SYLVANIA, Ga. (Feb. 12) — Going three-wide with Jason Covert of York Haven, Pa., and polesitter Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., to take the lead on lap 13 of 40, Shane Clanton of Zebulon, Ga., led the remaining distance to capture an $8,000 World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series victory in the opening night of Winter Freeze VI at Screven Motor Speedway.
Starting outside the front row, Covert fought back challenges from Richards to take an early lead. Advancing from the sixth-place starting spot, Clanton charged around the high-side, reeling in the race leaders. The three cars crossed the scoring line side-by-side on lap 13, with Clanton pulling ahead to take the lead. The defending World of Outlaws champion held off Richards to score his 31st career tour victory.
“We qualified good and won our heat and just drew a little bad,” Clanton said. “We’ve got a good enough car to take advantage when we needed to and just bide our time and get the lead there.
“About two or three laps before that, I found the outside in three and four and I said, ‘If I’m going to pass them, I’ve got to take advantage. If they slow up a little bit in turn three, just blast the top and maybe I’ll be by them clear in turn four.’ And lucky that’s what happened."
Richards, a three-time World of Outlaws champion, finished runner-up, with Brian Shirley of Chatham, Ill., holding on to his third-place starting spot. Brandon Overton of Appleton, Ga., finished fourth, with Covert slipping back to round out the top-five.
“We had a great car tonight,” Richards said. “(Clanton) did a good job. I was up underneath of (Jason) Covert, I think just protecting a little bit too much on that bottom. Clanton just got a run and got around us. I knew once he got up there, he’d be hard to beat. I feel like we were better than he was later in the race, but if you’re running behind somebody, the track’s so dirty. But we had a really good car. We’ll definitely take it.”
Continuing his Speedweeks success at Georgia tracks, Shirley bounced back from a tough Wednesday night at East Bay Raceway Park with his third-place run.
“So far, Georgia’s been a pretty good state,” Shirley said. “Hopefully we’ll just keep everything running smooth. We’ve just got to gel a little more. We’re just learning a few things with tires and stuff. All in all, we’re real happy with everything and hope that Speedweeks keeps being good to us.”
Notes: The race was slowed by three cautions. … The first yellow flag waved on lap 14 when Billy Moyer Jr. slowed in turn one. … Dillon Wood drew a caution on the ensuing restart when he spun in front of the flag stand. … The final yellow flew on lap 17 for a turn-three tangle involving Wood and Casey Barrow.
Charging to the front of the field as the green flag waved, second-starting Casey Barrow took an early lead. A yellow flag waved on lap seven for a tangle in turns one and two involving Jordan Yaggy, Frank Heckenast Jr., Billy Ogle Jr. and others. Barrow held off polesitter Kenny Pettyjohn to win the second consolation, with Pettyjohn running second. Morgan Bagley ran third to transfer to the feature.
Finish (top three transfer): Casey Barrow, Kenny Pettyjohn, Morgan Bagley, Tyler Erb, Eric Wells, Chris Ferguson, Billy Ogle Jr., Stacy Boles, Tyler Bruening, Tim Lance, Harry Wallace, Jordan Yaggy, Frank Heckenast Jr., Pancho Lawler, Brent Dixon
Crossing the line side-by-side, outside polesitter Coleby Frye pulled ahead of polesitter Brian Ligon to take the lead on the second lap. Sixth-running Austin Smith spun in turn one to draw a caution on lap seven. A yellow flag waved on the ensuing restart when Steve Casebolt hit the turn one wall. Just as second-running Ivedent Lloyd Jr. made the pass for the lead on lap eight, a yellow flag flew for Ligon who spun in turns one and two. Holding off Lloyd, Frye grabbed the win, with Lloyd finishing runner-up. Billy Moyer Jr. took the third and final transfer spot.
Finish (top three transfer): Coleby Frye, Evident Lloyd Jr., Billy Moyer Jr., Steve Casebolt, Dustin Mitchell, Tristan Sealy, Jason Feger, Kelly Guy, Mike Hammerlee, Jordy Nipper, Brian Ligon, Austin Smith. Scratched: Rusty Griffaw, Chesley Dixon, Casey Roberts
(10 laps; top three transfer)
Row 1: Brian Ligon, Coleby Frye
Row 2: Billy Moyer Jr., Dustin Mitchell
Row 3: Austin Smith, Rusty Griffaw
Row 4: Steve Casebolt, Chesley, Dixon
Row 5: Jason Feger, Casey Roberts
Row 6: Ivedent Lloyd Jr., Jordy Nipper
Row 7: Kelly Guy, Tristan Sealy
Row 8: Mike Hammerlee
Row 1: Kenny Pettyjohn, Casey Barrow
Row 2: Morgan Bagley, Tim Lance
Row 3: Chris Ferguson, Tyler Erb
Row 4: Frank Heckenast Jr., Brent Dixon
Row 5: Eric Wells, Jordan Yaggy
Row 6: Billy Ogle Jr., Pancho Lawler
Row 7: Stacy Boles, Tyler Bruening
Row 8: Harry Wallace
Edging ahead of fellow front-row starter Dennis Franklin on the opening lap, polesitter Brandon Overton grabbed an early lead. Pancho Lawler drew a caution on lap two when he spun in turn two. Pulling away on the restart, Overton picked up the heat race win, as Franklin held off a charging Rick Eckert to finish runner-up. Eckert ran third, with Chase Junghans taking the fourth and final transfer spot.
Finish (top four transfer): Brandon Overton, Dennis Franklin, Rick Eckert, Chase Junghans, Casey Barrow, Tim Lance, Tyler Erb, Brent Dixon, Jordan Yaggy, Pancho Lawler, Tyler Bruening
Outside polesitter Chub Frank jumped to the lead at the drop of the green flag, falling to polesitter Jason Covert at the line on lap six. A yellow flag flew on lap seven when Harry Wallace spun in turn two. Covert led the remaining distance to pick up the heat race win, with Frank finishing second. Boom Briggs improved one spot to finish third, with Dillon Wood running fourth to transfer to the feature.
Finish (top four transfer): Jason Covert, Chub Frank, Boom Briggs, Dillon Wood, Kenny Pettyjohn, Morgan Bagley, Chris Ferguson, Frank Heckenast jr., Eric Wells, Billy Ogle Jr., Stacy Boles, Harry Wallace
Polesitter Shane Clanton charged to the lead on the opening lap, with a yellow flag waving for Jordy Nipper who spun in turn four. Nipper drew another caution on lap two when he spun in turn four a second time. A yellow flag flew for Chesley Dixon on lap three when he spun in turn four. Making contact with Austin Rettig in a battle for the second-place spot, Casey Roberts drew a caution on lap four when he got into the turn two wall. A yellow flag waved for Dixon on lap five when he spun in turn two. Shane Clanton led the entire distance to win the second heat, with Paul Wilmoth Jr. edging ahead of Rettig on a restart to take the second-place spot. Rettig ran third, with Ray Cook taking the fourth and final transfer spot.
Finish (top four transfer): Shane Clanton, Paul Wilmoth, Austin Rettig, Ray Cook, Coleby Frye, Dustin Mitchell, Rusty Griffaw, Chesley Dixon, Casey Roberts, Jordy Nipper. Scratched: Tristan Sealy
Outside polesitter Donald Bradsher edged ahead of Josh Richards at the line to lead the opening lap, with Richards sliding to the front of the field in turn four to take the lead on lap two. A yellow flag waved on lap five when fourth-running Ivedent Lloyd Jr. slowed in turns one and two. Richards picked up the heat race win, with Brian Shirley improving from the fourth-starting spot to finish runner-up. Bradsher slipped back to run third, with polesitter Joey Coulter grabbing the fourth and final transfer spot.
Finish (top four transfer): Josh Ricahrds, Brian Shirley, Donald Bradsher, Joey Coulter, Brian Ligon, Billy Moyer Jr., Austin Smith, Steve Casebolt, Jason Feger, Ivedent Lloyd Jr., Kelly Guy, Mike Hammerlee
Heat race lineups
(10 laps; top four transfer)
Row 1: Joey Coulter, Donald Bradsher
Row 2: Josh Richards, Brian Shirley
Row 3: Ivedent Lloyd Jr., Billy Moyer Jr.
Row 4: Austin Smith, Brian Ligon
Row 5: Steve Casebolt, Jason Feger
Row 6: Kelly Guy, Mike Hammerlee
Row 1: Shane Clanton, Austin Rettig
Row 2: Paul Wilmoth, Casey Roberts
Row 3: Jordy Nipper, Coleby Frye
Row 4: Ray Cook, Dustin Mitchell
Row 5: Tristan Sealy, Rusty Griffaw
Row 6: Chesley Dixon
Row 1: Jason Covert, Chub Frank
Row 2: Kenny Pettyjohn, Boom Briggs
Row 3: Chris Ferguson, Dillon Wood
Row 4: Frank Heckenast Jr., Morgan Bagley
Row 5: Eric Wells, Billy Ogle Jr.
Row 6: Stacy Boles, Harry Wallace
Row 1: Brandon Overton, Dennis Franklin
Row 2: Rick Eckert, Chase Junghans
Row 3: Pancho Lawler, Tim Lance
Row 4: Jordan Yaggy, Casey Barrow
Row 5: Tyler Erb, Brent Dixon
Row 6: Tyler Bruening
Friday’s portion of Screven Motor Speedway’s Winter Freeze VI kicks off the 2016 season for the World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series. The first of two tour events at the Sylvania, Ga., oval pays $8,000-to-win.
Shane Clanton of Zebulon, Ga., enters the weekend as the defending World of Outlaws champion. Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., who finished runner-up in the 2015 series points standings, has four Lucas Oil Series victories on his Georgia-Florida Speedweeks campaign.
Friday’s program will include time trials, heat races, consolations and the 40-lap main event. Super streets and pure streets are on the undercard.
Time trial results
Driver (car no.), hometown, time
Joey Coulter (2), Charlotte, N.C., 14.232
Shane Clanton (25), Zebulon, Ga., 14.258
Donald Bradsher (93), Burlington, N.C., 14.277
Austin Rettig (94), Sikeston, Mo., 14.282
Josh Richards (1), Shinnston, W.Ca., 14.329
Paul Wilmoth Jr. (P1), Clarksburg, W.Va., 14.342
Brian Shirley (3s), Chatham, Ill., 14.393
Casey Roberts (101), Toccoa, Ga., 14.416
Ivedent Lloyd Jr. (21), Ocala, Fla., 14.454
Jordy Nipper (1N), Gray, Ga., 14.520
Billy Moyer Jr. (21jr), Batesville, Ark., 14.531
Coleby Frye (0), Dover, Pa., 14.543
Austin Smith (11), Cedartown, Ga., 14.805
Ray Cook (53), Brasstown, N.C., 14.879
Brian Ligon (4), Augusta, Ga., 14.897
Dustin Mitchell (D8), Pine Level, N.C., 15.016
Steve Casebolt (C9), Richmond, Ind., 15.107
Tristan Sealy (35TC), Moultrie, Ga., 15.347
Jason Feger (25), Bloomington, Ill., 15.396
Rusty Griffaw (16), Festus, Mo., 15.428
Kelly Guy (28), Thomson, Ga., 15.457
Chesley Dixon (3), Swainsboro, Ga., 15.778
Mike Hammerlee (16H), St. Charles, Mo., 16.320
Jason Covert (72), York Haven, Pa., 14.128
Brandon Overton (76), Appleton, Ga., 14.413
Chub Frank (1*), Bear Lake, Pa., 14.558
Dennis Franklin (2F), Gaffney, S.C., 14.580
Kenny Pettyjohn (38s), Millsboro, Del., 14.607
Rick Eckert (7), York, Pa., 14.616
Boom Briggs (99B), Bear Lake, Pa., 14.657
Chase Junghans (18c), Manhattan, Kan., 14.662
Chris Ferguson (22), Mount Holly, N.C., 14.696
Pancho Lawler (93L), Hanover, Pa., 14.763
Dillon Wood (1W), New Symrna Beach, Fla., 14.807
Tim Lance (48), Brimfield, Ill., 14.819
Frank Heckenast Jr. (99jr), Frankfort, Ill., 14.851
Jordan Yaggy (77), Rochester, Minn., 14.853
Morgan Bagley (14m), Longview, Texas, 14.997
Casey Barrow (98), Savannah, Ga., 15.015
Eric Wells (18), Hazard, Ky., 15.024
Tyler Erb (91), New Waverly, Texas, 15.127
Billy Ogle Jr. (201), Knoxville, Tenn., 15.234
Brent Dixon (1D), Elberton, Ga., 15.294
Stacy Boles (11B), Clinton, Tenn., 15.424
Tyler Bruening (16T), Decorah, Iowa, 15.473
Harry Wallace (121), Bluffton, S.C., 16.940