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Daily Dirt 02/27/2020 21:59:15

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September 28
Tri-County Racetrack,
Brasstown, NC
Sanction: Schaeffer's Fall Nationals (FK Rod Ends Tar Heel 50) - $10,000
Information provided by: Cole Perkins, staff and series reports (last updated September 29, 1:14 pm)
Roberts collects $10,000 Tar Heel 50 win
FK Rod Ends Tar Heel 50
  1. Casey Roberts
  2. Ross Bailes
  3. Michael Brown
  4. Kenny Collins
  5. Scott Bloomquist
  6. Brent Dixon
  7. Chicky Barton
  8. Johnny Chastain
  9. Blake Spencer
  10. Jeff Neubert
  11. Levi Hicks
  12. Johnny Cloer Jr.
  13. David Payne
  14. Dale McDowell
  15. Kip Cochran
  16. Brandon Overton
  17. Joey Standridge
  18. Bo Eaton
  19. Kurt English
presented by
Brian McLeod
Casey Roberts emerges from his winning car at Tri-County.
What won the race: Taking the lead just before the halfway mark when race-long leader Dale McDowell slowed with a flat tire, Casey Roberts of Toccoa, Ga., went on to win Friday’s 15th annual FK Rod Ends Tar Heel 50 at Tri-County Racetrack. Roberts earned $10,000 in winning his record fourth Tar Heel 50.
Key notes: Casey Roberts earned his third career Schaeffer's Southern Nationals Bonus Series victory. Both of his previous series wins came at Tri-County in 2014. … He’s the eighth winner in 10 series races this season. ... Dustin Morris won the Alpha Art Thunder Dirt Series for 602 Crate Late Models on the undercard.
On the move: Runner-up Ross Bailes of Clover, S.C., started 11th.
Winner's sponsors: Roberts drives a Blount Motorsports Rocket Chassis powered by a Vic Hill Racing Engines and sponsored by Stowers (CAT) Machinery Corp., Blount Excavating, Massey Electric, Tennessee RV, Turner Hydraulics, Ole Ben Franklin Motors, Food City, and The Wine and Spirits Cellar.
Points chase: After Tri-County, David Payne (1,854) of Murphy, N.C., leads Chicky Barton (1,804), Aaron Ridley (1,458), Joey Standridge (1,038) and Casey Roberts (938).
Car count: 20
Fast qualifier: Dale McDowell
Time: 12.359 seconds
Polesitter: Casey Roberts
Dash winner: Casey Roberts
Heat race winners: Brandon Overton, Chicky Barton
Next series race: October 5, Lake Cumberland Speedway (Burnside, KY) $3,000
Editor's note: Results and race details are unofficial.
From staff and series reports

BRASSTOWN, N.C. — Even during seasons when things aren’t going his way, Casey Roberts can usually count on finding success at Tri-County Racetrack.

And so it was Friday at the western North Carolina oval as the Toccoa, Ga., driver dominated the second half of the Tar Heel 50 for a $10,000 Schaeffer's Southern Nationals Bonus Series victory in front of jam-packed crowd.

Taking the lead on lap 23 when race-long leader Dale McDowell slowed and headed pitside with a flat tire, Roberts rolled to victory in the 15th annual event promoted by Ray Cook and sponsored by FK Rod Ends. The track paid out its biggest purse in history.

“We’ve just had a lot of rainouts and a lot of bad luck, man, and it’s just been one of them years where we just can’t find no luck, but tonight everything worked out,” said Roberts, who earned his second victory for Tennessee-based Blount Motorsports. “I hate that happened to Dale there. We were having a good race there and it was going to be exciting there, for sure, to race him for the win. He’s a class act and I hate to see that happen to him there.”

Ross Bailes of Clover, S.C., made a late high-side charge to finish second in his Benji-Cranford No. 87 while Michael Brown of Pageland, S.C., drove the Billy Hicks-owned No. 79 to a third-place finish in his debut at Tri-County. Kenny Collins of Colbert, Ga., and Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., rounded out the top five in one of five five-figure paydays on the Cook-promoted tour.

Roberts, who joined the Blount operation for the 2018 season but didn’t earn his first victory for the team until earlier this month, hounded McDowell in the first half of the race and wasn’t challenged after the fellow Georgian fell from contention.

“We definitely needed it,” Robert told Cook in victory lane. “I just can’t thank these guys here behind me (enough) for sticking with me and giving me an opportunity to race for them. It’s been a long year, but we’re trying to get a rhythm going here so hopefully we’ve kind of got better. I know this place has been so good to me. I appreciate you guys having us up here.”

Bailes, who started inside the sixth row, was languishing outside the top five in the first half of the race but found the high groove to his liking late in the race, storming to the second spot.

“We’re tickled to death. This track is amazing,” Bailes said. “I’ve been here twice and both times it’s been this racy. I was running the top but not up high enough, and I finally slid in there too far and hit the cushion, and once I felt that, it was on.”

The race was slowed by several cautions, the first one when former Tri-County winner Brandon Overton slowed in turn four on the ninth lap and retired.

Home-track driver David Payne spun between turns three and four for a mid-race caution, and was part of another yellow on the restart in a tangle with McDowell, who retired thereafter.

Johnny Cloer Jr. pulled up lame in turn four just past the halfway point and Levi Hicks slowed for a yellow in the second half of the race.

Notes: Roberts won Sept. 7 at Oglethorpe Speedway Park near Savannah, Ga., on the Southern All Star Racing Series. … He was third in March’s SNBS visit to Tri-County. … The track added four sets of portable grandstands that were filled along with the track’s existing bleachers. … The Tar Heel 50 is actually 53 laps. … Track and series promoter Ray Cook handled the victory lane interviews. … Fourth-place finisher Kenny Collins survived a backstretch scrape when he was pinched into the guardrail in the second half of the race. … David Payne started on the rear after mechanical issues before the race starter. ... Roberts also earned $1,000 for winning the T.J. Farver Quick Six Dash. ... Jamie Oliver scratched from the feature. ... Jacky Jones Automotive Group was the presenting sponsor.

Feature notes

Row 1: Roberts, McDowell
Row 2: Brown, Bloomquist
Row 3: Collins, Payne
Row 4: Barton, Overton
Row 5: Dixon, Hicks
Row 6: Bailes, Cloer
Row 7: J. Chastain, Cochran
Row 8: S. Chastain, Standridge
Row 9: Neubert, English
Row 10: Spencer, Oliver

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