MARYVILLE, Tenn. (July 16) — Working the high side to overtake polesitter Michael Chilton of Salvisa, Ky., fourth-starting Brandon Overton of Evans, Ga., scored a $3,500 Schaeffer’s Southern Nationals Series victory on Tuesday at Smoky Mountain Speedway.
Locked in to his second row starting spot through time trials, Overton slipped past Donald McIntosh of Dawsonville, Ga., to run in second at the halfway mark. As the frontrunners worked through lapped traffic, Overton closed the gap between himself and Chilton, edging ahead out of turn four on lap 22 of 35. Leading the remaining distance, Overton nabbed his second series victory of the season.
“My race car is fun to drive again,” Overton said in victory lane. “It feels really good. I’m getting a lot more confidence in it. Those first 10 or 15 laps, I kind of just rode around and let them kind of do what they were going to do. My car, I was really too tight. I was having to sling it in there early. I just settled down a little bit and it just came to me. The more I ran the better it got. I thought we was a little better on the bottom. But hell, it’s easy for me to go around the top. I ain’t so easy for me to run around the bottom.”
Clocking quick time in his respective time trial group, Chilton earned the pole for Tuesday’s main event, charging to the lead at the drop of the green flag. The Kentucky driver went unchallenged through the opening circuits, stretching his lead in the early running before eventually falling to Overton just past the halfway mark.
With Overton pulling away in the final laps, Chilton settled for a runner-up finish. McIntosh ran third, with sixth-starting Ashton Winger of Hampton, Ga., notching a fourth-place finish behind the wheel of a Billy Franklin-owned No. 17. Dakotah Knuckles of Ewing, Va., rounded out the top five.
“It’s good to come down here and be competitive,” Chilton said. “We always seem like we run fairly good here. We took off there and got a fairly good lead I felt like. We caught that traffic where them guys were racing and it’s like air is so big here. I caught them guys and Brandon was sitting in the catbird seat. He went where I didn’t and he got by. I feel like once I finally got by them, we were about the same. I’d catch him one lap, he’d pull me one lap, just kind of back and forth.”
With his third-place finish, McIntosh moves into second in the series points standings heading into Thursdays’ fourth round of action at Toccoa (Ga.) Raceway.
“It’s not too bad a points night,” McIntosh said. “We’ve changed all kinds of stuff on this race car trying to figure this racetrack out and we keep having the same problems. It’s something we’re doing. We’re going to get some notes. Hats off to Overton. He’s been on a rail on this deal.”
Notes: Overton scored his 12th career Southern Nationals victory, tying Casey Roberts for second on the series all-time win list. … Despite track and series officials shuffling the night’s schedule of events, Kyle Strickler and team failed to arrive in time to start Tuesday’s feature after fighting traffic en route to the racetrack. … Cory Hedgecock of Loudon, Tenn., was the winner of the Limited Late Model feature.
Row 1: Michael Chilton, Donald McIntosh
Row 2: Dakotah Knuckles, Brandon Overton
Row 3: Jake Knowles, Ashton Winger
Row 4: Robby Moses, Tommy Kerr
Row 5: David Crabtree, Stacy Boles
Row 6: Cla Knight, Bobby Giffin
Row 7: Craig Greer, Tanner English
Polesitter Robby Moses shot to the front of the field at the drop of the green flag, stretching his lead in the early running. With David Crabtree running a comfortable second, it was a tight battle for third around the halfway mark, with Tommy Kerr pulling ahead of Stacy Boles on the fourth lap. Kerr’s charge continued on the following circuit, as he overtook Crabtree for second. Holding nearly a full straightaway lead, Moses won the consolation, with Kerr holding off Crabtree to run second.
Finish: Robby Moses, Tommy Kerr, David Crabtree, Stacy Boles, Cla Knight, Bobby Giffin, Craig Greer. Scratched: Tanner English, Kyle Strickler.
(10 laps; all transfer)
Row 1: Robby Moses, Stacy Boles
Row 2: David Crabtree, Tommy Kerr
Row 3: Cla Knight, Tanner English
Row 4: Bobby Giffin, Kyle Strickler
Row 5: Craig Greer
Tripping the clock with a time of 16.270 seconds, Donald McIntosh of Dawsonville, Ga., was Tuesday’s overall fast qualifier at Smoky Mountain. He’ll start on the outside pole of the 35-lap feature. Clocking the quickest time in his respective time trial group, Michael Chilton of Salvisa, Ky., will be the polesitter for the main event.
Tanner English of Benton, Ky., and Kyle Strickler of Mooresville, N.C., failed to clock qualifying times. English made contact with the wall on his first qualifying lap, damaging his Big Frog Motorsports machine and pulling off the track. Stuck in traffic en route to the racetrack, Strickler and his Wells Motorsports team did not arrive in time for time trials.
The Schaeffer’s Southern Nationals Series moves to Smoky Mountain Speedway in Maryville, Tenn., on Tuesday for its third event of 2019. The half-mile oval, located just outside of Knoxville, hosts the miniseries for the fifth time in tour history and the first time since 2015.
With a victory and a runner-up finish in the first two rounds of Southern Nationals action, Brandon Overton of Evans, Ga., tops the series points standings heading into Smoky Mountain. Overton is a former World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series winner at the Maryville, Tenn., oval.
Tuesday’s program will include hot laps, group time trials, a consolation race and the 35-lap, $3,500-to-win main event. The top three cars from each qualifying group will be locked in to the feature, with the remaining cars running a consolation. Limited Late Models will also be in action with a $1,200-to-win feature.
Time trial results
Driver (car no.), hometown, time
Michael Chilton (97), Salvisa, Ky., 16.450
Dakotah Knuckles (21K), Ewing, Va., 16.536
Jake Knowles (66), Rome, Ga., 16.584
Robby Moses (21M), Maryville, Tenn., 16.672
David Crabtree (C5), Maryville, Tenn., 16.711
Cla Knight (42), North Augusta, S.C., 16.994
Bobby Giffin (97), Maryville, Tenn., 17.395
Craig Greer (7G), Cleveland, Tenn., 18.538
Donald McIntosh (7), Dawsonville, Ga., 16.270
Brandon Overton (2), Evans, Ga., 16.441
Ashton Winger (17), Hampton, Ga., 16.721
Stacy Boles (11B), Clinton, Tenn., 16.929
Tommy Kerr (4T), Maryville, Tenn., 17.058
Tanner English (58), Benton, Ky., no time
Kyle Strickler (8), Mooresville, N.C., no time
7 p.m.: Hot laps
- Limited Late Models
- Super Late Models
- Limited Late Models (2 laps)
- Super Late Models (2 laps)
- Sportsman (1 lap)
- Super Late Model heat races (8 laps)
- Limited Late Model heat races (6 laps)
- Sportsman heat races (6 races)
- Super Late Model (35 laps)
- Limited Late Model (20 laps)
- Sportsman (20 laps)