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Daily Dirt 03/25/2023 19:22:20

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June 20
Volunteer Speedway,
Bulls Gap, TN
Sanction: World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series - $10,000
Information provided by: Kevin Kovac (last updated June 21, 12:08 pm)
Mitchell upsets WoO foes at Volunteer for $10,000
  1. Zack Mitchell
  2. Dale McDowell
  3. Darrell Lanigan
  4. Scott Bloomquist
  5. Brandon Overton
  6. Ashton Winger
  7. Kyle Strickler
  8. Brandon Sheppard
  9. Chase Junghans
  10. Vic Hill
  11. Forrest Trent
  12. Dennis Erb Jr.
  13. Ricky Weiss
  14. Chris Madden
  15. Michael Chilton
  16. Brent Larson
  17. Ray Cook
  18. Boom Briggs
  19. Cade Dillard
  20. Kody Evans
  21. Drew Kennedy
  22. Cory Hedgecock
  23. Tyler Millwood
  24. Michael Brown
presented by
Michael Moats/mrmracing.net
Zack Mitchell's team enjoys victory lane at Volunteer Speedway.
What won the race: Outside front-row starter Zack Mitchell of Enoree, S.C., outran a flurry of national touring champs Saturday at Volunteer Speedway to earn $10,000 for his first career World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series victory. The two-time Ultimate Southeast champ took the checkers 1.3 seconds ahead of Dale McDowell at the 4/10-mile oval.
Key notes: The series ran its 700th event. ... Brandon Sheppard won Friday's $10,000 weekend opener.
On the move: Ashton Winger of Hampton, Ga., started 10th and finished sixth.
Winner's sponsors: Mitchell’s Barry Wright Race Car is powered by a Clements Racing Engine and sponsored by Klotz Synthetic Lubricants, Eubanks Oil, Clary Hood Inc., Rustic Rose Boutique and Charles West Grading.
Points chase: After Volunteer Saturday: 1. Brandon Sheppard (2,166); 2. Ricky Weiss (2,062); 3. Darrell Lanigan (1,978); 4. Chris Madden (1,954); 5. Chase Junghans (1,944); 6. Cade Dillard (1,906); 7. Dennis Erb Jr. (1,904); 8. Scott Bloomquist (1,866); 9. Ashton Winger (1,820); 10. Boom Briggs (1,690); 11. Brent Larson (1,688); 12. Kody Evans (1,674); 13. Matt Cosner (1,668).
Current weather: Broken Clouds Mist, 66°F
Car count: 29
Fast qualifier: Brandon Sheppard
Time: 13.502 seconds
Polesitter: Darrell Lanigan
Heat race winners: Brandon Sheppard, Darrell Lanigan, Dale McDowell, Zack Mitchell
Consolation race winners: Michael Brown
Provisional starters: Cade Dillard, Kody Evans
Next series race: June 25, Lernerville Speedway (Sarver, PA) $6,000
Editor's note: Results and race details are unofficial.
From staff and series reports

BULLS GAP, Tenn. — Early in Saturday’s World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series event at Volunteer Speedway, four accomplished drivers in the top five owned a combined 15 national touring titles.

And then there was 24-year-old Zack Mitchell of Enoree, S.C. The outside front-row starter was pedaling as hard as he could in chasing the first national touring victory of his career.

“I think I held my breath the whole 50 laps,” Mitchell said.

He finally breathed a sigh of relief at the checkers in collecting a $10,000 victory at the slick, high-banked 4/10-mile oval, pulling away over the final 10 laps to win by 1.349 seconds over Dale McDowell of Chickamauga, Ga.

“Man, if you’d have told me I’d have won this way on our way up here, I’d have told you you was a liar,” the flag-to-flag winner said in victory lane, his voice cracking in front of a huge Volunteer Speedway crowd. “This is just surreal to be able to do this against this competition right here. We did what we had to do. We qualified good, and I’ve been telling my help all year, I said, 'That’s what it’s going to take to win one of these big races.'”

Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., was third followed by Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., and Brandon Overton of Evans, Ga., as the national tour wrapped up a two-race weekend. Friday’s winner Brandon Sheppard of New Berlin, Ill., WoO’s dominating points leader, ran as high as fourth but settled for eighth.

Running the high side most of the race, Mitchell found the going a little dicey when Lanigan, McDowell, Sheppard and Bloomquist were pressuring him amid traffic as the race headed for halfway. A trio of cautions between laps 29-31 gave him some breathing room and the two-time and reigning Ultimate Southeast Series champion built his lead to more than two seconds with 10 laps remaining to close out the biggest victory of his career.

“I was just aiming that thing when I got to the corner. This thing was flawless. It’d go around the top, go around the bottom,” Mitchell said. “This Barry Wright Race Car and Clements horsepower, everything ran great tonight … this is just something else man. This is awesome to race on one of these racetracks like this. We don’t get to race on anything slick around home. Man, this is awesome.”

McDowell, who worked the low groove and peeked under Mitchell a few times, couldn’t keep up late in the race.

“I wanted to see us be in that lapped traffic a little longer when we were racing there and battling,” McDowell said. “I felt like I was a probably maybe a little better on the bottom side of the racetrack in managing tires, and those guys were a little better up in the middle of the racetrack. It just wasn’t our night. So congratulations to Zack, I know it’s a big win for him. He drove an awesome race.”

Lanigan, whose best series finish in three months was seventh, posted his first podium finish since Feb. 14 at Florida Speedweeks.

“(The car) was really good here tonight,” the Barry Wright house car driver said. “I just lacked a little bit (with getting) traction there, but all in all, we had a good car all night and won a heat race. I’m definitely proud (of the team). We struggled the last month and went home and worked on it and got it better.”

Back-to-back-back cautions on laps 29, 30 and 31 slowed the action, first when Boom Briggs and Chris Madden tangled in turn four, then when top-10 runners Ricky Weiss and Cory Hedgecock got together in turn two. Cade Dillard brought out the final yellow with a turn-two spin.

Notes: The series ran its 700th all-time event in front of what was announced as the largest crowd in the history of Volunteer Speedway. … Mitchell joined two other first-time WoO winners in 2020: Cade Dillard of Robeline, La., at Vado (N.M.) Speedway Park and Ricky Thornton Jr. of Chandler, Ariz., at Davenport (Iowa) Speedway. … Lanigan’s heat race victory was the 185th of his WoO career, tying Josh Richards for the all-time series lead. … Cade Dillard, who finished third on Friday, got into the turn-two wall while holding a transfer spot in his heat race and ran his backup car in the feature. … Chris Madden's rough night included a slap of the wall during hot laps that sidelined his 1-race-old Bloomquist car and problems that left his backup car unable to fire for his heat race. After scurrying to diagnosis the situation — the same headache that prevented him from starting the car in June 6's Stream Invitational at Eldora Speedway — his crew replaced the car's distributor with the one in the crashed mount and he had no trouble in the B-main and feature, though he finished 14th after his lap-29 tangle with Boom Briggs. … Kyle Strickler’s car also suffered damage when he got into the wall in practice but he repaired the right-side damage and finished seventh in the A-main. … Donald McIntosh climbed the wall in time trials and didn’t get a qualifying lap.

Consolation results

(10 laps; top six transfer)

Finish: Michael Brown, Tyler Millwood, Brent Larson, Ray Cook, Dennis Erb Jr., Chris Madden, Kody Evans, Drake Troutman, Jeff Wolfenbarger, Steve Smith, Joey Moriarty (DNS) Cade Dillard, Donald McIntosh.

Heat race results

(10 laps; top four transfer)

First heat: Brandon Sheppard, Brandon Overton, Ricky Weiss, Michael Chilton, Tyler Millwood, Jeff Wolfenbarger, Joey Moriarty, Donald McIntosh.

Second heat: Darrell Lanigan, Scott Bloomquist, Cory Hedgecock, Vic Hill, Brent Larson, Drake Troutman, Steve Smith.

Third heat: Dale McDowell, Forrest Trent, Ashton Winger, Boom Briggs, Michael Brown, Dennis Erb Jr. Scratched: Chris Madden.

Fourth heat: Zack Mitchell, Kyle Strickler, Chase Junghans, Drew Kennedy, Ray Cook, Kody Evans, Cade Dillard.

Time trials (unofficial)

Group A
Driver (car no.), hometown

  1. Brandon Sheppard (1), New Berlin, Ill., 13.502
  2. Darrell Lanigan (29v), Union, Ky., 13.598
  3. Brandon Overton (76), Evans, Ga., 13.742
  4. Cory Hedgecock (23), Loudon, Tenn., 13.753
  5. Ricky Weiss (7), Headingley, Manitoba, 13.758
  6. Scott Bloomquist (0), Mooresburg, Tenn., 13.973
  7. Michael Chilton (97), Salvisa, Ky., 14.118
  8. Vic Hill (1), Mosheim, Tenn., 14.209
  9. Jeff Wolfenbarger (28), Knoxville, Tenn., 14.234
  10. Drake Troutman (7T), Hyndman, Pa., 14.243
  11. Tyler Millwood (31), Kingston, Ga., 14.246
  12. Brent Larson (B1), Lake Elmo, Minn., 14.356
  13. Joey Moriarty (51), Phoenix, Ariz., 14.475
  14. Steve Smith (3), Powell, Tenn., 14.630
  15. Donald McIntosh (7m), Dawsonville, Ga., no time

Group B

  1. Dale McDowell (17m), Chickamauga, Ga., 13.775
  2. Chase Junghans (18), Manhattan, Kan., 13.805
  3. Chris Madden (0M), Gray Court, S.C., 13.923
  4. Zack Mitchell (57), Enoree, S.C., 13.945
  5. Forrest Trent (101), Morristown, Tenn., 14.058
  6. Cade Dillard (97), Robeline, La., 14.081
  7. Boom Briggs (99B), Bear Lake, Pa., 14.201
  8. Kyle Strickler (8), Mooresville, N.C., 14.239
  9. Ashton Winger (12), Hampton, Ga., 14.286
  10. Drew Kennedy (K37), Wartburg, Tenn., 14.418
  11. Dennis Erb Jr. (28), Carpentersville, Ill., 14.431
  12. Ray Cook (53), Brasstown, N.C., 14.465
  13. Michael Brown (24D), Pageland, S.C., 14.833
  14. Kody Evans (4G), Camden, Ohio, 14.894

Feature lineup

Row 1: Lanigan, Mitchell
Row 2: Sheppard, McDowell
Row 3: Overton, Bloomquist
Row 4: Trent, Strickler
Row 5: Weiss, Winger
Row 6: Hedgecock, Junghans
Row 7: Chilton, Briggs
Row 8: Hill, Kennedy
Row 9: Brown, Millwood
Row 10: Larson, Cook
Row 11: Erb, Madden
Row 12: Dillard, Evans

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