EASTABOGA, Ala. — Pressuring race-long leader Riley Hickman late in Saturday's Southern All Star feature, Michael Page of Douglasville, Ga., took control with four laps remaining at Talladega Short Track when Hickman pulled up lame with a flat tire.
With Hickman pulling off the track, Page completed his third career Governor's Cup victory at the third-mile oval for a $10,000 payday in the 60-lap main event.
"It feels good," Page said in victory lane. "I knew if Riley kept sliding the tire, it wasn't going to be there. He did it a couple of times really bad, and I just tried to keep my car straight just to be there at the end. I hate it for him. He drove a good race. I'm just glad to be here."
The third-starting Page acknowledged that he made contact with the left-rear corner of Hickman's Billy Franklin-owned car with about 20 laps remaining, but insisted that contact didn't have anything to do with pole-starting Hickman's demise because "he just burned his tire up," Page said.
Sixth-starting Dalton Cook of Columbus, Ga., finished 1.264 seconds behind Page while 14th-starting Austin Horton of Newnan, Ga., rallied to finish third, improving three spots in the final 10 laps. Outside front-row starter Dylan Knowles of Lanett, Ala., settled for fourth with Josh Adkins of Talladega, Ala., rounding out the top five.
Hickman jumped into the early lead and controlled the first half of the race, turning back a mid-race challenge from Knowles on the frontstretch as leaders worked lapped traffic.
Page took the second spot from Knowles just past halfway and began chasing the leader, making an outside move with 14 laps remaining, just before the race's first caution flew when top-five-running Sam Seawright spun in turn four.
Page continued to hound Hickman as two more cautions in turn four — for Ryan Wilson's spin on lap 53 and then Wil Herrington's spin on lap 55 — slowed the action.
On the final restart, Hickman went back to work, but he lost speed exiting turn four on the 57th lap with Page zipping past the take command.
Page went on to tally his seventh career Southern All Star victory, the third at Talladega.
Notes: Page also has three Southern All Star victories at Senoia (Ga.) Raceway. ... His other series victory came May 7 at Boyd's Speedway in Ringgold, Ga. ... The 60-lap event honored the tour's founder, B.J. Parker. ... Eleven of 24 starters finished on the lead lap.