Ross Bailes of Clover, S.C., celebrates his career-high $10,000 victory.
What won the race: Third-starting Ross Bailes of Clover, S.C., overtook polesitter Mike Marlar making a third-to-first move on a mid-race restart, and then survived a charge from Brandon Overton for his first career Southern All Star victory in the 60-lap March Madness feature at Cherokee Speedway. Bailes won by 1.063 seconds over Marlar for $10,000 and his richest career victory.
Quotable: "I knew I had a really good car at the beginning when I could take off like that and I just kinda rode there for probably the first 15 laps. We got that restart and I was like, 'I'm gonna give it a try up top,' and it worked, and I got by Brandon (Overton)," Bailes said. "I rubbed Mikey (Marlar) a little bit. I hope he's not too upset about that."
Key notes: Seeking his second win in less than 24 hours, Overton snuck past Bailes for the lead amid lapped traffic on lap 52, but a caution flag for Chris Ferguson negated the move. Bailes then controlled the remainder of the distance while Overton slipped to fourth at the finish, behind runner-up Marlar and third-place Jonathan Davenport. ... Sunday’s 60-lapper was the season-opener for the Southern All Star circuit. … The event was slowed by six cautions on laps 8, 10, 22, 25, 34 and 52. ... Among drivers failing to qualify: Kenny Collins, Eric Hickerson, G.R. Smith, Brian Conner, Jim Manka, Austin Hubbard and Anthony Sanders.
On the move: Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, Ga., started eighth and finished third.
Winner's sponsors: The winning Billy Hicks-owned Longhorn Chassis is powered by a Kenny Lamb engine and sponsored by H&H Auto Sales, Bailes Construction, AKW Electrical Contractors and FK Rod Ends.
Points chase: Riley Hickman of Ooltewah, Tenn., is the defending and four-time series champion.
Car count: 38
Fast qualifier: Mike Marlar
Time: 15.570 seconds
Polesitter: Mike Marlar
Heat race winners: Mike Marlar, Brandon Overton, Justin Williams, Ross Bailes
Consolation race winners: Casey Roberts, T.J. Reaid
Next series race: March 17, Southern Raceway (Milton, FL) $4,000