McDowell earns $5,000 at Cleveland's Turkey Rumble
By Steve HixsonCleveland Speedway
CLEVELAND, Tenn. (Nov. 14) — After lowering the track recording in Turkey Rumble qualifying, Dale McDowell of Rossville, Ga., led all but one lap at Cleveland Speedway for a $5,000 victory in the unsanctioned 40-lap feature.
McDowell, who posted a fast time of 12.813 seconds at the third-mile oval, took the point from Ray Cook of Brasstown, N.C., on the second lap and led the rest of the way. Cook settled for second with Skip Arp of Georgetown, Tenn., in third in a race originally scheduled for North Georgia Speedway.
“I just wanna thank everybody for coming out to this race and to (track owner) Monty (Morrow) for having it," said McDowell, a track veteran who also won Oct. 8 at Cleveland. "We love coming here with out friends, family and loved ones and putting on a good show. The track was excellent tonight, despite it being really wet early this evening, but it came around nicely.
“(Team owner) Clint (Bowyer) gets on to us back at the shop about keeping the bodies on these Warrior Race Cars in good condition, especially with him being a former bodyman before his NASCAR calling, so he’ll be happy we kept this one intact."
At the outset of the main event, Cook took advantage of his outside front-row starting spot to lead early, but McDowell slipped by on the second lap and headed for victory.
Cook chased McDowell through the early stages with Shane Clanton of Locust Grove, Ga., in third, but Clanton retired with tire problems on the 17th lap.
While cautions for Anthony White, Mike Weeks and David Crabtree slowed the mid-race action, Arp slipped by William Thomas of Phenix City, Ala., for third. Cook stayed in touch with McDowell but settled for second at the finish ahead of Arp, Thomas and Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn.
Notes: McDowell's Warrior Race Car has a Earnhardt-Childress Racing Engine and is sponsored by Cheerios, Dollar General and Cometic Gasket. ... The event drew 39 drivers from seven states. ... Frank Heckenast Jr. of Orland Park, Ill., drove a car out of the Knoxville, Tenn., shop of Rick Rogers, but he was an early retiree after a tangle with Anthony White. ... Another Illinois driver, Dennis Erb Jr., also made his Cleveland debut and finished sixth. ... Rick Hixson outran Scott Sexton to win the Limited Late Model feature. ... Hixson's teammate Jerry Coffman outran Greg Martin to win the Crate Late Model feature. ... Cleveland still plans two more weekends of racing. The $5,000-to-win Gobbler, an O'Reilly Southern All Star tradition, is scheduled for Nov. 21 while the Southern Regional Racing Series runs the tour-ending Grant Adcox Memorial ($4,000-to-win) on Nov. 28.
Turkey Rumble: (1) Dale McDowell, (2) Ray Cook, (3) Skip Arp, (4) William Thomas, (5) Jimmy Owens, (6) Dennis Erb Jr., (7) Clint Smith, (8) Austin Dillon, (9) Rick Rogers, (10) Derek Ellis, (11) David Payne, (12) Tony Knowles, (13) Aaron Ridley, (14) Ethan Hunter, (15) Anthony White, (16) Shane Clanton, (17) Todd Morrow, (18) Brian Booze, (19) Ricky Arms, (20) Mike Weeks, (21) Scott Creel, (22) Frank Heckenast Jr., (23) David Crabtree, (24) Jake Knowles. Fast qualifier (among 39 cars): McDowell, 12.813 seconds.
Correction: Fixes McDowell's engine builder.