Article By: Trevor Gonzales, RPM Writer
(Seymour, TN) The Schaffer’s Oil Southern Nationals Series invaded “Tennessee’s Action Track” 411 Motor Speedway for Round 8 of the miniseries. At the end of the night, it would be Dale McDowell, who’s only appearance with the series before 411 was a runner up finisher at Wythe, would take the checkers and lead all 53 caution free laps to take the $10,000 paycheck and grab his fourth career series victory.
Thirty late models were signed in for the race as it was the highest car count the series has had since the opener at Wythe. McDowell would set fast time in Group A with a lap of 13.780 seconds round the 3/8 banked track. Michael Chilton, Jason Jameson, Donald McIntosh, and Cla Knight would round out the top five in that session. Three time winner of the tour in 2019 Brandon Overton would set the overall fast time for the second night in a row after posting a lap of 13.762 seconds. Clover, South Carolina driver Ross Bailes would be second fastest in Group B followed by Dakotah Knuckles, Ryan King, and Vic Hill.
Since it was a $10,000 to win race, no cars would be locked into the feature by way of qualifying times. There would be four heat races with the top four finishers in each heat transferring into the feature. The cars that did not transfer by way of their heat race would all run one B-Main with the top four in that B-Main locking themselves into the feature followed by two series provisionals that would complete the 22-Car field.
McDowell would win the opening heat race and clinch the pole after outrunning Jameson, Knight, and Jake Knowles. Grayson, Kentucky driver Jackie Boggs was running in the fourth position when he got into the wall, brought out the caution, and pulled off the track.
Dawsonville, Georgia driver Donald McIntosh would win the second heat race over Michael Chilton, Tanner English, and Aaron Ridley.
Overton would outlast Knuckles, Vic Hill, and last year’s Southern Nationals winner at 411 Cory Hedgecock to win the third heat race of the night.
The final heat race of the night would be won by hometown driver Ryan King as he would outrun Kyle Strickler, Bailes, and Tyler Clem.
The lone B-Main would be won by Cleveland, Tennessee driver John Ownbey. Camaron Marlar, Kenny Collins, and Mack McCarter would also transfer into the big show. Craig Greer and David Payne would take the series provisionals.
McDowell would lead the opening lap of the 53 lap feature over Overton, McIntosh, King, and Knuckles. The first 10-15 laps would be stagnant as everyone would set their pace and get comfortable with their cars on the track. On Lap 12, fourteenth starting Ross Bailes would pass Cla Knight to enter the top ten. On Laps 18 and 19, Cory Hedgecock would pass both Kyle Strickler and Dakotah Knuckles to enter the top five. Three laps later on Lap 22 Hedgecock would pass King for fourth and Strickler would also get around King for fifth. McDowell would continue to leave by the halfway point with Overton in striking distance followed by McIntosh, Hedgecock and Strickler. The battle during laps 11-30 for positions fifth through eleventh would be fantastic throughout the feature with three and sometimes four wide battles between Hedgecock, Strickler, King, Jameson, Bailes, Chilton, and English. Bailes would pass the machines of King, Knuckles, Jameson, and Chilton to enter the sixth position at the halfway mark. On Lap 30, McDowell would continue to lead in lapped traffic with Overton right on his back bumper. Strickler would pass Hedgecock for fourth on Lap 31. Bailes would crack into the top five on Lap 33 when he would get around Hedgecock for fifth. For the final 10 laps, Overton would show his nose in Turns 3 and 4 and try to use the outside line to his advantage but he was never able to challenge and battle McDowell for the lead. McDowell was able to hold on and capture his first Southern Nationals win of 2019 followed by Overton and McIntosh who stayed in their starting positions all race long. Kyle Strickler would finish fourth with fourteenth starting Ross Bailes finishing fifth. Rounding out the top ten would be Michael Chilton, Cory Hedgecock, Ryan King, Jason Jameson, and Tanner English would round out the top ten.
1.17m Dale McDowell- Chickamauga, GA
2.2 Brandon Overton- Evans, GA
3.7m Donald McIntosh- Dawsonville, GA
4.8 Kyle Strickler- Mooresville, NC
5.87 Ross Bailes- Clover, SC
6.97 Michael Chilton- Salvisa, KY
7.23 Cory Hedgecock- Loudon, TN
8.1G Ryan King- Seymour, TN
9.12 Jason Jameson- Lawrenceburg, IN
10.58 Tanner English- Benton, KY
11.42 Cla Knight- North Augusta, SC
12.21k Dakotah Knuckles- Ewing, VA
13.1 Vic Hill- Moshiem, TN
14.81 Aaron Ridley- Chatsworth, GA
15.66 Jake Knowles- Rome, GA
16.8 David Payne- Murphy, NC
17.58T Tyler Clem- Ocala, FL
18.51 Mack McCarter- Gatlinburg, TN
19.1c Kenny Collins- Colbert, GA
20.J0 John Ownbey- Cleveland, TN
21.57m Camaron Marlar- Winfield, TN
22.7G Craig Greer- Cleveland, TN
The finale of the Schaffer’s Oil Southern Nationals Series will be Saturday night, July 27th at Tazewell Speedway with a $10,053 to win race. The 2019 series champion will be crowned as well and a receive a $5,053 paycheck