Overton’s late race pass nets win, Southern Nationals title

Fans who turned out in extremely strong numbers at Tazewell Speedway watched Brandon Overton of Evans, GA., make a late-race move for the lead on Donald McIntosh to secure a $10,000 victory in the grand finale of the Ray Cook-promoted Schaeffer’s Southern Nationals Series (presented by Sunoco and Tennessee RV Supercenter) Saturday night at the steeply-banked track.

The win sealed the championship on the touring series for Overton, who also claimed the Schaeffer’s Spring Nationals title earlier this season. The overall crown was worth an extra $5,053.

McIntosh, who squeezed tightly underneath early leader Craig Vosbergen in turn one to snatch the top spot away on the 13th circuit, led the field and held Overton at bay until the 49th lap. As the lead duo approached two slower cars running side by side ahead of them, Overton closed and was able to make a move to the top side of the oval, momentarily trapping McIntosh behind a slower machine just long enough to grab the point.

The leaders split a lapped machine between turns one and two, and exited the second corner heading toward the backstretch with Overton holding the edge over McIntosh.
The duo crossed the stripe as the winner and runnerup, while the top five in the 51-lapper was filled out by Billy Ogle Jr., Dakotah Knuckles and Shanon Buckingham.
“Our car got a little tight and really wouldn’t steer well enough to go up there,” said McIntosh, who had staved off Overton’s efforts several times before succumbing to the winning move with time running short. I knew up top was where I needed to be, and he [Overton] could get up there and run pretty well, so kudos to him. I can’t really blame the lapped traffic in that situation, because our car had gotten too tight to run the high groove.

“We didn’t win the race, and we didn’t win the championship, but I’m still proud of what our team accomplished on this series. We ran the whole thing with one car and one motor, and we won three races in a row at one point. The whole team did a really great job.”

Overton, hired late last season to wheel a Randy Weaver and Chip Stone-fielded ride, has enjoyed an excellent season that also includes a championship on the Schaeffer’s Spring Nationals. He won four races en route to the Southern Nationals title, including the last three in a row.

His strong season thus far drew praise from Weaver, who stepped away from his role as driver to become a car owner after a bad wreck in a Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series event early last season at East Alabama Motor Speedway. It resulted in concussion-related issues, and ended Weaver’s driving career. It hasn’t slowed him much as a successful owner.

“We’ve got some really, really good people working on our team, and it was a perfect choice when we hired Brandon [Overton] because he really fits into the whole deal and our overall plans,” Weaver said. “We needed someone we could grow with together, and also build around for the future. He was that driver for us, and we’ve had a heck of a year.

“It’s been good, but we’re all still getting used to working with each other, and we seem to improve as a team every weekend we’re at the track. We’re still learning what he likes as a driver, and what he doesn’t like. It’s pretty exciting to think about the future with him.”
Farrel Skelton and Jason Walker both were involved in the same multicar crash during a B-main. They were each awarded provisional starting spots in the main event, and continued their battle for the series’ ARBodies Rookie of the Year award. Skelton finished 21st and took the honors over Walker, who placed 22nd.

Driver Chicky Barton had to be treated for leg injuries after his driveshaft snapped and entered his car’s cockpit, apparently striking him on the leg. He was conscious, alert and talking to medical personnel after the incident. The race was red-flagged so that medics could remove him from the track’s infield via all-terrain vehicle, and take him to a waiting ambulance outside the track. After a trip to a local hospital Barton was allowed to go home with only bumps and bruises.
Schaeffer’s Southern Nationals Series Finale
1. 116 Brandon Overton
2. 7 Donald McIntosh
3. 201 Billy Ogle Jr.
4. 21K Dakotah Knuckles
5. 50 Shanon Buckingham
6. 8 David Payne
7. 8V Craig Vosbergen
8. 7S Brian Smith
9. 101 Forrest Trent
10. 3 Austin Neely
11. 11 Kenny Collins
12. 17 Matt Henderson
13. 25 Chad Ogle
14. 86 Jeff Neubert
15. 11F Josh Fields
16. 11B Stacy Boles
17. 1V Vic Hill
18. 3S Steve Smith
19. 144 Chicky Barton
20. 4 Clyde Overholt
21. 0 Farrel Skelton
22. 83 Jason Walker
Cody Smith of Barbourville, KY scored his third Sportsman feature of the season in front of the huge crowd. Coming into Saturday night Harrogate’s Travis Fultz was riding a five-in-a-row winning streak at the 1/3 mile speed plant. Fultz would turn the fastest lap in qualifying with Smith recording the second quickest time.
As the field stormed into turn one after taking the green Smith used the bottom groove to jump into the lead with Luttrell’s Matt Tharp slipping into second. Going down the back stretch Fultz made it a three way battle for the lead. On the second lap Fultz pulled even with Tharp while behind them Anthony Burchett of Harrogate and points leader Aaron Guinn of Russellville raced door to door. On the next lap Fultz muscled his way past Tharp and Guinn slipped his way into fourth.
Midway through the feature Smith started dealing with lap traffic as the gap closed between himself and Fultz. Meanwhile Guinn was challenging Tharp for third. After dispensing with the lapped traffic Smith cruised the rest of the way for his third win of the season in the Cassie’s Beauty Base, The Depot on Main Fine Dining, Brucebilt Performance sponsored Revelution Race Car with power from a DJ’s Performance Race Engine.
1. 11 Cody Smith
2. T0 Travis Fultz
3. 43 Matt Tharp
4. 97 Aaron Guinn
5. 18 Anthony Burchett
6. 24 Andy Wilder
7. 28 Randy Davis
8. 68 Andy Ogle
9. 22 Jason Sizemore
10. 00 Chris Raines
11. 34 Phillip Shockley
12. 33 Phillip Nichols
13. 8W Paul Whitley
14. 28J Justin James
15. K0 Nick Kniat
16. 17 Logan Seal
17. 32 Tyler Smith
Brad Davis of Tazewell notched his sixth win of the season and earned the big $700 check after leading every lap of the Super Stock feature. Davis would set fast time with a blistering lap of 12.836 seconds, the only Super Stock in the 12 second bracket. Last week’s winner Kurt Owens of Newport qualified second.  During the first lap Davis and Owens were even on the back stretch yet Davis quickly took the lead and stretched out the gap behind the wheel of the Phantom Race Engine powered S&S Race Car with sponsorship from Jeffers Exterminating, Andrews Construction, Dynamic Machine, Locus Church, Forever Young Amusements, Little Caesars Pizza of New Tazewell, Southern Outdoors, Paradise Marine, Old Town Grill, Allen Earl Photography, Matlock Decals and Rick Welch Racing.
Super Stock
1. 88 Brad Davis
2. 14 Kurt Owens
3. P21 Robbie Buchanan
4. 01 Wayne Rader
5. M2 Shannon Emery
6. 83 Cody Thompson
7. 18 Daniel Sauceman
8. C4 Logan Cobb
In the $500 to win Classic Car feature Tim Stevens of Harlan, KY held off his pesky cousin John Stevens of Wallins Creek, KY for his second win of the season in the Bullco Trucking sedan. The starting field was determined by a blind draw with Tim Steven and Hayston Collett sgaring the front row. Collett and John Stevens battled door to door in the early laps with Stevens taking second on the eighth lap. In the waning laps the Steven’s raced hard with only inches separating the two.
Classic Car
1. 19 Tim Stevens
2. 7 John Stevens
3. 5 Hayston Collett
4. 16 Will Carey
5. 52 Kevin Crane
6. 1 Josh Chesney
7. 1N Chris Evans
Veteran 4 Cylinder driver Derik Duggan of Knoxville led every lap of the $500 to win feature in the Turpin’s Auto & Wrecker Service, Coalhill Fabrication, T&N Machine Shop, The Commish Jr Hendrickson, Copper Cove Cabin Rentals, East TN Tint & Detailing, Fullmoon Graphics Ford Mustang. Duggan was challenged early by former 4 Cylinder champion Chuck McMahan until he dropped out on lap five. In the closing laps Joey Allen was closing in on Duggan.
4 Cylinder
1. 7 Derik Duggan
2. 00 Joey Allen
3. 21 Tyler Haynes
4. 1 Mark Wallace
5. 13 Jamie James
6. 7UP Chad Manning
7. 72X Walter Walsh
8. M2 Justin Meredith
9. 63 Toby Brock
10. 72 Rufus Collett
11. 5 Terry Boshears
12. 22 Chris Reichert
13. 99 Chuck McMahan
DNS 15 Dylan Duggan


Updated: July 31, 2017 — 3:13 PM
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