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Daily Dirt 02/22/2024 19:12:41

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February 4
Screven Motor Speedway,
Sylvania, GA
Sanction: Southern All Star Series (Winter Freeze) - $10,000
Information provided by: Series and track reports (last updated February 5, 12:16 am)
Bailes recovers, repeats at Screven Winter Freeze
Winter Freeze
  1. Ross Bailes
  2. Kenny Collins
  3. Steven Roberts
  4. Trent Ivey
  5. Benji Hicks
  6. Caleb Gay
  7. Ray Cook
  8. Jordy Nipper
  9. Brian Nuttall Jr.
  10. Billy Franklin
  11. John Henderson
  12. Jimmy Sharpe Jr.
  13. Chase Oliver
  14. Josh Putnam
  15. David McCoy
  16. Todd Brennan
  17. Parker Martin
  18. Christian Hanger
  19. Will Roland
  20. Pearson Lee Williams
  21. Ben Boyd
presented by
Zack Kloosterman/ZSK Photography
Ross Bailes picked up $10,000 for his Winter Freeze repeat at Screven.
What won the race: Regaining the lead from Ray Cook on lap 26 after botching a lap-10 restart, Ross Bailes of Clover, S.C., debuted his Double Nickel Race Car with a repeat Southern All Star victory in Screven Motor Speedway's Winter Freeze. Bailes, who led laps 1-10 and 26-50, fought off fast qualifier Kenny Collins over the final 20 laps at the 3/8-mile oval for a $10,000 payday and his third career Southern All Star victory.
Key notes: Bailes notched his first victory since Oct. 22 in Ultimate Southeast action at Cherokee Speedway in Gaffney, S.C. ... Bailes had six victories in 2022, including the Winter Freeze a year ago. ... Kenny Collins took his best shot at Bailes with nine laps remaining amid traffic, but Bailes slipped away. ... Ray Cook led laps 11-25 but faded to finish seventh in his throwback ride. ... The race was slowed by six cautions, the most serious on the 11th lap when Will Roland spun in turn four and collected several late-arriving cars, but there was little damage from the incident. ... Christian Hanger spun on a lap-10 restart. ... Parker Martin stopped for a lap-31 yellow and Chase Oliver drew a lap-44 yellow after a scrape with Billy Franklin. ... The race’s first attempted start was called back when Caleb Gab slid into the infield berm entering turn three. A lap-four yellow appeared when hometown driver Ben Boyd spun in turn three. ... The Southern All Stars kicked off the tour's 40th season. ... The series has a 29-race schedule on tap.
On the move: Trent Ivey of Union, S.C., started 13th and finished fourth.
Winner's sponsors: Bailes drives a Billy Hicks-owned Double Nickel Race Car powered by a Clements Racing Engine and sponsored by H&H Auto Sales, Ultimate Towing & Recovery, Wakefield Logging, Felony Farms, Bailes Construction, Hoosier Tire South, Fred Caldwell Chevrolet and Bilstein Shocks.
Points chase: The event opened the Southern All Star season.
Current weather: Clear, 45°F
Car count: 22
Fast qualifier: Kenny Collins
Time: 14.627 seconds
Polesitter: Ray Cook
Heat race winners: Ray Cook, Ross Bailes, Steven Roberts, Jordy Nipper
Next series race: March 5, Cherokee Speedway (Gaffney, SC) $10,000
Editor's note: Corrects runner-up in finishing order.
From staff reports

SYLVANIA, Ga. — Ross Bailes has the Winter Freeze figured out, but he was almost frozen out of his second straight victory in the Southern All Stars opener at Screven Motor Speedway.

The Clover, S.C., driver who captured the $10,000 last season, had to recover from a botched lap-10 restart that saw him fall from the lead and briefly back to the fifth position as his closest pursuers blasted past.

Bailes, who led the first 10 laps from outside the front row, got too high in turns one and two on the restart and struggled to regain the handle on his car. Once he did, though, he charged right back to the front, officially getting back to third the next time past the flagstand, then tracking down polesitter and lap 10-25 leader Ray Cook of Brasstown, N.C., on the 26th lap.

From there, Bailes turned back a few challenges from fast qualifier and eventual runner-up Kenny Collins of Colbert, Ga., as he scored his third career Southern All Star victory. Even better, Bailes won his debut in his Double Nickel Race Car for team owner Billy Hicks.

Collins, who started fifth, finished 1.117 seconds behind at the checkers while Steven Roberts of Jesup, Ga., was third. Trent Ivey of Union, S.C., improved nine positions to nab fourth while Benji Hicks of Mount Airy, N.C., rounded out the top five. Cook faded to finishing seventh in his throwback No. 53 machine.

Bailes looked strong in tracking down Cook to regain the lead at the midway point, but Collins suddenly appeared in the mix at the same time, quickly dropping Cook to third as he turned up the heat on Bailes.

A restart helped Bailes reassert command, but with nine laps remaining, Bailes was making an outside move on the slower car of Chase Oliver when Collins dove to the inside entering turn three. Bailes managed to survive the challenge in traffic, and Collins couldn’t make another serious stab at the lead in the final laps.

The race was slowed by six cautions, the most serious on the 11th lap when Will Roland spun in turn four and collected several late-arriving cars, but there was little damage from the incident.

The race’s first attempted start was called back when Caleb Gab slid into the infield berm entering turn three. A lap-four yellow appeared when hometown driver Ben Boyd spun in turn three.

Christian Hanger spun on a lap-10 restart. Parker Martin stopped on the backstretch on the 31st lap and Chase Oliver drew a lap-44 yellow after a scrape with Billy Franklin.

Notes: Bailes notched his first victory since Oct. 22’s Ultimate Southeast triumph at Cherokee Speedway in Gaffney, S.C. … Bailes had six Super Late Model victories last season. … The Southern All Stars have switched to full double-file restarts during feature events. … Todd Brennan dropped to the infield shortly after the lap-31 restart. … Haiden Cowan of Rincon, Ga., making his Super Late Model debut, held the third spot late in the third heat when his engine went up in smoke. He scratched from the main event. … Pearson Lee Williams was an early retiree in his heat as well as the main event. … Veteran Limited and Crate Late Model racer David McCoy of Franklin, N.C., one of the state’s winningest drivers over the last 15 seasons, made a rare Super Late Model start.

Feature lineup

(50 laps)

Row 1: Ray Cook, Ross Bailes
Row 2: Steven Roberts, Jordy Nipper
Row 3: Kenny Collins, Josh Putnam
Row 4: Will Roland, David McCoy
Row 5: Benji Hicks, Brian Nuttall Jr.
Row 6: Todd Brennan, Jimmy Sharpe Jr.
Row 7: Trent Ivey, Billy Franklin
Row 8: Christian Hanger, Caleb Gay
Row 9: Parker Martin, John Henderson
Row 10: Haiden Cowan, Chase Oliver
Row 11: Ben Boyd, Pearson Lee Williams

Heat race results

First heat: Ray Cook, Kenny Collins, Benji Hicks, Trent Ivey, Parker Martin, Ben Boyd.

Second heat: Ross Bailes, Josh Putnam, Brian Nuttall Jr., Billy Franklin, John Henderson, Pearson Lee Williams.

Third heat: Steven Roberts, Will Roland, Todd Brennan, Christian Hanger, Haiden Cowan.

Fourth heat: Jordy Nipper, David McCoy, Jimmy Sharpe Jr., Caleb Gay, Chase Oliver.

Time trials

Driver (car no.), hometown, time (unofficial)
First group
Kenny Collins (1c), Colbert, Ga., 14.627
Will Roland (22), Jasper, Ga., 14.905
Ray Cook (53), Brasstown, N.C., 14.912
Steven Roberts (111), Jesup, Ga., 14.935
Trent Ivey (88), Union, S.C., 15.073
Christian Hanger (29), Winchester, Tenn., 15.175
Benji Hicks (55), Mount Airy, N.C., 15.179
Haiden Cowan (14), Rincon, Ga., 15.314
Parker Martin (6jr), Milledgeville, Ga., 15.577
Todd Brennan (20), Zanesville, Ohio, 15.613
Ben Boyd (8), Sylvania, Ga., 16.801
Second group
Ross Bailes (79), Clover, S.C., 14.699
Jordy Nipper (1N), Gray, Ga., 14.915
Brian Nuttall Jr. (16), Claxton, Ga., 15.039
David McCoy (187), Franklin, N.C., 15.133
John Henderson (2x), North Augusta, S.C., 15.160
Jimmy Sharpe Jr. (26jr), Lyons, Ga., 15.166
Josh Putnam (212), Florence, Ala., 15.221
Caleb Gay (Xjr), Dublin, Ga., 15.378
Pearson Lee Williams (121), Dublin, Ga., 15.508
Chase Oliver (5), Crossville, Ala., 15.701
Billy Franklin (17), Calera, Ala., 15.800

Saturday’s schedule

9 a.m.: Pits open
1 p.m.: Grandstands open
1:30 p.m.: Drivers’ meeting
2 p.m.: Consolation races
- Sport Compacts (12 laps)
Features
- Road warriors (15 laps)
- Mini Late Models (15 laps)
- Cop stocks (15 laps)
Track work break
4:30 p.m.: Drivers' meeting
5:30 p.m.: Hot laps
- Street stocks
- 602 Crate Late Models
- Super Late Models
- 602 modifieds
- Sport compacts (locked-in cars only)
Opening ceremonies
Qualifying

- 602 Crate Late Models (2 laps)
- Super Late Models (2 laps)
- 602 Modifieds (2 laps)
- Street stocks (2 laps)
Heat races
- Super Late Models (8 laps)
Non-qualifiers' race
- Sport compacts (15 laps)
Features
- Street stocks (25 laps)
- Super Late Models (50 laps)
- 602 Crate Late Models (25 laps)
- 602 modifieds (25 laps)
- Sport compacts (60 laps)

Feature lineup

Row 1: Cook, Bailes
Row 2: Roberts, Nipper
Row 3: Collins, Putnam
Row 4: Roland, McCoy
Row 5: Hicks, Nuttall Jr.
Row 6: Brennan, Sharpe Jr.
Row 7: Ivey, Franklin
Row 8: Hanger, Gay
Row 9: Martin, Henderson
Row 10: Cowan, Oliver
Row 11: Boyd, Williams

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