Dillon Brown pocketed $10,000 for his Rome (Ga.) Speedway victory.
What won the race: Dillon Brown of Gaffney, S.C., overtook polesitter and fellow front-row starter Chip Brindle on the 18th lap Saturday in Crate Racin' USA Series action for a $10,000 payday in the first event at Rome Speedway since the 2021 season. Brown took the checkers 0.831 of a second ahead of Brindle in the Thunder in the Mountain main event.
Quotable: “Winning this race is really cool, and to see such a big crowd turn out for the track’s return to action was even better,” Brown said. “The atmosphere was so charged up here tonight, and people kept rolling into this place. I mean ... we had 60 cars here and I looked around at all of the top drivers in the pits, and I told my guys that whoever won this race was gonna have to be a bad man tonight. I’m glad we could win the race, and it sure means a lot to our whole group.”
Key notes: Brown's five-figure payday is his first since he posted three $10,000 victories in 2021, all on the American All-Stars tour. ... Nineteen driver completed 50 laps in the Rome feature. ... Rome Speedway, which hosted the CRUSA tour for the first time, was dark in 2022 with the promoting Swims family suspending racing upon the illness and death of Martha Swims. ... Fans showed up in droves to pay their respects to the family as the facility reopened and was decked out in mostly blue paint — Martha’s favorite color — rather than its traditional red and white walls and grandstands.
On the move: Ashton Winger of Hampton, Ga., started 10th and finished fifth.
Winner's sponsors: Brown’s Longhorn Chassis has a Hendren Racing Engine and is sponsored by Cherokee Landscaping, Pro Fabrication, Trailer Queen, Performance Automotive, Moorhead Bros., RK Designs Fabrication & Technologies, Renegade Fuels, Cruisin’ Thru Grab ‘N Go, Wray’s Wraps, Penske Shocks and Hardison Suspension Technologies.
Points chase: After Rome: 1. Cody Overton (180); 2. Mark Whitener (178); T3. Trynt Lloyd (158); T3. Jason Welshan (158); 5. Blake Craft (150).
Current weather: Clear, 68°F
Car count: 59
Fast qualifier: Ronnie Johnson
Time: 15.054 seconds
Polesitter: Chip Brindle
Heat race winners: Ronnie Johnson, Dalton Polston, Mark Whitener, Dillon Brown, T.J. Brittain
Consolation race winners: Jake Knowles, Blake Craft, Austin Horton
Provisional starters: Matthew Brocato, Trynt Lloyd, Hunter Peacock, Mario Gresham, Hayden Cardwell
Next series race: April 28, Deep South Speedway (Loxley, AL) $10,000