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Daily Dirt 09/27/2022 05:29:37

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August 11
Talladega Short Track,
Eastaboga, AL
Sanction: Southern All Star Series (Governor's Cup) - $10,000
Information provided by: Series reports (last updated August 12, 4:51 pm)
Page wins $10,000 Governor's Cup at TST
Governor's Cup
  1. Michael Page
  2. Jake Knowles
  3. Jason Hiett
  4. William Thomas
  5. Riley Hickman
  6. Dillon Tidmore
  7. Dane Dacus
  8. Vic Hill
  9. Ray Cook
  10. Ronnie Johnson
  11. Tim Roszell
  12. Jay Scott
  13. Jadon Frame
  14. J.T. Seawright
  15. Dallas Cooper
  16. Jason Lively
  17. Cruz Skinner
  18. David Brannon
  19. Michael Arnold
  20. Ray McElhiney
  21. Josh Adkins
  22. Tom Maddox
  23. Terry Smith
  24. Austin Horton
  25. Mark Dodson
presented by
What won the race: Outside front-row starter Michael Page of Douglasville, Ga., led the entire 60-lap Governor's Cup on Saturday at Talladega Short Track for his third career Southern All Stars victory. Page earned $10,000 for his richest victory of the season while fellow Georgian Jake Knowles finished second.
Key notes: Page's previous SAS victories came in Senoia, Ga. ... TST hosted the second of three Southern All Star races this season.
Winner's sponsors: Page’s Stinger Race Car is powered by an Andy Durham Racing Engine and sponsored by Baird Transport, Elite Concrete, Baird Towing and T&T Trucking.
Points chase: Entering the event, Jay Scott of Fayetteville, Tenn., led Mark Dodson (610), Ray McElhiney (594), Brad Skinner (506) and Eric Hickerson (494).
Car count: 45
Polesitter: Dillon Tidmore
Heat race winners: Dillon Tidmore, Michael Page, Jason Hiett, Jake Knowles
Consolation race winners: Dallas Cooper, Austin Horton
Next series race: August 25, Smoky Mountain Speedway (Maryville, TN) $5,000
Editor's note: Results and race details are unofficial.
From staff and series reports

EASTABOGA, Ala. — Michael Page headed to Talladega Short Track on Saturday with nine special event victories, but he figured he might have a couple of more if it wasn’t for tangles in lapped traffic. So the Douglasville, Ga., driver was a little antsy facing slower cars during the 60-lap Governor’s Cup feature on the Southern All Star Dirt Racing Series.

Page remained patient in handling that traffic to steer to his season’s-richest $10,000 payday and his third victory of the season with the Southern All Stars, leading all 60 laps in the caution-free event.

“And I’ve been took out twice this year with lapped cars leading, and I was a nervous wreck and I knew if I gave anything they were going to pass me. I was just hoping to hit the right marks and watch them (lapped cars),” said Page, who started outside the front row and got the jump on polesitter Dillon Tidmore.

Mostly keeping a buffer of lapped cars between his No.18x and any challengers, Page was never seriously threatened in taking the checkers ahead of Jakes Knowles of Rome, Ga., who stole the second spot from Jason Hiett of Oxford, Ala., with two laps left.

William Thomas of Phenix City, Ala., driving Dana Eiland’s No. K9 in his first Super Late Model start in more than two years, was fourth and Riley Hickman of Ooltewah, Tenn., rounded out the top five finishers at the third-mile oval. Tidmore, of Glencoe, Ala., ended up sixth.

Page had some tense moments in traffic but was glad he didn’t run into trouble while lapping all but a dozen competitors on a track where passing was at a premium.

“You’d be better off following (slower cars) not trying to do anything. If you’d step out (into the outside groove) you’d back up. I don’t think I took a breath but about twice the whole race,” Page said. “I figured (challengers were in hot pursuit), but if I wouldn’t mess up and just watch those (lapped) cars in front me, I didn’t figure they could come on the outside of me. So I just kept hitting my marks and hoping for a caution.”

That caution never came, but he was far enough in front of Knowles in the final laps to ease to the checkered flag without incident. Knowles started on the second row with Hiett and slipped by the runner-up spot exiting turn four on lap 59.

“It feels good. We’ve been running Crate all year, this is our first Super race this year,” Knowles said. “We had our (CT) 525 motor in. I could really get through the center of the corners, and in the rubber they could pull me down the straightaways a little bit. But I just kept working and working. We were settling for third there and Jason got into that lapped car and we managed to get to second. All in all it was a good night for us.

“I could carry so much more corner speed, so I was having to go lower than (other cars). I could get to ‘em, and like I said, down that straightaway, the bigger motors got me. But that little 525, it’s pretty good on places like this and it really done good tonight.”

Hiett lamented not time-trialing better for a shot at a front-row starting spot.

“If we could’ve qualified an odd number and maybe won that first heat race, we might’ve been in a little bit better shape,” said Hiett, who drove the Tommy Pope-owned No. 22. “We kind of all knew the track was going to rubber up. It’s just tough to pass when it rubbers up like that and lapped cars are usually not very nice when it rubbers up.

“I got a little impatient there at the end and pushed the issue on a lapped car, and that cost us second. But you know, you get impatient there and want to punch through that hole sometimes. It all worked out. We’ll take a third and go to the next one.”

Notes: Page’s three Southern All Star victories have come this season; the other two came at Senoia (Ga.) Raceway. … Page competed Wednesday in Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series action at Florence Speedway in Union, Ky., but elected to return to his home region after facing rough conditions in his 20th-place finish in the Ralph Latham Memorial. … Southern All Star points leader Jay Scott finished 12th. … Austin Horton retired on the 15th lap. … SAS regular Mark Dodson was another early retiree. … Talladega hosted its 100th Southern All Star event. … TST’s 60-lap main event was the tour’s second-richest race of the season, behind only the series season-opener at Cherokee Speedway in Gaffney, S.C.

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