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MSSC Set to Kickoff the 2018 Season

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                                    Photo: Addison Blair

(Tuscola, IL) May 15, 2018 – The sophomore season for the Midwest Street Stock Championship Series is set to get underway this Saturday at Macon Speedway with the Dean Garland Classic. Lincoln Speedway was the slated opener last month but cold and wintry weather put a damper on that event and it had to be rescheduled. After four different winners in seven events in 2018, many street stock drivers are itching to see the series start this Saturday night. Many drivers have been out at the tracks in the area getting their cars dialed in to compete in the twelve race series this year. Adding four new tracks to the series in 2018 has series organizers Tony Hubert and Greg Osman excited at the expansion in only its second year.

There are several additions to the MSSC schedule in 2018. Four new tracks will host events this summer including a big stop during the UMP Summer Nationals at The Dirt Oval in Joliet. The MSSC Street Stocks will be on the card along with Late Models and Open Wheel Modifieds on Saturday Night June 16th. Other tracks added this year are Jacksonville Speedway, Kankakee Speedway and a Friday night at the Champaign County Fairgrounds in July.

Other new additions to 2018 are a series announcer. Tyson Graves from STL Motorsport Magazine and track announcer at Farmer City Raceway will be calling all the action this summer at each of the series events. Also the LIVE Pay Per View for the MSSC will be previewing in 2018. 10 of the 12 events will be broadcasted LIVE on the Midwest Street Stock Championship Series website. Go to www.mssclive.com for the list of LIVE streamed events and pricing for 2018. Season long packages are also available.

Many drivers got a taste of what this season may hold a couple weeks ago at the Earl J Hubert Memorial at Fairbury American Legion Speedway where the event ran on MSSC rules and format. The memorial race to honor the grandfather of series organizer Tony Hubert, was an exciting event for the fans and drivers alike. Pete Odell took the $2,000 to win payday in one of the most prestigious street stock events of the season.

The inaugural year of the Midwest Street Stock Championship Series saw Indiana’s Jerrad Krick take the top spot in the season long standings. To show the competitiveness and diversity of this series Krick did not have a feature victory on the season in the MSSC but his consistency gave him the 2018 title. Krick won 7 heat races and 2 dashes on his way to the season title. This weekend the series will return to Macon Speedway where we saw Nick Macklin win in the series only stop last year.

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                            Photo: Addison Blair

2018 looks to be a breakout season for the MSSC. With eleven rookies, the expansion of the schedule and a lot of buy in from local drivers it is bound to be a very exciting season. The diversity of the drivers this year will make it very interesting and hard to predict who will come out on top each and every night. Top rookies to keep an eye on this year will be the young Megan Erwin out of Attica, IN. With many years of racing under her belt in go-karts she looks to try her skills on the MSSC tour. Thomasboro, IL Maier family will also be joining the tour in 2018. Jason and Matt have shown speed so far in 2018 and will look to mix things up with the series regulars from last season.

Pre-season expectations for the MSSC are high. With his hot start Jeremy Nichols has to be one of the favorites to take the 2018 title. With wins already at Jacksonville and Macon early in the season and a strong run in the Earl J Hubert Memorial before a tangle with a lap car, Jeremy has shown a lot of speed. Don’t be surprised if he adds some more wins to his 2 series wins from 2017.

When you talk about sleepers for 2018 title let’s not forget about Nick Macklin. Nick won the Dean Garland Memorial race at Macon Speedway last year. Nick also ran well in the Earl J Hubert Memorial race starting 10th and coming home with a 4th place finish. Another name mentioned was the driver they call the Highside Hillbilly Don Hilleary. Don picked up a feature win at Farmer City Raceway already this year and has shown some speed in early season events.

When we think about surprises for 2018 look no further than Megan Erwin. This past weekend Megan flirted with a win at Charleston Speedway. She set fast time and ran in the top 3 of the feature all night long. Look for Megan to shake things up this year and turn a few heads.

The most exciting race anticipated for 2018 was a tough one to make. The small oval of the Mighty Macon Speedway always produces some action. The season opener could be one the most exciting races of the year. But new to series this year, Kankakee Speedway could produce some great racing action. In the past other series’ have had some exciting finishes at the track. And one more track that always seems to have great racing is the Fairbury American Legion Speedway. The Earl J Hubert Memorial already produced some exciting action with 3 wide racing and a surprise winner.

With new tracks on the schedule this year, Joliet and Champaign will be two races on the schedule to look forward to. With being on the outskirts of the big city, part of the UMP Summer Nationals and across the street from Chicagoland Speedway the stop on June 16th to the Dirt Oval will be one not to miss. Also don’t forget the historic feel we will be in for as the series goes to the Champaign County Fairgrounds on July 20th as part of the Champaign County Fair. It has been awhile since we have seen stock cars compete at the historic grounds. They will also run with the open wheel sprint cars that evening. Come get some fair food and enjoy the old time feel on the fairground’s oval.

There are a lot of unknown things that will unfold as we move through the 2018 Midwest Street Stock Championship Series season. As new media partner STL Motorsport Magazine is excited to join in with series photographer Addison Blair and the PPV team to help bring you all the exciting coverage of the MSSC this year. Get out to Macon Speedway this Saturday evening to see the season get underway or come to one the events listed below:

Date Track Race
19-May Macon, IL Dean Garland Classic
26-May Charleston, IL Stock Car Shootout
2-Jun Lincoln, IL Railsplitter 40
16-Jun Joliet, IL Chicagoland 20
23-Jun Fairbury, IL FALS Flash 20
14-Jul Peoria, IL Dirty 30
20-Jul Champaign, IL Chambana 40
3-Aug Farmer City, IL What Up Dog 40
24-Aug Jacksonville, IL James Grant Memorial
1-Sep Peoria, IL River City Rumble
21-Sep Kankakee, IL Dick Potts Memorial
6-Oct Charleston, IL Street Stock Fall Nationals

Tyson Graves, STL Motorsport Magazine


Michael Page Wins the Southeastern Classic at Dixie Speedway

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(Woodstock, GA) May 12, 2018- The Southern Nationals Bonus Series rolled into Dixie Speedway on Saturday night for the $5,300 to win Southeastern Classic. When the checkered flag waved, it would be Douglasville, GA driver Michael Page who would take the $5,053 paycheck in a dominating fashion. Page piloted the Baird Transport, Durham Race Engines, Stinger Chassis #18x Car.
27 cars were signed in for the $5,300 to win race and the evening began with qualifying. Qualifying was split into two groups with the Top 5 in each group being locked into the feature. 14-year old young gun Will Roland out of Jasper, GA would set quick time in Group A with a 15.383 second lap around the 3/8 mile clay banked dirt oval. T.J Reaid, Jason Croft, Aaron Ridley, and Ashton Winger would round out the top 5 in Group A qualifying and lock themselves into the 53 lap feature.
Page would go on to set the fast time in Group B qualifying as well as the overall fast time with a lap of 15.273 seconds. This would put Page on the outside pole position for the start of the feature. Austin Smith, “The Chattanooga Flash” Ronnie Johnson, Johnny Chastain, and Eric Granger would also be locked into the feature.
There would be two 10 Lap, B-Mains to set the rest of the field with the top 5 in each B-Main advancing to the feature.
In B-Main one, Toccoa, GA driver Casey Roberts would take the victory in the Blount Motorsports House car over Gray McPherson, Mike McConnell, Casey Turman, and Chicky Barton.
Murphy, NC driver and former Dixie Speedway track champion Shaun Chastain would take his x15 Longhorn Chasis to victory in the second B-Main over Justin Shipley, David Payne, Luther Jenkins, and James Roulette.
Georgia drivers Adam Ruff and Wayne Echols would grab the Southern Nationals Bonus Series provisionals and would round out the 22 car field.
At the drop of the green flag, it would be Page who would bolt out into the lead using his outside pole starting position. He would lead lap 1 as he was followed by Roland, Croft, Reaid, and Austin Smith. The first of eight cautions flied on Lap 2 as third place running Jason Croft and 4th place running T.J Reaid would tangle and wreck in Turns 3 & 4. A hopeful night for both drivers would end after only 2 laps. The incident would allow Ronnie Johnson and Johnny Chastain to move up into the Top 5.
On the restart, Page again would start to set a torrid pace on the field as Austin Smith would pass Will Roland for 2nd place and Johnny Chastain would pass Johnson for 4th. On lap 3, Chastain, who stared 8th would find himself in the 3rd position after passing Roland in turns 3 and 4. The second caution would wave the very next lap on lap 4 for Wayne Echols who spun his machine in Turn 2.
On the ensuing restart, 6th place running Aaron Ridley would have a right front flat tire on his Capital Race Car in Turn 2 and being out the 3rd caution of the night. He would get a new tire and go to the tail end of the field
The green flag would wave once again with Page leading and by lap 6, Johnny Chastain would pass Austin Smith for 2nd place. This would be the longest green flag run of the race as Page would continue to lead and enter lap traffic by lap 15. On lap 20, Page would have a 2.3 second lead over Chastain, Smith, Roland, and Johnson. At the halfway mark on lap 27, Page would have a full straightaway lead over the competition as he would easily get around lapped traffic. On lap 28, Johnson would finally get around Roland for the 4th spot.
After a 27 lap green flag run, the 4th caution of the night would fly out for Wayne Echols again as he would slow in Turns 1 & 2.
The turning point of the race occurred on the lap 27 restart. Austin Smith would attempt to get under Johnny Chastain on the front stretch. They would make contact as Chastain got a flat tire and was off the pace going into turn 1. This caused an accordion effect with the rest of the field as a huge pileup would occur in Turn 1. 8-10 cars were damaged as there was no where to go to avoid the melee. Southern Nationals Bonus Series points leader David Payne, Mike McConnell, 2nd place running Johnny Chastain, and his brother Shaun Chastain would get the worst of the wreck and all would be done for the evening. Aaron Ridley, Luther Jenkins, Casey Turman, and Austin Smith were all able to continue with damage on their race cars.
After a red flag delay due to the track being blocked, 3rd place running Johnson would jump the restart and take off too early. That would bring out the 6th caution of the race and it was just a warning for the National Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame inductee.
Page would once again rocket his Stinger Chasis race car with a comfortable lead as Johnson would take 2nd away from Smith. Eric Granger would begin to flex his muscle a bit as he would pass Roland for the 4th position on the same lap.
Page would open up a 3 second lead over Johnson on lap 40 and 2 laps later, Page would be back at the tail end of the lead lap lapping cars. Page continued to lead as the 7th caution of the race would fly with 5 laps to go for the slow car of Casey Turman.
It looked like there would be a 5 lap shootout for $5,053 as once again, Page would regain his comfortable lead and begin to set sail. The path was clear until with 3 laps to go as Adam Ruff would spin on the front stretch bringing out the 8th and final caution flag of the race.
There would be no challenge from anyone else and Page would set a blistering pace on the final restart and survive an attrition filled race and garner a $5,053 paycheck with Ronnie Johnson finishing second and Austin Smith finishing third. Eric Granger and Will Roland would settle for top 5 finishes while Ashton Winger, Gary McPherson, Casey Roberts, Justin Shipley, and Luther Jenkins would round out the top 10.
The next Southern National Bonus Series races will be this weekend on Friday, May 18th at Lake Cumberland Speedway with a $4,000 to win race and on Saturday, May 19th as Richmond Raceway in Richmond, Kentucky with a big $10,000 to win race. Go out and support your local dirt track!
Feature Finish:
  1. 18x Michael Page- Douglasville, GA
  2. 85 Ronnie Johnson- Chattanooga, TN
  3. 84 Austin Smith- Rome , GA
  4. G9 Eric Granger- Dallas, GA
  5. 22 Will Roland- Jasper, GA
  6. 12 Ashton Winger- Senoia, GA
  7. 29m Gary McPherson- Dalton, GA
  8. 101 Casey Roberts- Toccoa, GA
  9. 08 Justin Shipley- Douglasville, GA
  10. 3 Luther Jenkins- Waleska, GA
  11. 144 Chicky Barton- Middlesboro, KY
  12. 7r Adam Ruff- Dallas, GA
  13. 81 Aaron Ridley- Chatsworth, GA
  14. 18 Casey Turman- Lafayette, GA
  15. 00 Johnny Chastain- Murphy, NC
  16. x15 Shaun Chastain- Murphy, NC
  17. 8 David Payne- Murphy, NC
  18. 119 Mike McConnell- Ball Ground, GA
  19. 19 Wayne Echols- Cumming, GA
  20. 05 James Roulette- Dawsonville, GA
  21. 9 Jason Croft- Woodstock, GA
  22. 41 T.J Reaid- Acworth, GA

Trevor Gonzales, STL Motorsport Magazine


ANNOUNCEMENT

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(St. Louis, MO) May 7, 2018 – STL Motorsport Magazine is excited to announce a new partnership with MARS Racing Series, we have reached an agreement naming STL Motorsport Magazine as the new media partner for the series in 2018.

The MARS Racing Series was purchased and taken over by Chris Tilley at the end of 2017. Chris, already involved with the Schaeffer’s Oil Southern National’s Series with Ray Cook, purchased the MARS Racing Series from Clarksville Speedway Promotor William Scrogin after the Performance Racing Industry show last December. The 2018 MARS Racing Series kicked off at Clarksville Speedway back in March with the Annual Toilet Bowl Classic. A huge weekend of racing is on tap for the coming weekend for the Series with a pair of $10,000 to win races at Farmer City Raceway Friday and Fairbury American Legion Speedway on Saturday night.

“We appreciate STL Motorsport Magazine in becoming a new media partner for 2018 with the MARS Racing Series. The updates they provide and information for a ton of races really helps the growth of our sport. We’re excited about what 2018 will bring” said series director Chris Tilley.

STL Motorsport Magazine has already been on the scene covering all the MARS events so far in 2018. “With an already established relationship with Schaeffer’s Oil, another partner to the MARS Series it just made sense for us to partner” said STL Motorsport Magazine founder Kevin Howdeshell. Kevin also stated, “STL Motorsport Magazine is committed to the rebirth and regrowth of the MARS Racing Series in 2018, STL Motorsport Magazine strives to bring excellence in motorsports coverage to the grassroots fan, as well as national motorsports content.”

Content Manager Tyson Graves said “I am excited for us to partner with such a great series in 2018. Chris Tilley is a great director and great promotor of the sport. We look forward to being at the track helping cover their events.”

You can go to www.marsracingseries.com and www.stlmotomag.com to see the 2018 MARS Schedule. Follow MARS Series on Facebook and on Twitter @RACEMARS

Stay tuned to STL Motorsport Magazine website and social media outlets for all the news, results, and special content on the MARS Racing Series in 2018.

Follow us on Facebook & Twitter @STLMotoMag


Unzicker Hits Ground Running in 2018

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(Tuscola, IL) May 9, 2018 – Last year 2017 ended with a bang for the driver out of El Paso, IL they call the “The El Paso Express.” Ryan Unzicker ended last season on a hot streak that led him to a second place finish in the National UMP Late Model Series points. After rolling off several feature wins in a row at home tracks Farmer City Raceway, Fairbury American Legion Speedway, Peoria Speedway and even a win at Tri-City Speedway Ryan moved himself into a shot at the UMP Title in 2017. He lost to a very slim margin to Rayburn house car driver Rusty Schlenk.

Ryan’s efforts did not leave him without some accomplishments of his own on the local scene. He won the track points titles at both Farmer City Raceway and Fairbury American Legion Speedway. Unzicker clicked off 19 feature wins in 2017 with his Pierce Platinum chassis and Pro Power machine. Ryan ended the season riding a giant wave of momentum.

Well 2018 so far has been good to the El Paso, IL driver. In the last 2 weeks Ryan has won 3 features, two at Farmer City Raceway and one at Fairbury American Legion Speedway. And to add to these awesome stats he also finished a very close second at Macon Speedway in the April 27th Lucas Oil Late Model Series event. Playing a calm and cool race Ryan set himself up to make a run at Bobby Pierce, the Macon event winner but fell half a car length short at the checkers. Ryan told me after the event how excited and happy he was to come home second in such a stout field of cars.

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The past few seasons Ryan has become a driver to be reckoned with on the Midwest ovals. Ryan has won races at several different tracks and been a contender year in and year out for the Summer Nationals tour and UMP National Titles.  So far in 2018 Unzicker doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. With his experience and having some great equipment I think Ryan is poised to have maybe the biggest season of his career. Talking with Ryan this past weekend he hopes to put a few more pieces together in his program to make a shot at the Summer Nationals title this summer. One of those being another motor in the rotation so he can compete in the full Hell tour schedule.

This weekend the MARS Super Late Model Series rolls into central Illinois for a pair of $10,000 to win shows. Friday night is the 2nd Annual Farmer City 74 at Farmer City Raceway. On Saturday night the series will travel 40 minutes north to the famed Fairbury American Legion Speedway for the 4th Annual FALS Frenzy were Ryan just visited victory lane this past weekend.  Going in to this weekend Unzicker has to be one of the drivers favored to have a shot at bringing home one if not both the big checks on the line.

As we go through 2018 I think Ryan Unzicker could be the breakout Midwest driver in late model racing. I think Ryan will be the favorite heading into the Summer Nationals tour starting in five weeks and I look for Ryan to make some noise in some the big events in the Midwest this summer. Ryan has set the stage for a big season and a huge win in an Prairie Dirt Classic type of event is just around the corner.

Tyson Graves, STL Motorsport Magazine


Big Money On The Line For Modifieds at Farley This Weekend

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(St. Louis, MO) May 9, 2018 – The pre entry list of Modified drivers reads like a who’s who of Modifieds, including Missouri’s Terry Phillips and Hunter Marriott. 

The “Super Modified Weekend” at the Farley Speedway in Farley, Iowa is truly a national event and drivers from all across the country and Canada have already pre-entered. Two of the nations top Late Model drivers will be there competing against the field of Modified drivers, Scott Bloomquist and Tim McCreadie.

50 laps for $50,000. Yes. A modified race paying 50 GRAND! A huge statement to the status of modified racing in the Midwest! Sportmods are also in action for 30 laps prior to the main event. 

Thursday is open practice. Friday the heats lock the first 12 starting positions into the big show on Saturday in a series of qualifiers for both classes, determined by passing and finishing points from said qualifiers. 

Saturday features LCQs that lock 16 more drivers into each main, bringing the field to 28. Then cones the lottery to determine the 29th and final starting position. 

Non-qualifiers features are before the big shows on Saturday. 

Kevin Howdeshell, STL Motorsport Magazine


The Squirrel Sweeps Illinois

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(Brownstown, IL) May 5, 2018 – No distractions here. Brian Shirley is laser focused coming off a back-to-back weekend sweep at Belle-Clair Speedway in Belleville, IL and Fayette County Speedway in Brownstown, IL as the MARS Racing Series kicks off it’s regular season following the opening Tuckasee Toilet Bowl Classic at Clarksville Speedway in March.

“It feels really good to be here right now,” said Shirley in Victory Lane at Brownstown. After a short-lived trek into the national series pool, he’s driving the 3s Bob Cullen Racing machine for the foreseeable future. “We aren’t following any particular schedule but will be somewhere every weekend,” he stated at Tri-City a few weeks ago. 

It seems those plans have changed and he could be running for the MARS Series title.

After starting 4th at BelleVegas to win and setting fast time, then leading every lap for the win at Brownstown, it seems The Squirrel has found his direction.

The MARS Series is back in action this Friday for the Farmer City 74, then Fairbury American Legion Speedway on Saturday.

Results:

1. Brian Shirley

2. Frank Heckenast, Jr.

3. Tanner English

4. Michael Kloos

5. Tim Manville

6. Kent Robinson

7. Gordy Gundaker

8. Myles Moos

9. David Seibers

10. Dean Carpenter

11. Richard Frost

12. Brent McKinnon

13. Dane Dacus

14. Logan Martin

15. Tim Ratajczyk

16. Charlie Cole

17. Caleb Ashby

Kevin Howdeshell, STL Motorsport Magazine


Smokey Takes 4th Annual Billy Clanton Classic

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Photo: Trevor Gonzales
(Senoia, GA) May 5, 2018- The World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series completed night number three of their “Southern Swing” at the Billy Clanton Classic at Senoia Raceway in Senoia, GA. When the dust settled at “The Baddest Bullring of the South”, it was Gray Court, SC and current World of Outlaws points leader Chris “Smoky” Madden who would grab his second series win of 2018, leading all 50 laps and cashing in on a $10,000 paycheck.
32 Super Late Models would sign in for the big $10,000 to win race. Time trials were set into two groups to determine their starting position in the heat races. In Group A, “The Winfield Warrior” Mike Marlar would set fast time with a lap 13.756 around the 3/8 mile track. Hometown favorite and World of Outlaws regular Shane Clanton would be second fastest in Group A followed by local driver Michael Page, making his first career World of Outlaws start, defending World of Outlaws champion Brandon Sheppard, and Donald McIntosh.
Chris Madden would go on to set the fast time in Group B and the overall fast time with a 13.660 lap around the “Gray Gumbo”. Kansas driver Chase Junghans, Austin Horton, Chris Ferguson, and David Breazeale would round out the top 5 in Group B qualifying.
After qualifying, it was found out that Newnan, GA driver Austin Horton had blown an engine in qualifying and he would be a scratch for the remainder of the evening.
There would be four, 10 lap heat races with the top four finishers in each heat advancing to the feature. The top two finishers in each heat would advance to the redraw.
In heat race one, it was all Mike Marlar as he would lead all 10 laps in dominating fashion. Joining Marlar to the redraw would be Dawsonville, GA driver Donald McIntosh. Brandon Sheppard and Timothy Culp would also be locked into the feature.
The second heat race would unofficially be won by 2017 World of Outlaws Rookie of the Year Devin Moran. However, Moran was not lined up properly on the outside of the second row at the beginning of the heat race, and he was relegated to finishing 3rd instead of 1st, missing the redraw. Shane Clanton would officially win the heat race followed by Rick Eckert. Both of those drivers would advance to the redraw. The previously mentioned Moran and Michael Page would advance as well and be locked into the feature.
The third heat race would be won by Chris Madden. Mississippi’s David Breazeale would advance to the redraw with Madden. Zach Leonhardi and Ray Cook would grab the final two transfer spots in the heat.
In the fourth and final heat race, Manhattan, KS driver Chase Junghans would set sail in his machine and win with ease over Brandon Overton with Chris Ferguson and Jason Croft also advancing into the feature.
There would be two Last Chance Showdown races to determine the rest of the starting field. In the first Last Chance Showdown, Dale McDowell would lead all 10 laps and win. Texas drivers and World of Outlaws regulars Tyler Erb and Moran Bagley would grab the last transfer spots. In the second and final last Chance Showdown, Lake Elmo, MN driver and 2018 World of Outlaws Rookie of the Year Contender Brent Larson would take the win over Mason Massey and Will Roland.
Madden would start on the pole after the redraw with Marlar starting second. Clanton would start third and Junghans would start fourth. Donald McIntosh would draw the fifth place starting spot while Brandon Overton would draw sixth. Rounding out the redraw and starting on row four would be Rick Eckert and David Breazeale.
Blake Spencer and Austin Smith would take the provisionals for the 50 lap feature and start on the last row.
When the green flag waved to begin the Billy Clanton Classic Feature, the yellow flag would immediately wave seconds later with the first caution of the evening. Tyler Erb and Blake Spencer would collect in Turn 1. Spencer would spin while Erb would get a flat left rear tire. Both drivers would continue as Erb would have to start on the last row.
The green flag would wave once again the the 50-Lap feature would begin as Madden would lead the first lap over Marlar, Clanton, Junghans, and McIntosh. On lap 5, Overton would pass McIntosh for 5th. McIntosh would drop to 8th on Lap 8. Madden would begin to hit lapped traffic on lap 9 as Overton would wrestle the 4th position away from Chase Junghans.
On lap 13, Tyler Erb would begin to show he had a very fast car as he would charge all the way into the top 10 after restarting in the very last row. However, his night would end early on lap 15 as he would cut a left rear tire and slam into the wall while battling for 9th with Zach Leonhardi. This would bring out the second caution of the night.
14th starting Michael Page would begin to creep into the picture as his Stinger Chasis 18x machine would be in 9th after starting in the 14th position.
The green flag would once again wave as Madden would still have a commanding lead over Marlar, Clanton, and Overton. The third and final caution of the night would come out on Lap 19 as the Rocket House Car of Brandon Sheppard would slow on the backstretch. He would take his car into the hot pits and be able to continue as he would start at the tail end of the lead lap.
Michael Page would be up to 6th at this point and 17th starting Dale McDowell would be right behind Page in 7th.
On the lap 19 restart, Page would make a huge power move in Turns 3 and 4 by going low almost hitting the inside wall. The move would pay off as he would pass Clanton, Overton, and Junghans and move up to 3rd place in one turn. Madden would continue to lead big over Mike Marlar and by the halfway point, Page would be battling for second with Marlar and on the following lap, Page would pass Marlar for the second position.
On lap 30, Madden would begin to pick apart lap traffic as Page looked to gain ground. One lap later, Dale McDowell would pass Overton and Junghans for the 5th spot.
With 15 to go, Madden would have a one and a half second lead over Page as McDowell would get around Clanton for 4th. On lap 40, McDowell would get around the 157 of Marlar and complete the pass on Lap 41.
For the remaining 9 laps, Madden would maintain a solid lead over Page and McDowell as he would take his #44 Barry Wright House Car to the checkered flag first with a $10,000 paycheck in hand with Page finishing second in his first career World of Outlaws start in his Stinger Chasis, Baird Transport 18x car, and McDowell in third. Mike Marlar would finish fourth and Brandon Overton would finish fifth. Rounding out the top ten were Devin Moran, Shane Clanton, Chase Junghans, Rick Eckert and Brent Larson
Feature Finish:
  1. 44 Chris Madden- Gray Court, SC
  2. 18x Michael Page- Douglasville, GA
  3. 17m Dale McDowell- Chickamauga, GA
  4. 157 Mike Marlar- Winfield, TN
  5. 116 Brandon Overton- Evans, GA
  6. 9 Devin Moran- Dresden, OH
  7. 25 Shane Clanton- Zebulon, GA
  8. 18 Chase Junghans- Manhattan, KS
  9. 7 Rick Eckert- York, PA
  10. B1 Brent Larson- Lake Elmo, MN
  11. 1 Brandon Sheppard- New Berlin, IL
  12. 22 Chris Ferguson- Mt. Holly, NC
  13. 14m Morgan Bagley- Longview, TX
  14. 9 Jason Croft- Woodstock, GA
  15. 54 David Breazeale- Four Corners, MS
  16. 53 Ray Cook- Brasstown, NC
  17. 15 Mason Massey- Douglasville, GA
  18. C8 Timothy Culp- West Monroe, LA
  19. 24 Zach Leonhardi- Cartersville, GA
  20. 84 Austin Smith- Rome, GA
  21. 6 Blake Spencer- St. Augustine, FL
  22. 58 Donald McIntosh- Dawsonville, GA
  23. 22 Will Roland- Jasper, GA
  24. 91 Tyler Erb- New Waverly, TX
Chris Madden currently leads the 2018 World of Outlaws points standings as he holds a 28 point lead over second place Mike Marlar followed by Shane Clanton, Brandon Sheppard, and Rick Eckert.
The next World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series Race is this Friday & Saturday, May 11-12th at Fayetteville Motor Speedway in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Preliminary action will begin Friday night with a $25,000 to win race on Saturday night

 

Trevor Gonzales, STL Motorsport Magazine


Mike Marlar Races New “Rocket” To Victory Lane

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Photo: Cole Perkins

(Gaffney, SC) May 4, 2018 –

Following a dusty night at Lavonia Speedway where points leader “Smokey” Chris Madden suffered a DNF & defending champ Brandon Sheppard visited victory lane, the World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series points lead was tied for the drive north on I-85. Most of the teams toured to Cherokee Speedway in Gaffney, SC meanwhile Madden & the Barry Wright Race Cars team returned home to their shop which is located just a few miles down the road from “The Place Your Mama Warned You About”. Racing at his home track for the $10,000 prize was the catalyst Madden needed to have a strong rebound.

          The Outlaws were joined by hopeful locals to make up a stout 30 car field. Qualifying began shortly after sunset & Chris Ferguson won the PFC Brakes Fast Time Award with a 14.797, almost breaking his own track record. He led a crew of Carolina drivers who qualified inside the top five Johnny Pursley 2nd, Chris Madden 3rd & Ross Bailes 5th. 4th fastest Mike Marlar grabbed the early lead from Ferguson & won the first of three heats. Clover, SC racers Pursley & Bailes finished 1-2 in Heat 2 then the “traveling duo” of Madden & Shane Clanton paired up to command Heat 3. Towing all the way from Lonview, TX Morgan Bagley won the 10 lap Last Chance Showdown and the 2 provisional spots were filled by Tyler Erb & Blake Spencer.

          A full house of fans were in attendance to watch 24 of the nation’s best dirt late model racers battle for 50 laps on the red South Carolina clay. When the green flag dropped, the orange & black #09 of Johnny Pursley launched early from the outside front row causing a complete restart & penalty against Pursley dropping him to row 2. With Ross Bailes moving up alongside polesitter Mike Marlar, the cars accelerated under a waving green flag towards the first turn. Upon entry to the corner Pursley had already begun losing spots before finally spinning in the middle of 1 & 2. After slowing the field yet again he would be put in the rear for start attempt number three. Following a successful, clean start the first 15 laps ran fairly uneventful with Mike Marlar, Chris Madden, Shane Clanton, Brandon Overton, & Chris Ferguson your top 5.

          On lap 16, however, racing action heated up when Overton caught 3rd place Clanton. The two battled for position until Overton found some speed running the top on the exit of turn 2 and completed the pass down the backstretch on lap 21. He would use that line to slowly reel in 2nd running Chris Madden. Having to navigate through lapped traffic, Overton was unable to make the pass on Madden until lap 34 when he used the same move off of turn 2 that was successful when overtaking Clanton. The #116 had so much speed down the backstretch that by the time he got to turn 3 he had already caught Marlar & got to his outside on the exit of turn 4. The two raced side by side in front of a loud cheering crowd who were now on there feet! With Brandon Overton in his preferred lane on the outside, Marlar didn’t stand a chance in turn 2. The 8th place starter had now taken the lead on the backstretch which helped intensify the noise coming from the crowd on the other side of the racetrack. The excited fans were suddenly stunned when the caution lights came on around the speedway due to Brandon Sheppard who had come to a stop in turn 2 before the leaders finished lap 35. Marlar’s nose was ahead of Overton’s at the completion of lap 34 so therefore the pass for the lead would be encumbered & he would have to restart alongside Madden for the “Delaware double file” restart.

          Less than two laps after the restart Brandon Overton’s right rear tire went flat while racing on the outside of Clanton in turn 4. As he slowed in front of a massive crowd that was just cheering for him moments ago before the yellow flag was displayed. On the ensuing restart the “Georgia Bulldog”, Shane Clanton, used Overton’s move to get by Madden on the exit of turn 2. Not much passing occurred during the remaining 14 laps other than Ross Bailes climbing back up to the 6th position after his night of poor restarts.

          Officially Mike Marlar of Winfield, TN led all 50 laps en route to his first World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series this season as he chases the 2018 title. This was just the second race in his brand new Brucebilt Performance Rocket Chassis that he finished runner up in the night before at Lavonia Speedway. The points lead now shifts back to 3rd place finisher Chris Madden as the series tours south to Senoia Raceway in Georgia for the 4th Annual Billy Clanton Classic. Shane Clanton, 2nd place, should be welcoming a return to the track near his hometown of Zebulon, GA for the race held in honor of his father. There is no doubt Brandon Sheppard had a rough night following his 3rd win of the season. With his 2nd DNF in the last 4 races the defending champion fell to third in points behind Madden & Marlar. One last honorable mention for Mt Holly, NC’s Chris Ferguson who performed well at his hometrack finishing fourth. Along with a fast time award & a top five finish he even climbed to the top of the 2018 WoO Rooke of the Year standings.

          Next weekend, May 11-12, the series travels to Fayetteville, NC for the $25,001 to win First In Flight 100 In Memory of Carlton Ray Lamm at Fayetteville Motor Speedway. Follow STL Motorsport Magazine on Twitter & Facebook @STLMotoMag for live updates, pictures & results from one of the biggest paying events on the 2018 WoO Tour. Our @ColePerkins12 and @JustRacinOnDirt will be there covering the action at “Boom City”.

Race Results:

1) Mike Marlar #157

2) Shane Clanton #25

3) Chris Madden #44

4) Chris Ferguson #22

5) Donald McIntosh #58

6) Ross Bailes #75

7) Brent Dixon #1D

8) Rick Eckert #7

9) Devin Moran #9

10) Davis Breazeale #54

11) Joey Coulter #2C

12) Tyler Erb #91

13) Brent Larson #B1

14) Brandon Overton #116

15) Chase Junghans #18C

16) Dustin Mitchell #32M

17) Morgan Bagley #14M

18) GR Smith #22X

19) Timothy Culp #C8

20) Blake Spencer #6

21) Brandon Sheppard #1

22) Dennis Franklin #2

23) Johnny Pursley #09

24) Chub Frank # 1X

Justin Olmstead, STL Motorsport Magazine (Just Racin’ On Dirt)


Sheppard Rebounds at Lavonia

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Photo: Trevor Gonzales

(Lavonia, GA) May 3, 2018- The World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series began their racing weekend with a Thursday Night Special at Lavonia Speedway with a 50-Lap, $10,000 to win show. With a standing room only crowd, “The Rocket Shepp” Brandon Sheppard took the popular Valvoline #1 Rocket Chasis House car into victory lane with a dominating performance, leading all 50 laps. Sheppard would take his 3rd win of the World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series season in 2018 and regain his points lead over Chris Madden
28 cars signed in for the Thursday night race at the semi-banked, 3/8 of a mile track in East Georgia. Defending World of Outlaws Rookie of the Year Devin Moran set quick time for the evening with a blistering lap of 15.123. “The Winfield Warrior” Mike Marlar would be second fastest in time trials with a 15.158 lap and Brandon Sheppard would post the 3rd fastest lap at 15.203. These three drivers would each start on the pole for their respective hear races.
There would be 3 heat races, each 10 laps with the Top 6 finishers advancing to the 50 lap feature.
In the first heat race of the evening, Moran would lead all 10 laps and win followed by the local driver from Elberton, Georgia, Brent Dixon. Both of them would advance to the redraw. Tyler Erb, Timothy Culp, Chris Ferguson, and Peyton Freeman would also lock themselves into the feature.
In heat race number two, Marlar would go on to lead flag to flag and win. North Carolina driver G.R. Smith would join the redraw as he finished second. David Breazeale, Ross Bailes, Morgan Bagley, and “Scrub” Rick Eckert would grab the transfer spots.
In the third and final heat race, Sheppard would rocket out to the lead and never look back picking up the win. Shane Clanton would go on to join Sheppard at the redraw with a 2nd place finish. Chris Madden, Kyle Bronson, Cla Knight, and Chub Frank would all grab transfers and advance to the feature.
At the redraw, Moran would draw the pole position while Sheppard would draw the outside pole position. This left Mike Marlar starting 3rd in the Craftsman Club Feature. Brent Dixon would draw 4th, Clanton 5th, and G.R. Smith would start 6th.
There would be one, 10 lap Last Chance Showdown race with the Top 4 advancing. Manhattan, Kansas driver Chase Junghans would win the last Chance Showdown followed by Kenny Collins, Ray Cook, and Blake Spencer.
World of Outlaws Rookie of the Year Contender Brent Larson and Brandon Overton would both have the series provisionals and start 23rd & 24th.
When the race began, Sheppard would use the outside lane to his advantage and take the lead on Lap 1. The first caution of the evening occurred right after the first lap was completed as 10th place starting Timothy Culp would spin and wreck his car in Turn 4. He would be put on a wrecker and his night would be over with.
On the ensuing restart, the second caution flag would come out with the B1 of Larson and the 6 of Spencer spinning and collecting each other as they got up to speed. Both cars had minor damage but would both continue.
On the next restart, the third caution of the race would fly as Shane Clanton and Tyler Erb would spin out in Turn 2. Both cars would be sent to the end of the field. On the third restart attempt one lap into the race, Dixon would pass Marlar for 3rd place no incidents would happen as Sheppard would lead Moran, Dixon, Marlar, and Smith. However on Lap 4, the fourth caution flag of the race would occur when 5th place running G.R. Smith would break a rear end and slow in Turns 3 and 4.
The green flag would be back out as Madden would join the top 5. Sheppard would go on to set a blistering pace on the 3/8 mile track and hit the tail end of the lead lap by lap 10. On lap 12, Dixon would pass Moran for 2nd place and Marlar would then catch up to Moran trying to take 3rd away from the young Ohio driver. On lap 14, Moran would take second back away from Dixon as Ray Cook would pull off the track and retire.
The green flag run would continue until the halfway point at lap 25 when 5th place running Chris Madden would stop the Barry Wright House Car in Turn 4. He would be done for the night.
On the restart, 3rd place running Dixon would slip in turns 1 & 2 and allow Marlar and David Breazeale to pounce and take the third and fourth positions. Marlar would then pass Moran for second on the next lap. By lap 30, Shane Clanton would already creep up to the 8th position after spinning on Lap 1. On Lap 35, Sheppard would begin to hit lap traffic as he built a one second lead over Marlar, Moran, Breazeale, and Dixon.
With 10 to go, Marlar would begin to catch up to Sheppard as the 1 would attempt to maneuver around lap traffic. With 5 to go, Sheppard would be clear of any cars in his way and would again set a torrid pace. Marlar would not catch him and Sheppard would go on to win his 3rd race of the early season. Mike Marlar would finish second and Devin Moran would round out the podium on third. David Breazeale would go on to finish fourth and Brent Dixon would finish fifth. Ross Bailes, Rick Eckert, Shane Clanton, Kyle Bronson, and Chris Ferguson would round out the top 10.
Feature Finish at Lavonia Speedway
  1. 1 Brandon Sheppard- New Berlin, IL
  2. 157 Mike Marlar- Winfield, TN
  3. 9 Devin Moran- Dresden, OH
  4. 54 Breazeale- Four Corners, MS
  5. 1D Brent Dixon- Elberton, GA
  6. 79 Ross Bailes- Clover, SC
  7. 7 Rick Eckert- York, PA
  8. 25 ShaneClanton- Zebulon, GA
  9. 40B Kyle Bronson- Brandon, FL
  10. 22 Chris Ferguson- Mt. Holly, NC
  11. 18c Chase Junghans- Manhattan, KS
  12. 14m Morgan Bagley- Longview, TX
  13. F1 Peyton Freeman- Commerce, GA
  14. B1 Brent Larson- Lake Elmo, MN
  15. 42 Cla Knight- North Augusta, SC
  16. 116 Brandon Overton- Evans, GA
  17. 1x Chub Frank- Bear Lake, PA
  18. 91 Tyler Erb- New Waverly, TX
  19. 6 Blake Spencer- St. Augustine, FL
  20. 44 Chris Madden- Gray Court, SC
  21. 21 Kenny Collins- Colbert, GA
  22. 53 Ray Cook- Brasstown, NC
  23. 22 G.R Smith- Cornelius, NC
  24. C8 Timothy Culp- West Monroe, LA
The next World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series races will be Friday, May 4th at Cherokee Speedway in Gaffney, South Carolina and the Billy Clanton Classic at Senoia Raceway on Saturday, May 5th. Both shows will be 50 laps, $10,000 to win.

Trevor Gonzales, STL Motorsport Magazine


McDowell Holds On at Smoky Mountain

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Photo: Cole Perkins

(Maryville, TN) April 28, 2018 – The World Of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series returned to Smoky Mountain Speedway on Saturday, April 29th to conclude the “Tennessee Tipoff” double-header weekend. After Chris Madden’s win on Friday, “Smokey” was the new points leader over Brandon Sheppard going into Saturday. With Carder Miller and Billy Ogle Jr. both departing after not making the feature on Friday, and Smoky Mountain Speedway Hall of Famer Lamar Winkle arriving Saturday afternoon, 26 cars were signed in for night two.

After changing an engine Friday night, Brandon Sheppard’s Durham-powered Rocket Chassis set the fastest time in hot laps to get the night rolling. In qualifying, East Tennessee’s Dakotah Knuckles was fastest overall with the Outlaws for the first time in his career. Friday night’s winner Chris Madden was 2nd fastest over Shanon Buckingham, Brandon Sheppard, and Michael Chilton.
Three Heat Races determined the starting lineup for the $10,000 to win main event. Brandon Sheppard passed fast qualifier Dakotah Knuckles on lap 1 of the first heat race and held off Knuckles for all 10 laps to win Heat Race one. The “Wild Child” Michael Chilton held off WoO regulars Chris Madden, Devin Moran, Rick Eckert and Shane Clanton to win Heat Race two. Eventual race winner Dale McDowell won the final Heat Race over Shanon Buckingham and Brandon Overton.
After the Heat Races, the redraw and a lone B-Main finalized the starting lineup for the 50-lap, $10,000 to win feature. Brandon Sheppard picked the #1 wrench in the redraw to start on the pole for the A-Main. Dale McDowell, Michael Chilton, Chris Madden, Dakotah Knuckles and Shanon Buckingham selected wrenches #2-#6 to finalize their starting positions. Veteran Chub Frank dominated the B-Main and WoO regulars Tyler Erb, Timothy Culp, and Morgan Bagley raced their way in as well.
The 24-car field rolled onto the track at 8:40 for the 50-lap finale. “Mac Daddy” Dale McDowell took the lead from polesitter Brandon Sheppard on lap 1, and led all 50 laps to claim the $10,000 check in the Smoky Mountains. Chris Madden made his way up to 2nd after starting 4th and tried several times to pass McDowell for the lead, but was denied on every attempt which stopped him from going two-in-a-row.
Dale McDowell’s win was his 2nd WoO win of the year and 12th of his career. McDowell joins Brandon Sheppard as the 2nd driver to win twice this year in 7 series races completed so far. “Smokey” Chris Madden leaves the Smoky Mountains with the WoO points lead going into three races at tracks he is very familiar with. On Thursday, the series visits Lavonia Speedway in Lavonia, Georgia to start the southeast triple-header. Cherokee Speedway in Gaffney, South Carolina hosts the second race of the weekend on Friday and then the “Billy Clanton Classic” on Saturday at Senoia Raceway in Senoia, Georgia finishes the triple-header.
Tennessee Tipoff Saturday Results:
1. 17M Dale McDowell
2. 44 Chris Madden
3. 1 Brandon Sheppard
4. 97 Michael Chilton
5. 50 Shanon Buckingham
6. 21k Dakotah Knuckles
7. 25 Shane Clanton
8. 18c Chase Junghans
9. 157 Mike Marlar
10. 22 Chris Ferguson
11. 101 Casey Roberts
12. 7 Rick Eckert
13. 4T Tommy Kerr
14. 1v Vic Hill
15. 91 Tyler Erb
16. 1x Chub Frank
17. 11B Stacy Boles
18. 21 Robby Moses
19. 54 David Breazeale
20. B1 Brent Larson
21. C8 Timothy Culp
22. 9 Devin Moran
23. 14m Morgan Bagley
24.  116 Brandon Overton
Cole Perkins, STL Motorsport Magazine

Horton Wins at Talladega

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Photo: Trevor Gonzales
(Eastaboga, AL) April 28th, 2018- The Southern All Stars Racing Series rolled into Eastaboga, Alabama right across the street from Talladega Superspeedway at The Talladega Short Track for the $4,000 to win NASCAR Weekend race. After Saturday afternoon’s Xfinity Race, fans would walk across the street to “The Hornets Nest” for a night of action packed racing headlined by the 40-lap, $4,000 to win Super Late Model Race. With a packed house, the defending Southern All Stars Racing champion Austin Horton would park his #16 Wood Motorsports, Rocket Chasis in victory lane, leading all 40 laps flag-to-flag and capturing his first career Southern All Stars win.
41 Super Late Models would enter Saturday night’s race and qualifying would be set into two groups with the Top 5 qualifiers in each group being locked into the feature.
In Group A, the Newnan, GA driver of Horton would set fast time and clinch the pole. Oxford, AL driver Jason Hiett, Grant Pearl, Jadon Frame, and Terry Smith would complete the Top 5 qualifiers in Group A and would lock themselves in the feature.
“The Chattanooga Flash” Ronnie Johnson, running double duty in the Supers and Nesmith Late Models, would lead the way in Group B qualifying. Also locking themselves in the feature with their time trials would be Michael Page, J.T. Seawright, T.J. Reaid, and Cory Hedgecock. They would start on the outside row for the feature.
There would be four, 10 Lap B-Main races with the Top 3 advancing to the $4,000 to win feature.
The winner of the first B-Main would be Dalton Polston, who would edge out Eric Hickerson in a tightly contested race for the lead. Kenny Collins of Colbert, GA grabbed the final transfer spot.
The second B-Main would be won by Josh Adkins. Florence, AL driver Josh Putnam and 2017 Talladega Short Track Champion Dallas Cooper would lock themselves into the feature.
The third B-Main would be won by 4th place starting Riley Hickman out of Ootelwah, TN. He beat out Southern All Stars points leader Jay Scott and Eric Granger to the checkers.
The final B-Main of the evening would be won by “The Boaz Bullet” Tim Busha out of Boaz, AL. Dawsonville, GA driver Donald McIntosh racing in the Big Frog Motorsports Rocket Chasis and Larry Harrod would finish second and third.
With 22 of the 24 starting spots clinched, the final two starting positions would be based on the current 2018 Southern All Stars points standings. Ray McElhieny and Mark Dodson would grab the provisionals as Tim Roszell would also take a Talladega Short Track Provisional to make a 25 car field for the feature.
Many Southern All Stars competitors would not make the feature as Brad Skinner (4th in points), Tristan Sealy (5th in points), Joseph Faulkner (6th in points), and Tommy Taylor (7th in points) would not make the feature and would be sent to their haulers early.
The green flag dropped as the 40 lap feature began and Horton would led the first lap over Johnson, Hiett, Page, and J.T. Seawright. On lap 3, the 18x Stinger Chasis of Page would pass Hiett for 3rd. The first caution of the race would fly on Lap 4 with the 57 of Josh Adkins spinning in turn one. He would then pull off the track to end his night early.
On the restart, Page would pass Ronnie Johnson for 2nd on lap 5. Page would then have left front damage after contact with Johnson on his car which seemed to slow him down a bit. He would battle for the lead with Horton but could not get around the 16 Wood Motorsports machine.
The second caution of the race would come out on Lap 13 with the slow car of Eric Hickerson on the front stretch. During the caution, track officials would fix some of the left front damage on 2nd place running Michael Page’s car.
On the Lap 13 restart, J.T. Seawright would pass Jason Hiett for the 4th spot. One lap later, the 00 of Dalton Polston would spin in Turn 2 and bring out the third and final caution. He would also collect Eric Granger and Tim Roszell. Dallas Cooper would also be involved in the accident with some minor cosmetic damage on his car.
Horton would again bolt out to the lead on the Lap 14 restart. Johnson would then get on the inside of Page and battle for the 2nd position. 3 laps later on lap 17, 4th place running J.T. Seawright would jump the cushion and almost fall off the track in turns 1 and 2. He would drop all the way back to the 17th position. One lap later, Ronnie Johnson would pass Michael Page for 2nd.
At the halfway mark, Horton would begin to encounter lap traffic as Hiett and Hedgecock would battle for 4th. The top 5 would then spread out on the track and maneuver around lapped traffic. Riley Hickman would pass Jadon Frame for 6th place with 10 laps to go. With 9 laps to go on Lap 31, Horton would slip up the track and allow the 85 of Johnson and 18x of Page to gain ground and close in on the leader. With 5 to go, Johnson would get side by side with Horton in turns 3 and 4 but Horton would fend off the National Dirt Late Model Hall of Famer and get through some lapped cars. Horton would then be clear of traffic and set sail to the checkered flag to capture his first career Southern All Stars win. The Capital Race Car of Ronnie Johnson would finish second. Michael Page would finish third in his Stinger Chasis. Jason Hiett and Cory Hedgecock would round out the top 5. Riley Hickman, Jadon Frame, Terry Smith, Grant Pearl, and Donald McIntosh would complete the Top 10.
Feature Finish:
  1. 16 Austin Horton- Newnan, GA
  2. 85 Ronnie Johnson- Chattanooga, TN
  3. 18x Michael Page- Douglasville, GA
  4. 21 Jason Hiett- Oxford, AL
  5. 9 Cory Hedgecock- Loudon, TN
  6. R1 Riley Hickman- Ootelwah, TN
  7. J8 Jadon Frame- Winchester, TN
  8. 99 Terry Smith- Oxford, AL
  9. 22 Grant Pearl- Southside, AL
  10. 58 Donald McIntosh- Dawsonville, GA
  11. 27J Jay Scott- Fayetteville, TN
  12. 212 Josh Putnam- Florence, AL
  13. 21 Kenny Collins- Colbert, GA
  14. 20 Ray McElhieny- Pulaski, TN
  15. 32 Mark Dodson- Caledonia, MS
  16. 1JT J.T. Seawright- Fort Payne, AL
  17. 35 Dallas Cooper- Talladega, AL
  18. G9 Eric Granger- Dallas, GA
  19. 25 Tim Roszell- Anniston, AL
  20. 00 Dalton Polston- Lithia Springs, GA
  21. 15 Tim Busha- Boaz, AL
  22. 41 T.J. Reaid- Acworth, GA
  23. 98 Eric Hickerson- Linden, TN
  24. 27 Larry Harrod- Plains, GA
  25. 57 Josh Adkins- Talladega, AL
The next Southern All Stars Race will be on Saturday night, May 19th with a 40-Lap, $4,000 to win race.
Trevor Gonzales, STL Motorsport Magazine

Pierce Dominates Illini Lucas Weekend

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(St. Louis, MO) April 30, 2018 – It was just a week and half ago that the Dunn Benson Motorsports team suffered the tragic loss of long time car owner and racing Hall of Famer Carlton Lamm. The last month the team has been racing for Mr. C. From putting a empty chair on top of the hauler as the team asked for prayers as Carlton was in and out of the hospital to laying him to rest after his passing. The Dunn Benson Motorsports team has a new mission for the 2018 season and that was to win for Mr. C. And this is just what happened this past weekend when the Lucas Oil Dirt Late Model Series made its first visit to Illinois since their young phenom driver Bobby Pierce has been behind the wheel.

At the end of last season the big announcement came that long time Dunn Benson driver Earl Pearson Jr would be leaving the famed #1 cars seat in 2018 to drive the Black Diamond house car for Ronnie Stuckey. In the weeks ensuing  many people wondered who would be the driver that would get the nod to take over the seat of one the most sought after rides in the dirt late model world. What people did not know is that the Lamm family had a short list of drivers they were interested in and Bobby Pierce was at the top of it. Bobby’s success in big races and the way he carried himself on and off the track were the selling points to bring Bobby on in 2018 as their driver.

The team has had a time of adjustment so far in 2018 as not only a new driver, but a new chassis, a new engine combination and merging of sponsors. The team went to Arizona in January where Pierce got his first laps in the seat of the Dunn Benson Rocket Chassis. Pierce had a couple second place finishes and was competitive in his first few nights out. The team would then head to Georgia/Florida Speedweeks where they had up and down nights as they struggled to find the right combination to make any serious runs for a win. Bobby remained calm and confident that in time this team would gel and find that combination in setup and driver confidence to be where they wanted to be. Bobby tackled many new tracks through the months of March and early April. His consistency of making every event and some top 10’s landed him 8th in Lucas Dirt points before his trek to his home state of Illinois.

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As the Dunn Benson team made their way to the Midwest to compete at Tri-City and Macon Speedway’s they had an extra motivation to bring home a win for their late car owner. Bobby grew up racing in Illinois and between the confidence of past wins at both speedways and the added motivation to win for Mr. C Bobby had his eyes set on the prize.

At Tri-City Speedway Bobby set fast time and in an interview with us over the weekend he said after running the half mile speedways out east Tri-City seemed small. But that did not matter as he took the Miller Welder’s Fast Time Award. He went on to win his heat and start on the front row for the Busch 50 at Tri-City Speedway. Bobby dominated the feature taking the lead on the first lap and never looking back leading all 50 laps. The only challenge he faced was a couple challenges from Tim McCreadie that he was able to fend off. Bobby is not stranger to victory lane at the Gundaker owned track outside of St. Louis where he won last fall during the Mod Mania weekend.  It was Bobby’s first win of the year and the first for the Dunn Benson team since the passing of their car owner. The team pointed to the sky in victory lane and dedicated the win to Mr. C.

On Saturday the team drove a couple hours north to the smallest track on the Lucas Oil tour, the fifth-mile high banked bullring named Macon Speedway. With a win under his belt and past success at Macon Bobby was the odds on favorite heading into Saturday night action. He had won three of the last four 100 lap events at the mighty Macon Speedway. Bobby would set 5th fastest overall lap and go on to win his heat race that put him on the outside of the front row for the 100 lap affair.

Pierce would jump out to a commanding lead early and set a blistering pace which even included putting two-time Lucas Oil Champ Scott Bloomquist a lap down before halfway. A handful of cautions slowed the action but at every restart Bobby was able to hold the field at bay. Shannon Babb, a close by Moweaque, IL resident ran second for a majority of the event before Illinois local Ryan Unzicker took over the second spot. On the last restart, Unzicker a driver of a Pierce Platinum chassis build by Bobby’s father, gave Bobby his biggest challenge of the race. The final laps Pierce and Unzicker drove nearly side by side down the straightaways. Pierce was able to cross the finish line just half a car length over Unzicker.  It was a race that had a packed house on their feet as they crossed the finish line. Shannon Babb finished third and points leader Jonathan Davenport came home fourth.

It was Pierce’s third win in the past five years at Macon Speedway in Lucas Dirt action. Pierce has won five 100 lap events at Macon Speedway in his career. The win moved him up to fifth in Lucas Oil Series points as the tour heads to Tazewell Speedway this coming weekend. It was a huge weekend for Bobby and the Dunn Benson crew. I am sure Carlton Lamm is smiling down on the accomplishment of his team this past weekend. What a difference a week makes as the team turns tragedy into triumph.

Tyson Graves, STL Motorsport Magazine

Check out the EXCLUSIVE Interview with “Smooth Operator” Bobby Pierce


“Smokey” Madden Conquers Smoky Mountain

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Photo: Cole Perkins

(Maryville, TN) April 27, 2108 – The Tennessee Tipoff held at Smoky Mountain Speedway in Maryville, TN was one of three events to be either postponed or cancelled due to weather so far on the 2018 World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Models schedule. Another one of those postponed races, the Illini 100, was eventually cancelled causing a 61 day break for Outlaw drivers between the DIRTcar Nationals in February & last week’s Queen City Shootout. After a six week wait the tour finally invaded eastern Tennessee for a doubleheader in the Smoky Mountains.

          Defending series champion Brandon Sheppard of New Berlin, IL began the weekend as the points leader & carried his early season momentum into Hot Laps on Friday night where the #1 Rocket Chassis was fastest with a time of 16.459. A total of 27 super late models attempted to qualify for the $10,000 to win 50 lap feature. Chris Madden of Gray Court, SC posted the quickest lap during Time Trials giving him the pole for the first heat race which he would go on to win. P2 qualifier Brandon Sheppard won Heat 2 from the pole but Chris Ferguson of Mt Holly, NC was unable to turn a great third place qualifying effort into a win in the final heat race as Devin Moran of Dresden, OH won Heat 3. The Last Chance Showdown was won by 2015 WoO Rookie of the Year Brandon Overton of Evans, GA.

          From the moment the green flag dropped on a 24 car field it was apparent that Chris Madden would be tough to beat. He captured the lead from polesitter Devin Moran and never really faced any challenges for the top spot. Behind him, however, the action started early when a piece of debris struck the helmet worn by Timothy Culp of Prattsville, AR on lap 2 causing a caution after he slowed on the backstretch. Shortly following the restart Brandon Sheppard brought out another yellow when his engine went up in smoke after he scrubbed the turn 1 wall on lap 4. Racing resumed and Sheppard was forced to watch from the infield as a 31 lap green flag run began. Madden continued to stretch out his lead until encountering heavy lapped traffic on lap 14 which allowed the top 5 to close in. Ultimately, he was able to maneuver through traffic better than his competitors and rebuilt his huge lead over Devin Moran.

          Around lap 20 Shane Clanton of Zebulon, GA snagged the runner-up position away from Moran and never gave it up. Meanwhile, a great battle for 7th was brewing between Dale McDowell of Chickamauga, GA & Michael Chilton of Salvisa, KY. Between laps 24 & 30 the pair passed each other 3 times before Chilton finally took the spot just 3 laps before McDowell slowed and pulled off the track. Prior to a caution on lap 35, 5th place running Mike Marlar of Winfield, TN lost 2 spots in one corner as Casey Roberts of Toccoa, GA & Michael Chilton slipped by.

          Chris “Smokey” Madden dominated the remaining 15 laps and claimed $10,000 in his first WoO win of 2018. Along with the win, Madden also gained the points lead from Brandon Sheppard after his rough first night at the 4/10 mile. This was also the first WoO win for Madden since returning to the Barry Wright Race Cars house car.

Race Results:

  1. 44-Chris Madden; 2. 25-Shane Clanton; 3. 9-Devin Moran; 4. 101-Casey Roberts; 5. 50-Shanon Buckingham; 6. 97-Michael Chilton; 7. 91-Tyler Erb; 8. 116-Brandon Overton; 9. 157-Mike Marlar; 10. 22-Chris Ferguson; 11. 18c-Chase Junghans; 12. 7-Rick Eckert; 13. 54-David Breazeale; 14. 1x-Chub Frank; 15. 21k-Dakotah Knuckles; 16. 11B-Stacy Boles; 17. 14m-Morgan Bagley; 18. 17M-Dale McDowell; 19. 4T-Tommy Kerr; 20. 6-Blake Spencer; 21. 1v-Vic Hill; 22. 1-Brandon Sheppard; 23. B1-Brent Larson; 24. C8-Timothy Culp

Justin Olmsted, STL Motorsport Magazine (Just Racin On Dirt)


Johnson Dominates At Talladega
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(Eastaboga AL) April 28th, 2018- Round 4 of the Nesmith Dirt Late Model Series was held Saturday evening at The Talledega Short Track for Night 2 of the NASCAR Weekend races at the 1/3 dirt clay oval known as “The Hornet’s Nest”. When the checkered flag waved, it was National Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame Driver, “The Chattanooga Flash” Ronnie Johnson who cashed in on a $2,500 paycheck in his Josh Roberts Trucking, #85 Capital Race Car. It was his 28th career Nesmith Racing win.
The evening began with qualifying as 45 cars entered for the $2,500 to win prize. Qualifying was split into two groups as the top 5 cars in each group would be locked into the feature. Johnson was the only driver to crack into the 14-second column with a lap of 14.928 seconds. Sam Seawright, Friday night’s Nesmith winner Cory Hedgecock, Jimmy Elliot, and Chase Walls would round out the top 5 in qualifying for group A and would all start on the inside row.
The fastest qualifier in Group B was Ootelwah, TN driver Andy Picklesimer who timed in with a lap of 15.079. Michael Page, Riley Hickman, Jadon Frame, and Heath Hindman would be the top 5 qualifiers in Group B and would be locked into the feature starting on the outside row.
The rest of the 24 car field would be determined by 4, 10 Lap B-Mains with the Top 3 finishers advancing to the feature.
Jake Knowles would win B-Main number one, followed by Brad Berry and Jupiter, FL driver Clay Harris.
B-Main number two would be won by Phenix City, AL driver Rodgerick Dykes with Jamey Boland and Tyler Wood advancing into the feature as well.
The 3rd B-Main was the most entertaining one as 4th place stating Ashton Winger out of Senoia, GA would run the high side coming off of turn 4 and barely edge out Chase Edge for the win. Oakley Johns would grab the last transfer in the B-Main
The final B-Main was won by Terrance Newell. Joining him was Cruz Skinner and Mississippi young gun Bryant Marsh
Marcus Minga and T.J Brittain would grab the Nesmith racing provisionals and would start on the 12th row in 23rd and 24th.
Before the green flag of the 50-lap feature would drop, 8th place starting Jadon Frame ran into mechanical issues and opted drop to the tail end of the field. Ronnie Johnson had the option to choose the inside or outside of the front row due to his fast time and he chose the outside row. At the drop of the green flag, Johnson bolted out to the lead over Picklesimer, Hickman, Page, and Sam Seawright. Jadon Frame would pull off the track after lap one and become the first retiree of the evening. The top 5 cars would then spread out across the track and by lap 10, Johnson began to enter lap traffic.
The first caution of the night waved on Lap 12 with the 19 of Marcus Minga stopped in Turn 4. The second caution would fly one lap after the restart on Lap 13 when the 1B of Bryant Marsh spun his car in Turn 3. On the ensuing restart, Johnson would once again bolt out to the lead as Heath Hindman would grab the 6th spot from Cory Hedgecock. Johnson would continue to lead as he would maneuver through lap traffic at the halfway mark on lap 25 with Picklesimer, Hickman, Page, Seawright, Hindman, Hedgecock, Dykes, Newell, and Walls rounding out the top 10 with all the cars spread out on the track.
The third and final caution would occur on lap 28 as T.J Brittain would slow in Turn 2.
Once again, the 85 of Johnson would check out on the restart and the race would continue to stay green as he entered the tail end of the lead lap. While he was battling hard to get around the slower cars, this allowed Picklesimer to close the gap. Hickman and Page would also be in a very tight battle for 3rd. Sam Seawright would drop from 5th to 7th as Hindman and Hedgecock would pass the young driver. By lap 40, Picklesimer would be right on Johnson’s bumper and would get under Johnson a few times in Turns 1 & 2 but he could not execute a pass as Johnson would use the high side momentum on the straightaways. Once Johnson got clear of lapped cars, he would once again check out and extend his lead to the checkered flag with Picklesimer and Hickman rounding out the podium. Michael Page and Heath Hindman would complete the top 5. Cory Hedgecock, Sam Seawright, Rodgerick Dykes, Terrance Newell, and Chase Walls would round out the Top 10.
Feature Finish
  1. 85 Ronnie Johnson- Chattanooga, TN
  2. P1 Andy Picklesimer- Ootelwah, TN
  3. R1 Riley Hickman- Ootelwah, TN
  4. 18x Michael Page- Douglasville, GA
  5. 91 Heath Hindman- Eastaboga, AL
  6. 23 Cory Hedgecock- Loudon, TN
  7. 16 Sam Seawright- Fort Payne, AL
  8. 5D Rodgerick Dykes- Smith Station, AL
  9. 27T Terrance Newell- Phenix City, AL
  10. 25 Chase Walls- Dechard, TN
  11. 12 Ashton Winger- Senoia, GA
  12. J39 Jimmy Elliot- Cleveland, TN
  13. 66 Jake Knowles- Rome, GA
  14. 11 Cruz Skinner- Oxford, AL
  15. 232 Jamey Boland- Cuba, AL
  16. 17 Tyler Wood- Hohenwald, TN
  17. 18E Chase Edge- Lafayette, AL
  18. 1B Bryant Marsh- Corinth, MS
  19. 6C Clay Harris- Jupiter, FL
  20. C6 Oakley Johns- Hohenwald, TN
  21. 05 T.J Brittain- Centre, AL
  22. 19 Marcus Minga- Shannon, MS
  23. 27 Brad Berry- Attalla, AL
  24. 67 Jadon Frame- Winchester, TN
Through 4 Races of the Nesmith Racing Series, Cory Hedgecock is the current points leader over Ashton Winger, Jake Knowles, Andy Picklesimer, and Bryant Marsh.
The next Nesmith Dirt Late Model Racing events will be May 18th at Oglethorpe Speedway Park with a 40-Lap, $2,000 to win race and May 19th at Cochran Motor Speedway in Cochran, GA for a $2,500 to win, 50-Lap feature.

 

Trevor Gonzales, STL Motorsport Magazine


Weaver Returns to Old Form on Opening Weekend

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Photo: Tyson Graves

(Fairbury, IL) April 24, 2018 – Saturday night reminded you of a weekend straight out of 1992. Growing up in Central Illinois, you remember the younger days of Kevin Weaver and often found yourself cheering on the famous B12 machine. After Jimmy Johns left Kevin Weaver at the end of the 2016 season many wondered if Weaver was done and maybe he would just hang it up and retire. That all changed a month and half ago when Kevin made the announcement at his annual race party that his long time sponsor Jimmy Johns would return on the side of the B12 Longhorn Chassis for 2018.

With the weather not cooperating in Illinois and pushing many the opening season events back a couple of weeks gave the veteran time to prepare his 2018 piece for UMP Late Model competition. With his eyes on starting the season in familiar territory at his stomping grounds of Farmer City and Fairbury American Legion Speedway Kevin was optimistic but yet humble. Kevin told me on Friday night before the action began at Farmer City that Jimmy Johns coming back on board was a good shot in the arm for his program. When asked about his chances for the evening a humble Weaver said there were many other good cars and he would just have to see what he had for them.

In exciting fashion just past the halfway point of the Late Model feature at Farmer City Raceway Kevin Weaver put his famed B12 out in front passing last years track champion Ryan Unzicker on the bottom groove. Kevin would then pull away and never face a real challenge from anyone else in the field.  The crowd at Farmer City erupted when he pulled his car into victory lane in front of a great opening night crowd. The famed “Weaver Fever” had struck the fan base and gave them hope for the 2018 campaign.

If an opening night win was not enough Kevin would return to the race track on Saturday night for opening night at Fairbury American Legion Speedway. Weaver came into the evening tied with the Hall of Famer Roger Long with 66 career Late Model feature wins at the oval. Weaver came out early in qualifying and laid down a blistering lap that held quick time for some time before he was knocked off by Mike Spatola.

As feature time approached I started to realize that this evening here at Fairbury could be a history maker if Kevin could park it in victory lane where he had been many times before. Starting on the outside of front row of the feature the stage was set to see if history could be broken. In the opening laps Scott Schmitt made things tough for Weaver and led a few laps. The #10 of Schmitt was the only thing standing in front of Weaver and history. Schmitt was riding the famous FALS cushion for all it was worth trying to keep Weaver behind him. Around the halfway point just like the night before Weaver found himself out in front of the field and trying to keep everyone else behind him.

The last few laps were a nail bitter for Weaver nation as they waited to see if their hero could complete the weekend sweep and put his name at the top of the history books at Fairbury. Kevin Weaver did hold off the rest of the competition and drove into the history books as he took the checkered flag and did the famous polish victory lap to the applause of Weaver Nation around the Fairbury American Legion Speedway.

It was the 67th win in a Late Model for Weaver and the 70th feature overall as he has 3 wins in a UMP Modified as well to his name.  Kevin is back and his fans our excited for the 2018 season. Kevin just likes to race and its not very often we see a driver of his caliber with such longevity at his local track. More than likely Kevin has set a bar at Fairbury that will never be touched again.

Tyson Graves, STL Motorsport Magazine


Coulter Survives For First Clash Win

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Photo: Cole Perkins

(Gastonia, NC) April 20, 2018 –  The 18th Annual Skyler Trull Memorial was originally scheduled for March 10th, 2018. But, like many other early season races, it was postponed due to rain. In what was intended to be their season opener, the Carolina Clash Super Late Model Series would visit Carolina Speedway in Gastonia, NC for the 3rd stop on the 2018 schedule. Michael Brown #24, Pageland, SC, entered Friday’s race as the points leader following back to back runner-up finishes at Lancaster Speedway & Fayetteville Motor Speedway.

          A solid field of cars were in attendance as 25 drivers officially signed in for the 40 lap $5,000 to win event. At the conclusion of Time Trials Joey Coulter #2, Miami Springs, FL, was at the top of the board becoming the only driver able to dip down into the 14 second bracket with a lap of 14.973. Michael Brown, 2nd fastest, joined him as the only two drivers locked into a starting spot for the feature, the remaining lineup would be determined through heat races. G.R. Smith #22, Cornelious, NC, won the first heat; the next two heats belonged to a couple of Clover, SC drivers Ross Bailes #87 & Johnny Pursley #09.

          As the green flag waved, Coulter capitalized on his qualifying run and commanded the early lead. Numerous cautions plagued the first half of the race. Michael Brown even managed to snag the lead away on one restart & Coulter dropped to fourth but it was called off due to another spin. On lap 19 the yellow flag waved when G.R. Smith & Ross Bailes tangled exiting turn 2 while battling for 2nd. During the caution Bailes refused to take his spot at the rear of the field which caused a few on-track altercations between himself and now 2nd Brown & 3rd Zack Mitchell, Enoree, SC. While they were arguing, some off-track altercations began as crew members & spectators were scuffling in the infield. Bailes finally pulled off, parked his car and racing resumed.

          Joey Coulter maintained his pace as the leader but it wasn’t easy. A late charge by Ben Watkins #16, Rock Hill, SC, was tough to hold off. Michael Brown found some speed on the top side of the track as the race was winding down. He was able to get around Watkins and caught the leader, Coulter, while coming to the white flag. With a big run on the exit of turn 2 Brown took the lead away, passing Coulter on the outside down the backstretch. All for none, however, as a caution would wave before the checkered setting up a one lap shootout for the win. On the ensuing restart Coulter blocked the run that Brown had on the outside of turn 2 drove on to win his first career Carolina Clash Super Late Model Series race.

          Michael Brown increases his points lead as the series heads to Modoc, SC April 28th for a combination race with the Ultimate Super Late Model Series in the 8th Annual Jack Starrette Memorial at Modoc Raceway.

Results:

  1. 2C Joey Coulter
  2. 16 Ben Watkins
  3. 2 Dennis Franklin
  4. 24B Michael Brown
  5. 00 Jeff Smith
  6. 3V Kyle Hardy
  7. 57 Adam Yarbrough
  8. 29 Larry Grube
  9. 65 Brandon O’Neill
  10. 42 Doug Sanders
  11. 55H Benji Hicks
  12. 357 David Todd
  13. 03 David Yandle
  14. 7 Josh Langley
  15. 22 GR Smith
  16. 87 Ross Bailes
  17. 57 Zack Mitchell
  18. 07 Brian Ledbetter
  19. 09 Johnny Pursley
  20. 421 Anthony Sanders
  21. 72 Robbie Bailey
  22. 55 Dean Bowen
  23. 10 Dylan Davis
  24. 5 Jason Womack

DNS – 15 Justin Duty

Justin Olmsted, STL Motorsport Magazine


Page with Ultimate Win at Dixie

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Photo: Cole Perkins

(Woodstock, GA) April 21, 2018 – The Ultimate Super Late Model Series headed to Dixie Speedway on Saturday for their third race of the season, the Heart of Dixie 40. Originally scheduled as a double-header weekend, Sunday night’s race at nearby Rome Speedway was cancelled earlier in the week making Dixie the lone event that weekend. 29 Ultimate Super Late Models were in attendance for the $4,000 to win event.

Donald McIntosh started the night off with his 007 Chassis posting the fastest time in Hot Laps. In qualifying, Michael Page of Douglasville, Georgia was fastest overall with a 15.066 second lap in Group A while Donald McIntosh was fastest in Group B. The top-5 in groups A and B locked themselves into the feature setting up the first 5 rows for the 40 lap main event.
With no scheduled B-Mains, drivers who did not lock themselves into the feature in qualifying had only one chance to make the A-Main with two 8-lap heat races. Prior to the heat races, Oxford, Alabama’s Jason Hiett loaded up after facing mechanical issues after qualifying. NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Justin Shipley of Douglasville, Georgia and veteran Billy Ogle Jr. both led flag-to-flag to win heat races one and two. Eric Granger and Rookie of the Year candidate Jeff Matthews were awarded provisionals.
Fast qualifier Michael Page led the 24-car field to green and never looked back. Donald McIntosh stayed in 2nd for all 40 laps and David Payne finished 3rd after starting in 5th.
Michael Page led all 40 laps of the Heart of Dixie 40 to win his 2nd Ultimate Super Late Model race of the year. Page’s first Ultimate win this year came at North Georgia Speedway in the series season opener and was absent in last Saturday’s race at Virginia Motor Speedway. Defending series champion Tyler Millwood of Kingston, Georgia became the new Ultimate points leader after finishing in 7th. Kyle Hardy dropped out of the lead after finishing in 18th but still leads the Rookie of the Year points chase after 3 series races. Next Saturday, the Ultimate series visits Modoc Raceway in Modoc, South Carolina for the $5,022 to win Jack Starrette Memorial.
Heart of Dixie 40 Results:
1. 18X Michael Page
2. 7 Donald McIntosh
3. 8 David Payne
4. 41 TJ Reaid
5. 119 Mike McConnell
6. 9 Jason Croft
7. 31 Tyler Millwood
8. 57 Zack Mitchell
9. 00 Jeff Smith
10. 2C Joey Coulter
11. 29M Gary McPherson
12. 42 Cla Knight
13. 84 Austin Smith
14. 08 Justin Shipley
15. G9 Eric Granger
16. 22 Will Roland
17. 77 Brian Conner
18. 3V Kyle Hardy
19. 33 Jeff Matthews
20. 201 Billy Ogle Jr.
21. 21 Ivedent Lloyd Jr.
22. 421 Anthony Sanders
23. 17 Kurt English
24. 00c Johnny Chastain

Cole Perkins, STL Motorsport Magazine


Shirley & Bollinger Win in Tuesday Night Play Date at Brownstown

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PHOTO: Kevin Howdeshell

(Brownstown, IL) April 17, 2018 – Brian Shirley of Chatham, IL held off Shannon Babb and Tanner English to win the UMP Late Model feature at Fayette County Speedway during a Tuesday night early season special. Ray Bollinger of Kewanee, IL who started in the sixth position held off six-time UMP Champ Mike Harrison to win the UMP Modified portion of the event.

Track promoter Charlie Depew gathered input on who would come race on Tuesday night on social media as an impromptu race and got overwhelming support from drivers and fans. This was the first race in the area this season due to many rainouts and cold temps. Hats off to Charlie who had a well prepared track for a midweek matinee.

Tyson Graves, STL Motorsport Magazine


Davenport is King of the Commonwealth

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Photo: Cole Perkins

(Jamaica, VA) April 14, 2018 – The Ultimate Super Late Model Series converged at Virginia Motor Speedway on Saturday for the Aaron’s “King of the Commonwealth”. With both the World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series and Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series events getting rained out on Saturday, the best national touring drivers made the overnight trek to Jamaica, Virginia to pursue the $20,000 grand prize. Combining with the best drivers from the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions, 56 Ultimate Super Late Models were in attendance. The car count of 56 cars was a new record for the Ultimate series, and was shortened to 55 after Brent Robinson left after hot laps.

Ross Bailes of Clover, South Carolina started off the night with posting the fastest time in Hot Laps. Ross was one of five drivers who raced in both Super and Crate Late Model competition. In qualifying, Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series drivers Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tennessee and Jonathan Davenport of Pelzer, South Carolina were fastest in their groups. Scott Bloomquist set the fastest time overall with a 17.156 second lap.
After qualifying, six 8-lap heat races would determine the starting field for the 60-lap main event. The top 3 finishers in each heat race locked themselves into the $20,000 to win feature. Fast qualifier Scott Bloomquist dominated Heat #1, giving him the 1st starting position for the A-Main. Pennsylvania drivers Rick Eckert and Gregg Satterlee also advanced from Heat #1. Jonathan Davenport won Heat #2 over two other drivers from the Carolina’s, Chris Ferguson and Ross Bailes. World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series regular Chris Madden held off two Lucas Oil Series drivers Bobby Pierce and Tim McCreadie to win Heat #3. Jason Covert won Heat #4 over Ultimate Rookie of the Year contender Kyle Hardy, and defending King of the Commonwealth winner Brandon Overton. Seaford, Delaware’s Austin Hubbard held off Jeff and GR Smith to win Heat #5. Defending Ultimate Super Late Model Series champion Tyler Millwood dominated the final heat race over Andy Anderson and Mason Zeigler.
With 18 drivers already locking themselves in to the feature from the 6 heat races, only the top-2 from a pair of B-Mains would advance to create a 22 car starting field before provisionals. Tyler Erb and Tyler Bare won the two loaded B-Mains, 2nd place finishers Walker Arthur and Hudson O’Neal also transferred through to the A-Main. Dennis “Rambo” Franklin and Zack Mitchell were awarded provisionals, completing the 24-car starting field. Kyle Bronson, Brent Larson, Jeep Van Wormer, and Joey Coulter were just a few of the big names who did not make it to the A-Main.
Two former Lucas Oil Late Model Series Champions Scott Bloomquist and Jonathan Davenport started on the front row for the 60-lap, $20,000 to win main event. 2nd place starter Jonathan Davenport got the lead on the first lap, and was untouchable for all 60 laps. Only two cautions halted the 60 lapper, but Davenport was able to defend and keep his lead for the entire race. With 20 laps to go, Chris Madden got by Bloomquist for 2nd, but Bloomquist battled back and was able to retake 2nd in the closing laps. Both Bloomquist and Madden tried to make a charge to the lead on the last lap, but “Superman” held both of them off resulting in a $20,000 payday.
Jonathan Davenport’s $20,000 win at Virginia was his 6th of the year, and 2nd King of the Commonwealth victory of his career. 9th place finisher Kyle Hardy of Stephens City, Virginia now leads the Ultimate Super Late Model Series point standings and Rookie of the Year standings after 2 series events so far. Next weekend, the Ultimate Super Late Model Series heads to Georgia’s Dixie and Rome Speedway’s on Saturday and Sunday for $4,000 to win each night and a $1,000 bonus for a driver who is able to win both events.
King of the Commonwealth Results:
1. 49 Jonathan Davenport
2. 0 Scott Bloomquist
3. 44 Chris Madden
4. 39 Tim McCreadie
5. 116 Brandon Overton
6. 11A Austin Hubbard
7. 22G Gregg Satterlee
8. 72 Jason Covert
9. 3V Kyle Hardy
10. 31 Tyler Millwood
11. 71 Hudson O’Neal
12. 22 Chris Ferguson
13. 7 Rick Eckert
14. 43A Tyler Bare
15. 25Z Mason Zeigler
16. 32P Bobby Pierce
17. 00 Jeff Smith
18. 5 Dennis Franklin
19. 87 Walker Arthur
20. 41 Andy Anderson
21. 22S GR Smith
22. 91 Tyler Erb
23. 57 Zack Mitchell

24. 79 Ross Bailes

Cole Perkins, STL Motorsport Magazine


McDowell Rallies to Win at The Gap

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(Bulls Gap, TN) April 14, 2018- Round 4 of the Ray Cook Schaeffer’s Oil Southern National Series Spring Nationals rolled into Bulls Gap, TN at Volunteer Speedway for the $10,052 to win Scott Sexton Memorial and Chickamauga, Georgia driver Dale McDowell put his car in victory lane in the 17m Textron Off-Road, Shane McDowell Racing, Sweet-Bloomquist machine.

With 26 late models signed in and a purse over $10,000, cars were split into two groups and no drivers advanced straight to the feature based off of qualifying. Jason Jameson was fastest in Group A qualifying with a lap of 12.613 seconds around the high-banked 4/10 of a mile clay track followed by Dakotah Knuckles, Casey Roberts, Vic Hill, and Aaron Ridley. Winfield, TN driver Mike Marlar was fastest and group B and was the overall fast qualifier with a lap of 12.448. He was followed by Jimmy Owens, Donald McIntosh, Robby Moses, and Dale McDowell.

There were 4 heat races, each were 10 laps and the top 4 finishers would advance to the feature. Casey Roberts won the first heat race which was for the pole position over Jason Jameson, Chicky Barton, and Ryan King. Vic Hill won the second heat race and was for the 3rd starting position in the feature. He was followed by Dakotah Knuckles, Brandon Kinzer, and David Payne. The third heat race determined the outside pole position and it was won by Dawsonville, Georgia driver Donald McIntosh. Mike Marlar, Dale McDowell, and Forrest Trent also advanced to the feature. Jimmy Owens won the fourth and final heat race of the night as he would notch up the 4th starting position in the feature. Also advancing was Eric Wells, Shanon Buckingham, and Carder Miller.

There would be one 10 lap B-Main race with the top 4 advancing into the 52 lap feature. Michael Chilton led all 10 laps and advanced to the feature along with Cory Hedgecock, Mack McCarter, and Aaron Ridley. Zach Leonhardi and Robby Moses grabbed series provisionals and would start on the last row of the feature.

When the green flag dropped, outside front row starter Donald McIntosh got topside momentum and took the lead coming off of turn two. Jimmy Owens also took the high side and passed Vic Hill on the very first lap for 3rd. McIntosh would lead the first lap as Roberts, Owens, Hill, and Mike Marlar followed in tow. By lap 5, McIntosh had built a 2 second lead over the field and Jason Jameson passed Marlar for the 5th position. At lap 10, McIntosh began to maneuver around lap traffic and by lap 13, Roberts and Owens had closed the distance on McIntosh. On lap 15, 10th place starter Dale McDowell had moved up 4 positions as he passed Marlar for 6th and started to work on Jameson for 5th. Four laps later, McDowell took the 5th position away from Jameson and was charging towards the front.

At the halfway point, McIntosh led over Roberts and there was a tight battle for 3rd between Owens, Hill, and McDowell. On lap 28, McDowell passed Hill for 4th and was attempting to get by Owens for 3rd. At this time Roberts once again closed the gap on McIntosh’s lead. A few laps later on lap 33, Owens and McDowell caught up to McIntosh & Roberts and all four cars were within half a second of each other.

With 17 laps to go on lap 35, McDowell got around Owens for 3rd and 2 laps later on lap 37, McDowell then passed Casey Roberts for 2nd. On lap 40, McDowell had caught up to McIntosh and was trying to take over the lead while Roberts, Owens, and Hill were battling for 3rd through 5th. During this entertaining battle between the top 5 cars, 18th starting Cory Hedgecock from Loudon, Tennessee rocketed his car all the way through the top 10 and passed Jason Jameson for the 6th position. The first caution of the night fell on lap 43 for the slow car of Chicky Barton.

The caution bunched up the field on a double file restart and when the green flag waved, McIntosh still held the lead. With 7 laps to go, McIntosh led but McDowell was right behind him. On the very next lap, McDowell attempted a slide job on McIntosh in turn 4 in which he succeeded and took the lead. McDowell then separated himself from the rest of the field  and seemed to be on smooth sailing but on lap 50 the second and final caution came out as 13-year old Carder Miller’s 69* slowed on the backstretch.

There would then be a 3 lap shootout for $10,052. Coming to the green on a single file restart, the caution didn’t slow down McDowell’s momentum as he would lead the final 3 laps and take the checkers with McIntosh taking second and Jimmy Owens rounding out the podium by passing Casey Roberts on the restart. Cory Hedgecock passed Vic Hill to the finish in the 5th position. Rounding out the top 10 was Vic Hill, Shanon Buckingham, Jason Jameson, Mike Marlar, and Eric Wells.

Feature Finish:

  1. 17m Dale McDowell- Chickamauga, GA
  2. 58 Donald McIntosh- Dawsonville, GA
  3. 20 Jimmy Owens- Newport, TN
  4. 101 Casey Roberts- Toccoa, GA
  5. 9 Cory Hedgecock- Loudon, TN
  6. 1 Vic Hill- Mosheim, TN
  7. 50 Shanon Buckingham- Morristown, TN
  8. 12 Jason Jameson- Lawrenceburg, IN
  9. 157 Mike Marlar- Winfield, TN
  10. 18W Eric Wells- Hazard, KY
  11. 101 Forrest Trent- Tallbot, TN
  12. 21k Dakotah Knuckles- Ewing, VA
  13. 18 Brandon Kinzer- Lexington, KY
  14. 8 David Payne- Murphy, NC
  15. 97 Michael Chilton- Salvisa, KY
  16. 81 Aaron Ridley- Chatsworth, GA
  17. 24 Zach Leonhardi- Cartersville, GA
  18. 1G Ryan King- Seymour, TN
  19. 144 Chicky Barton- Middlesboro, KY
  20. 69* Carder Miller- Salem, VA
  21. 1 Mack McCarter- Gatlinburg, TN
  22. 21 Robby Moses- Maryville, TN

Trevor Gonzales, STL Motorsport Magazine


Johnson Wins Opener at Boyd’s

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(Ringgold, GA) April 13, 2018 – The 2018 Chevrolet Performance Parts 525 Series began it’s 6th season this past Friday night at Boyd’s Speedway in Ringgold, GA with a 40-lap $2,500 to win race. At the end of the night, National Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame and two-time 525 Super Series Champion “The Chattanooga Flash” Ronnie Johnson found himself in victory lane. The Chattanooga, TN native led all 40 laps flag to flag in the number 85 Josh Roberts Trucking Capital Race Car.
There were 22 entrants in Friday’s race and the top 8 qualifiers were locked into the feature. Johnson led the way in qualifying with a lap of 15.178 around the 1/3 mile dirt oval followed by Riley Hickman, Chase King, Dale Thurman, Cruz Skinner, Jordy Nipper, Chip Brindle, and Jake Knowles.
The rest of the field competed in a 10 lap B-Main to determine the rest of the field. All of the cars would advance to the feature as Joseph Brown out of Columbus, GA won the B-Main and locked up the 9th starting position. He was followed by Travis Pennington, Zach Pilcher, Dalton Polston, and Scott Hall.
When the green flag waved for the feature, Johnson took the early advantage. By lap 9, he had already began to enter lap traffic and Hickman, King, Thurman, and Cruz Skinner. 8th place starting Jake Knowles moved up into 6th place on lap 15. On lap 19, Johnson had to get by 2 lapped cars running side by side and that allowed the R1 of Riley Hickman to catch up to the back bumper of Johnson.
At the halfway point, Johnson got passed the lap cars and starting to separate himself from the rest of the field. Once the thought of a caution free race came to mind, the first caution of the evening came on lap 23 when there was fluid/debris in turn one. During the caution, the 92 of Joseph Brown, the 87 of Zach Pilcher, and the 00 of Dalton Polston pulled into the infield and their night was cut short early. After a very lengthy caution, the race resumed back to green and the second caution of the night came out as 3rd place running Chase King spun in turns one and two collecting Jordy Nipper and Eric Dalton. King was attempting to pass Hickman for second but jumped the cushion and lost control of his 44 Stinger Chasis. King moved to the tail end of the lead lap. On the ensuing restart, the final caution came out again as 9th place running Landon Bagby and King made contact and spun in turns one and two collecting Oliver Gentry, Chad Wallace, Randy Dillard, and Eric Dalton. All cars were able to continue with minor cosmetic damage except for the 51 of Dillard who pulled off.
The race resumed with a single file restart and by lap 32, Johnson and Hickman had separated themselves from the rest of the field as the leaders once again began to get into lapped traffic. With 2 laps to go, Johnson had gotten out of lapped traffic and had a clear path to victory. Johnson checked out and took the checkers and a $2,500 paycheck by a 1.9 second margin. Riley Hickman finished 2nd, 3rd was Dale Thurman, 4th was Cruz Skinner, and Jake Knowles finished 5th. Rounding out the top 10 was Jordy Nipper, Travis Pennington, Chip Brindle, Landon Bagby, and Chase King.
Feature Finish:
  1. 85 Ronnie Johnson – Chattanooga, TN
  2. R1 Riley Hickman- Ooltewah, TN
  3. 59 Dale Thurman- Cartersville, GA
  4. 11 Cruz Skinner- Oxford, AL
  5. 66 Jake Knowles- Rome, GA
  6. 1N Jordy Nipper- Gray, GA
  7. 01 Travis Pennington- Stapleton, GA
  8. 17 Chip Brindle- Chatsworth, GA
  9. 19 Landon Bagby- Winston, GA
  10. 44 Chase King- Seymour, TN
  11. 34 Chad Wallace- LaGrange, GA
  12. 03 Oliver Gentry- Newnan, GA
  13. 24 Barry Goodman- Spring City, TN
  14. 35 Scott Hall- Rome, GA
  15. 11D Eric Dalton- Science Hill, KY
  16. 00 Dalton Polston- Lithia Springs, GA
  17. 87 Zach Pilcher- Rome, GA
  18. 92 Joseph Brown- Columbus, GA
  19. 51 Randy Dillard- Epworth, GA
  20. 27 Pete Cochran- Dallas, GA
  21. 24 Buster Goss- Rome, GA
  22. 66K Jody Knowles- Tyrone, GA

Trevor Gonzales, STL Motorsport Magazine


UMP LATE MODEL A-Feature

PLACE START DRIVER POINTS
1. 1. Caleb Ashby (61)
Cunningham, Tn
65
2. 2. Gavin Schmidt (19)
Tennessee Ridge, Tn
59
3. 3. Drew Wilkerson (78)
Ravenna, Mi
58
4. 5. Credence Mott (89M)
Vienna, Il
57
5. 6. Fred Perry Jr (0Jr)
Central City`, Ky
56

CRATE MODEL A-Feature

PLACE START DRIVER POINTS
1. 1. Michael Zimmerman (93)
Clarksville, Tn
65
2. 2. Logan Brown (10B)
White Bluff, Tn
59
3. 4. Hunter Blackwell (2)
Clarksville, Tn
58
4. 6. Ricky Knight Jr (43)
Clarksville, Tn
57
5. 3. Doug Belew (65)
Clarksville, Tn
56

Tyson Graves, STL Motorsport Magazine


March Madness Starts Early for Madden

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Photo: Cole Perkins

St. Louis (March 5, 2018) Sunday’s 15th Annual March Madness at Cherokee Speedway featured the Southern All Star Series and 23 drivers from 8 different states.  Chris Madden had entered the day with two previous wins in the late winter classic held in Gaffney, SC.  But after being unable to capture a win in 2017 at what is considered Madden’s hometrack, the Gray Court, SC native was eager to return to victory lane at “The Place Your Mama Warned You About”.

          The day began well for Madden as he was able post the quickest time overall in qualifying, which led to a win in Heat 3.  Mt. Holly, NC’s Chris Ferguson set fast time in Group A propelling him to a Heat 1 win, meaning he would start on pole for the 60 lap feature.  Heat 2 belonged to Don O’Neal, then Scott Bloomquist was victorious in Heat 4.

          The green flag waved on a 22 car field just as the sun was setting behind the frontstretch grandstand.  Starting on the outside front row, Chris Madden gained an advantage over Ferguson exiting turn 2 allowing him to lead lap 1.  Ray McElhiney, car #20, brought out an early caution on lap 7 when he spun in turn 3.  On the ensuing restart Scott Bloomquist, outside row 2, cleared Ferguson moving him up to 2nd.  Meanwhile, Don O’Neal dropped two positions when Ross Bailes and Zack Mitchell got by on the outside.  The next 25 laps were completed caution free, which allowed Chris Madden to build a large lead. Madden navigated through lapped traffic better than his competition on the bottom-dominant track. 

          On lap 32 the yellow waved due to a slowed car, setting up a restart just passed the halfway point.  This time Chris Ferguson was able to restart on the outside of row 2 and grabbed the 2nd spot from Scott Bloomquist, bringing Ross Bailes with him.  2 laps later, Don O’Neal got underneath Zack Mitchell and completed the pass. Passing continued to be difficult until the next yellow occured when Michael Brown suffered a flat right rear tire in turn 1 after completing lap 52 setting up an 8 lap shootout to the finish.

          On the restart, Chris Ferguson clipped the inside wall causing him to spin in front of the field collecting Michael Brown, Tristan Sealy, and Brad Skinner. The next restart played into the hands of Scott Bloomquist, giving him the outside of row 2.  He was able to clear the 2nd place running Ross Bailes, but just didn’t quite have enough to get around Chris Madden who led all 60 laps in the $12,000 to win feature.

          This was Chris Madden’s first win since returning to a Barry Wright chassis and 3rd March Madness victory tying Jonathon Davenport for most all time.  Following the race Barry Wright was smiling ear-to-ear, happy to be back in Victory Lane at his hometrack Cherokee Speedway.

Results: 1.Chris Madden; 2.Scott Bloomquist; 3.Ross Bailes; 4.Don O’Neil; 5.Zack Mitchell; 6.Casey Roberts; 7.Jonathan davenport; 8.Benji Hicks; 9.Kyle Hardy; 10.Michael Brown; 11.Pearson Lee Williams; 12.Chris Ferguson; 13.Ivedent Lloyd; 14.Dennis Franklin; 15.Tristan Sealy; 16.Chicky Barton; 17.Dustin Mitchell; 18.Brad Skinner; 19.Jay Scott; 20.Kenny Collins; 21.Mark Dodson; 22.Ray McElhenney; 23.Doug Sanders

Justin Olmsted, STL Motorsport Magazine(Just Racin On Dirt)


 

.

19. 11. Justin McDaniel (3M)
Eddyville, Ky
27
20. 16. Ricky Arms (4)
Glasgow, Ky
26
21. 12. Hunter Willbanks (10w)
Lakeland, Tn
25
22. 25. Corey Schmidt (119)
Tennessee Ridge, Tn
24
23. 23. Timmy Hancock Jr (022)
Collinsville, Il
23
24. 7. Matt Markham (19M)
Fredonia, Ky
22
25. 2. Tim Hancock (0)
Mt. Olive, Il
21

 

PLACE START DRIVER POINTS
1. 1. Dakota Ewing (25E)
Decatur, Il
65
2. 2. Randy Shuman (39)
Danville, Il
59
3. 6. Allen Clm Weisser (61)
Peoria, Il
58
4. 9. AJ May (A9)
Creve Coeur, Il
57
5. 10. Darren Wireman (82)
Wheatfield, In
56
6. 16. Dustin Golden (14A)
Bedford, In
50
7. 5. Dean Morgan (D11)
Russellville, Ky
49
8. 4. Michael Zimmerman (93)
Clarksville, Tn
48
9. 15. Ashleigh Campbell (95A)
Clarksville, Tn
47

 


 MSSC Announces New Media Partnership with STL Motorsport Magazine

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(Buckingham, IL) Officials with the Midwest Street Stock Championship are excited to announce a new partnership with STL Motorsports Magazine, naming them the exclusive media outlet for the series, as well as providing announcing duties from Tyson Graves for all 2018 events.

STL Motorsports Magazine was founded in 2014 by Kevin Howdeshell as a social media outlet for NASCAR in the St. Louis area, featuring podcasts on NASCAR news and topics. Kevin’s passion for racing led him to start STL Motorsports Magazine to promote local racing and give fans updates on action in the area. In 2017 Kevin added Tyson Graves as a reporter for the Magazine in the Central Illinois area, and has branched out reporting on regional and national series with driver interviews, race updates from the track and launch of the new STL Motorsports Magazine website.

STL Motorsports Magazine is proud to partner with MSSC for the 2018 season,” said Tyson Graves, Content Manager for STL Motorsports Magazine. We are excited to promote, support and supply the best media coverage for a growing series that fits right in our expansion of racing coverage in 2018.”

In addition to his duties as Content Manager for STL Motorsports Magazine, Graves will also serve as the series announcer for the Midwest Street Stock Championship in the 2018 racing season. Graves will lend his vocal talents to all events on the 2018 schedule, both at the track and on the new MSSC Live! pay-per-view system. “I am excited to join the MSSC team as the announcer and voice of the MSSC for 2018. I look forward to the opportunity to get to know the greatest Street Stock racers around.”

“We are excited to partner with STL Motorsports Magazine this season,” said Tony Hubert, President of Business Operations for the MSSC. “We love having a more connected and diverse way to distribute the series’ news and results to more people.”

You can follow STL Motorsports Magazine via their website, Facebook Page, and on Twitter.


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