By: BRODY JONES
Special Correspondent for Inside Dirt Racing
The threat of rain might have hurt the car count somewhat, but it didn’t hurt the intense on-track action at the Crossville Speedway on Friday night.
In the Street Stock class, Jeff Proffitt and Jason Savage led the field to the green flag by virtue of winning their respective heat races. The feature, however, was all Jason Savage as he would go wire to wire for the win. Proffitt stayed within striking distance of Savage the whole way, even gaining slight ground at times, but had to settle for second place. After original third-place finisher Scott Brown was deemed too light, Tim Kilby was bumped up to third place. Jason Stoglin would have been fourth place if he hadn’t been ruled too light as well, so this bumped LeBron Miller and Andrew Rice into the top five. Nathan Adams and Ronnie Hargis were sixth and seventh while Brown and Stoglin were disqualified.
The Dwarf class would be led to the green flag by Ron Dodson and Jonathan Allen, who would win their hotly contested heat races. Dodson led the initial six laps until Dewayne Allen passed the faltering Dodson on lap seven and went the rest of the distance for the win, holding off a hard-charging Jonathan Allen for second. Todd Clark was close behind in third with Austin Burton and Dillon Hall rounding out the top five. Chris Flatt, Rodney Hall, Ron Dodson, Steve Norris, Cody Norris, and Anthony Coffman closed out the field.
The car count was down somewhat in the Crate Late Model class, but that didn’t stop “The Lowe Show” as Jesse Lowe took the pole with a blistering 13.54 lap as Lowe went flag to flag to collect win number fourteen for him in the 2017 season. Perry Delaney charged through the field to finish a strong second with Volunteer Speedway mainstay Jordan Horton coming home third. Chase Walls and Troy Davenport rounded out the top five with Deke Waters, Floyd Turner, Dustin Frazier, and Joe Cline closing out the field.
Seventeen cars would start the $500 to win Mod Lite feature with Michael Kelly and John Pitts leading the field to the green flag. Pitts led the first seventeen laps of a twenty lap feature and was two and a half laps from a big pay-day when an inopportune spin that triggered a multi-car crash thwarted his hopes for victory, giving the lead to Cody Sisson, who led the rest of the way for the $500 win. Micah Collins battled his way to a second place finish with Logan Phillips in third. Tony Kelly was fourth and John Pitts rebounded from his misfortune to salvage a fifth place finish. Sixth through tenth in the running order were Jonathan Allen in his Dwarf car, Keith Fain, Dillon Hall, Ron Dodson, and Todd Clark. The remainder of the field was comprised of Jason Carter, Alex Pitts, Michael Kelly, Ronnie Choate, Chris Flatt, Josh Douglas, and Austin Burton, who lost a wheel before the start of the race.
Zach Shannon had himself another dominant night in the Sportsman class as he qualified on the pole with a 13.71 lap, and went wire-to-wire for the win with Brandon Stanfield, DJ Shannon, Perry Delaney, and Anthony Conley rounding out the running order as Doug Gordon was unable to start the feature.
The last class of the evening was the Open Wheel Modified race. Amos Bunch and Matthew Hopper would lead the field to the green flag with Hopper hopping past Bunch for the first two laps until Dustin Diden darted past Hopper on lap three to take the lead and never looked back en route to the win. Hopper had to settle for second, but what might have been the real race of the night was Courtney Smith getting past East Tennessee racing veteran Billy Palmer and fending him off for the third place position in an excellent battle for that position. Chad Crain rounded out the top five as Clark McPeters and Amos Bunch closed out the field after mechanical woes befell Bunch.
Next Friday night, the Dwarf class will be running for $250 to win if 15 cars or more show up. And on Thursday, July 27th, the Ray Cook Southern Nationals Series roars into Crossville for a $3,500 to win Super Late Model feature with regional stars such as Vic Hill, Ricky Weiss, David Payne, Shanon Buckingham, Robby Moses, Donald McIntosh, and last year’s winner, Australia’s own Craig Vosbergen battling it out for bragging rights.