Cleveland County Speedway
Jeff Smith gets first series win at Lawndale
LAWNDALE, N.C. (June 12) — Inheriting the lead when mechanical problems struck Chris Madden, Jeff Smith of Dallas, N.C., earned $3,000 for a 30-lap O'Reilly Southern All Star East Series victory at Cleveland County Speedway. The fifth-starting Smith crossed the finish line ahead of third-starting Dennis "Rambo" Franklin for his first series victory.
Ricky Weeks of Rutherfordton, N.C., was third in the 17-car field followed by series points leader Casey Roberts of Toccoa, Ga., and Petey Ivey of Union, S.C. Outside front-row starter Johnny Pursley led early but ended up sixth.
The fast-qualifying Madden, of Gray Court, S.C., started on the pole and led the early stages of the event, but he was out before the halfway point when his car broke a torque arm.
Notes: Smith's Mike Menscer-owned Rocket Chassis has a Gaerte Engine and sponsorship from Star Leasing. ... Chris Madden's fast qualifying time earned him $100 from Beaver Bail Bonds, Q Racing Oil and Sunoco Race Fuels. ... Ronald Blankenship, Jonathan Warlick and Dan Breuer were involved in an early tangle in turn four, knocking Breuer out of the race. ... Zach Cox pulled out with an overheating car early in the feature. ... The lights in turns one and two twice went dim during the night's racing, briefly delaying action. ... Adam Yarbrough won the night's NDRA-sanctioned Crate feature. ... Next up for SAS East competitors is two Fourth of July weekend events at Cherokee Speedway in Gaffney, S.C. (July 3) and Tri-County Racetrack in Brasstown, N.C. (July 4).
O'Reilly SAS East @ Cleveland County: (1) Jeff Smith, (2) Dennis Franklin, (3) Ricky Weeks, (4) Casey Roberts, (5) Petey Ivey, (6) Johnny Pursley, (7) Doug Sanders, (8) Larry Blankenship, (9) Jeff Cooke, (10) Colby Cannon, (11) Roger Lanksford, (12) Monk Gulledge, (13) Chris Madden, (14) Zach Cox, (15) Ronald Blankenship, (16) Jonathan Warlick, (17) Dan Breuer. Fast qualifier (among 17 cars): Madden, 17.410 seconds.