By Trevor Gonzales, RPM
April 26, 2019 - The fourth race of the 2019 Southern All Stars Dirt Series was held at the newly configured Smoky Mountain Speedway in Maryville, Tennessee. At the end of the night it would be Canadian Ricky Weiss who would take the $5,000 paycheck. Debuting a brand new Sweet-Bloomquist Race Car that was finished early on Friday morning, Weiss would overtake the lead from polesitter Ashton Winger on Lap 11 en route to the checkers.
36 super late models signed in with many national drivers appearing to Maryville, Tennessee track. With the Lucas Oil Dirt Late Model series races in Illinois postponed to due to rain, a few Lucas Oil regulars would show up to race including points leader Jonathan Davenport, Jimmy Owens, Shanon Buckingham, and Ryan King. Tim McCreadie was expected to make his debut in the Kevin Rumley famed number 6 car but hauler issues on the way to the track resulted in the team not making the trip. Other surprise entrants for the race would be Weiss, Chris Madden, Brandon Overton, and modified aces Kyle Strickler and Nick Hoffman.
Hampton, GA teenager Ashton Winger would set fast time in Group A qualifying with a lap of 17.464 seconds around the 4/10 mile track. The top five qualifiers would luck themselves into the feature as Vic Hill, Kyle Strickler, Chris Madden, and Donald McIntosh would join Winger.
“Superman” Jonathan Davenport would set the overall fast time as he was the quickest in Group B with a 17.307 second lap. Ricky Weiss, Jimmy Owens, David Breazeale, and Shanon Buckingham would also lock themselves in the feature.
The rest of the field would be set by four B-Mains with the top three finishers locking themselves into the field.
Brandon Overton would win B-Main 1 over Tyler Millwood and Austin Smith.
B-Main 2 would be won by Robby Moses among with Tommy Kerr and Dakotah Knuckles joining the field.
The third B-Main would be won by South Carolina’s Michael Brown with Cameron Marlar and Gary McPherson locking themselves in the feature.
The fourth and final B-Main of the evening would be won by Michael Page as he outlasted Billy Franklin and SAS points leader Riley Hickman.
Zach Leonhardi and Jay Scott would take the SAS provisionals. Scott would have fuel pressure issues in his Black Diamond Race Car which resulted in him failing to finish his B-Main. He was able to borrow Mark Dodson’s number 32 machine to run in the feature.
The 40 lap, $5,000 to win feature would be underway as Winger would lead Lap 1 over Davenport, Weiss, Owens, and Hill. The first and only caution of the race would wave at the conclusion of Lap 1 for Shanon Buckingham, who slowed with a right front flat.
On the ensuing restart, Weiss would jump to the outside to take second from Davenport while Owens and Madden would get around Hill for fourth and fifth respectively. Winger would begin to hold a slim lead over Weiss as Madden would pass Owens for fourth on Lap 6.
Winger would enter lapped traffic on Lap 9. On Lap 11, Winger would attempt run the outside line to get around a lapped car with Weiss going to the preferred bottom line. Weiss and winger would be side by side going down the backstretch with Weiss taking the lead at the line over Winger. Weiss would then set sail and set a torrid pace on the field with Winger and Davenport behind.
Weiss would lead at the halfway point over Winger, Davenport, Madden, Owens, Hill, Overton, McIntosh, Page, and Strickler. Third place running Davenport would pull off the track with mechanical issues the next lap later on Lap 21.
The race would stay green as Weiss would begin to hold a straightaway lead over Winger with Madden closing in on the second place driver. With 2 laps to go, Madden would get around Winger for the runner-up position. Weiss would lap the running field all the way up to the 11th position as he would take the checkers, the $5,000 paycheck, and the Rockin’ with the Stars Guitar Trophy at Smoky Mountain Speedway over Chris Madden and Ashton Winger. Jimmy Owens and Brandon Overton would round out the top five.
1. 7w Ricky Weiss- Headingley, Manitoba, Canada
2. 44 Chris Madden- Gray Court, SC 3. 12 Ashton Winger- Hampton, GA 4. 20 Jimmy Owens- Newport, TN 5. 2 Brandon Overton- Evans, GA
6. 1 Vic Hill- Moshiem, TN 7. 18x Michael Page- Douglasville, GA 8. 8 Kyle Strickler- Mooresville, NC
9. 10 David Breazeale- Four Corners, MS 10. 7 Donald McIntosh- Dawsonville, GA
11. 31 Tyler Millwood- Kingston, GA 12. 79 Michael Brown- Lancaster, SC 13. 21 Robby Moses- Maryville, TN
14. 17 Billy Franklin- Calera, AL
15. 84 Austin Smith- Rome, GA
16. 24 Zach Leonhardi- Cartersville, GA
17. 4T Tommy Kerr- Maryville, TN
18. 21k Dakotah Knuckles- Ewing, VA
19. 29m Gary McPherson- Chatsworth, GA
20. 50 Shanon Buckingham- Morristown,TN
21. 49 Jonathan Davenport- Blairsville, GA
22. R1 Riley Hickman- Ootelwah, TN
23. 57m Cameron Marlar- Winfield, TN
24. 32 Jay Scott- Fayetteville, TN