Lucas Oil Dirt Late Model regular Tim McCreadie.

Roberts would set the overall fast time in Group A qualifying while clinching the pole after running a lap of 17.730 seconds around the reconfigured 3/8 mile track. The top four qualifiers in each group would be locked into the feature. Joining Roberts would be Ivedent Lloyd Jr., McIntosh, and McCreadie.

McDowell would be the fastest in Group B with a lap of 17.982 seconds along with Ashton Winger, Brian Connor, and Ross Bailes.

Jimmy Sharpe Jr. would win the first B-Main with all cars transferring over Michael Page, John Henderson, and Brian Nuttell.

Tyler Millwood would win the second B-Main over Lonnie Brant and Larry Anderson.

The 40 lap feature would be underway as Roberts would lead the opening lap over McDowell, Winger, McIntosh, and Lloyd Jr. The first yellow of the race would fly after the completion of Lap 1 for the spinning machine of Jimmy Sharpe Jr.

The green flag quickly returned as Roberts would hold a steady lead over McDowell and Winger. On Lap 5, 8th place starting Tim McCreadie would crack into the top five after getting around Lloyd Jr. Roberts would still lead as he entered lapped traffic on Lap 12. The field would begin to settle in as they would run the bottom lane during the green flag run.

The second and final caution would fly on Lap 17 for the slowing machine of 10th place running Brian Connor. His night would be done early as well as top ten running Michael Page as he would pull off with mechanical issues.

The turning point of the race would be the ensuing restart on Lap 17 as Roberts would push up the track in Turns 1 & 2 allowing McDowell to get around Roberts and take the lead. McDowell would separate himself from Roberts and Winger as McIntosh and McCreadie would swap fourth and fifth repeatedly until McIntosh would take the fourth position for good on Lap 22.

The track would begin to rubber down with about 15 laps to go as passing was a premium. McDowell would get caught a few times in lapped traffic allowing Roberts to catch up to him some but it was not enough as McDowell would have a clear track the final five laps of the race. McDowell would take the checkers followed by Roberts in second and Winger in third. McIntosh would take fourth and McCreadie would finish fifth. Rounding out the top ten would be 16th starting Walker Arthur, Ross Bailes, Ivedent Lloyd Jr., John Henderson, and Tyler Millwood.

McDowell was piloting a Sweet-Bloomquist Race Car with a Clements Race Engine sponsored by EZGO, Will Kinzer Foundation for Autism & Research, New Era Industrial, and Klotz Synthetics.

Round 2 of the Schaeffer’s Oil Spring Nationals will be Saturday, March 23rd at Cochran Motor Speedway paying $10,000 to win.

Tim McCreadie in the it area Friday night before Spring Nationals series opener. (Cole Perkins)

Schaeffer's Oil Spring Nationals at Oglethrope Speedway Park $4,000 to win

Car Count: 18

Overall Fast Qualifier: Casey Roberts 17.730 sec

Feature Finish:

1. 17M Dale McDowell

2. 101 Casey Roberts

3. 12 Ashton Winger

4. 7 Donald McIntosh

5. 39 Tim McCreadie

6. 87 Walker Arthur

7. 87 Ross Bailes

8. 58 Ivendent Lloyd

9. 2x John Henderson

10. 31 Tyler Millwood

11. 144 Chicky Barton

12. 4 Lonnie Brant

13. 18x Michael Page

14. 77 Brian Connor

15. 21x Rob Robertson

16. 26 Jimmy Sharpe

17. 51 Larry Anderson DNS

18. 44 Brian Nuttell DNS

Feature Lineup:

Row 1: 101 Casey Roberts, 17M Dale McDowell

Row 2: 58 Ivendent Lloyd Jr, 12 Ashton Winger

Row 3: 7 Donald McIntosh, 77 Brian Conner

Row 4: 39 Tim McCreadie, 87 Ross Bailes

Row 5: 26 Jimmy Sharpe, 31 Tyler Millwood

Row 6: 18x Michael Page, 4 Lonnie Brant

Row 7: 2x John Henderson, 51 Larry Anderson

Row 8: 44 Brian Nuttell, 21x Bob Robertson

Row 9: 144 Chicky Barton, 87 Walker Arthur

Heat 1 Results

1. 26 Jimmy Sharpe Jr

2. 18x Michael Page

3. 2x John Henderson

4. 44 Brian Nuttelll

5. 144 Chicky Barton-DNS

Heat 2 Results

1. 31 Tyler Mllwood

2. 4 Lonnie Brant

3. 51 Larry Anderson - DNF

4. 21x Bob Robertson - DNS

5. 87 Walker Arthur - DNS

Group A Qualifying

101 Roberts 17.730

58 Lloyd 17.816

7 McIntosh 17.932

39 McCreadie 17.969

26 Sharpe 18.146

18X Page 18.153

24 Henderson 18.204

144 Barton 18.332

44 Nuttall NO TIME

Group B Qualifying

17M McDowell 17.982

12 Winger 18.006

77 Conner 18.179

87 Bailes 18.199

21x Robertson 18.346

31 Millwood 18.578

87 Arthur 18.695

4 Brant 19.278

51 Anderson 20.166