By Trevor Gonzales, RPM Writer
May 17, 2019 - The 7th race of the Schaeffer’s Oil Spring Nationals tour invaded Crossville Speedway in Crossville, Tennessee for a $4,000 to win show and the fans did not go home disappointed as Donald McIntosh would survive the attrition filled race and he would grab a $4,000 paycheck for the second night in a row.
15 cars were signed in as Clover, South Carolina driver Ross Bailes would break Jason Jameson’s track record in qualifying in his first ever appearance at the track with a lap of 11.689 seconds, being the fastest in Group A and securing the pole. McIntosh, Brandon Overton, Dakotah Knuckles, and Robby Moses would round out the top five in Group A qualifying.
Surprises would keep coming throughout the night as Greenville, Tennessee driver John Tweed, with engine builder Vic Hill as a crew chief, setting fast time in Group B with a lap of 12.119 seconds. Tanner English would be second fastest with a lap of 12.120 seconds. Also running fast times in the second group of qualifying would be Spring Nationals points leader Dale McDowell, Scott Cook, and Jeff Neubert.
With only 15 cars signed in, the field would be set based off of qualifying times.
The green flag waved as the race was underway and the yellow came out a few seconds later as 6th place starting and series points leader Dale McDowell would break in Turn 2 prematurely ending his night.
The race was once again starting as Ross Bailes would lead the opening lap over Tanner English, Donald McIntosh, Brandon Overton, and Dakotah Knuckles. Outside front row starter John Tweed would pull off the track on the opening lap with mechanical issues after making contact with English in Turns 1 and 2.
Bailes would set a torrid pace on the field with English, McIntosh, Overton, and Knuckles all pacing themselves close behind the leader and separating themselves from the rest of the field by almost half the track.
The second caution of the race would fly on Lap 14 for the slow car of Tommy Taylor. The turning point of the race would occur on the ensuing restart as second place running Tanner English would slow on the backstretch with a flat right rear tire bringing out the caution again. Trouble would also strike for race leader Bailes as he also had a flat right rear tire and would have to replace it. English and Bailes would then restart the race at the tail end of the field with McIntosh inheriting the lead followed by Overton and Knuckles.
The misfortunes of Lap 14 would continue as another caution would fall on the restart for Jeff Neubert who was running 5th after the top two had to go to the back, slowed on the backstretch. During the caution, more mechanical carnage would occur as second place Brandon Overton would pull into the infield pits with his crew taking off the hood and checking the engine, ending his night prematurely.
With only 14 laps in the race, only 9 cars would be remaining on the track. McIntosh would take the lead as the field finally got the green with a clean racetrack and no issues. By Lap 18, English had already made his way up to fourth after getting by Cook. At the halfway point, McIntosh would lead over Knuckles, Robby Moses, English, and Bailes who would also quickly return to the top five.
The fifth caution of the race would fly as Scott Cook would blow a right rear tire and slow in Turn 3. Bunching up the field once more, McIntosh would maintain his lead over Knuckles as Moses, English, and Bailes would have a very good battle for 3rd swapping positions lap by lap.
The race would stay green for the reminder of the feature as McIntosh would take the checkers followed by Knuckles and Moses who was able to hold off English and Bailes.
It would be McIntosh’s second 2019 Spring Nationals win and his second consecutive victory.
1.7m Donald McIntosh- Dawsonville, GA
2.21k Dakotah Knuckles- Ewing, VA
3.21 Robby Moses- Maryville, TN
4.58 Tanner English- Benton, KY
5.87 Ross Bailes- Clover, SC
6.38 Dillon Tidmore- Gadsden, AL
7.8 David Payne- Murphy, NC
8.13 Scott Cook- Shelbyville, TN
9.86 Jeff Neubert- Rockford, TN
10.215 Patrick Duggan- Lenoir City, TN
11.2 Brandon Overton- Evans, GA
12.10T Tommy Taylor- Lascassas, TN
13.56 Joey Standridge- Tellico Plains, TN
14.5 John Tweed- Greenville, TN
15.17m Dale McDowell- Chickamauga, GA
The next Spring Nationals race will be Saturday night as they make their first ever visit to Thunderhill Raceway in Summertown, Tennessee with a 60-lap, $10,000 to win feature.