Two Dirt Late Model Dream features at Eldora Speedway in the same year that paid $126,000 and $127,000 each. The North-South 100 at Florence Speedway that paid $50,000. The Firecracker 100 at Lernerville Speedway that paid $30,000. The Rock Gault Memorial at Cherokee Speedway that paid $40,000.
The races listed above are just a few of the 20+ victories driver Brandon Overton had piled up prior to Thursday night’s running of the 51st World 100 at Eldora Speedway. And when the dust had settled from that crown jewel event, the Georgia native had added yet another $54,000 to his bank account and the much-coveted Globe trophy that goes along with winning Dirt Late Model racing’s most prestigious event to his trophy case.
Following his Thursday night win in Rossburg, Ohio, Overton reflected on his past successes and on the path that led him to this point.
“That Dream was pretty cool but this is awesome,” Overton told FloRacing.com in his post-race interview. “Me and Heather(Curry, fiancé) used to sit up there when I couldn’t even make the race and she used to tell me, ‘Don’t worry about it. We’re going to get ’em one day.’ I’m just glad it all finally paid off, you know.”
Later, Overton added more about his fiancé.
“She’s been with me through it all, when we sucked or whatever,” the 30-year-old driver said. “She’s seen all the highs and all the lows. She works a lot and don’t get to come all the time so for her to be here with me, like I said, I can relax tomorrow and the next day because I got me one and she’s here to enjoy it with me.”
Overton took the lead of Thursday’s World 100 on lap 24 when he passed Ricky Thornton Jr. He would control the pace of the feature until a lap 58 caution flag. On that restart, former World 100 winner Dale McDowell grabbed the top spot then began to pull away from Overton and the rest of the pack, building a lead of almost three seconds at one point.
The driver known as ‘Big Sexy’ explained that the same Longhorn Chassis by Wells car he used to win both Dirt Late Model Dream races earlier in the year is one he very much believes in. He thought he would be able to catch McDowell, but at the same time, he knew he had to keep drivers such as Jonathan Davenport, Tim McCreadie and Hudson O’Neal in his wake.
“This thing’s so damn good,” Overton declared. “I’ve got a lot of confidence in it. I can sit there and wait on them. Me and Dale have raced in the rubber a lot but I wasn’t real worried until I saw J.D. and I said, ‘I’ve got to go’. I hung wide a little bit right here and I just got my rights(tires) in it just enough to cross him over. Dale’s one of the best, I’ve followed him many times. To beat him here and for this race to play out like it did, I can’t put it into words.”
Overton admitted that he felt the pressure coming into the week at Eldora. He explained that the focus of the media on his efforts was powerful, including an interview that had been done earlier with dirt racing legend Scott Bloomquist.
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But even with that, Overton felt like he had the ability to win.
“Honestly, I felt like I did,” he explained. “Y’all make it tough on me, man. Y’all put a lot of pressure on me, I heard Scott’s interview and I hope he enjoyed that ass kicking. Those guys are the ones that drive me to do this. I’m speechless, I don’t know what to do. I’ve got awesome car owners and a lot of sponsors that are here with me.”
Throughout his tenure driving for Wells and Sons Motorsports, Overton has been quick to heap praise upon David and Eric Wells and express how he wants to please them in exchange for the opportunity they have provided for him. This was clearly seen following his win in the North-South 100 which was a home state triumph for the Hazard. Kentucky-based organization. Thursday’s post-race interview was no different.
“I always say that it makes me happy to make people happy and I want to thank him(David Wells) so much for trusting me with this,” Overton stated. “Him and Eric are a big part of this, he works hard back at the shop to make sure we’ve got everything we need to race. To do it for the Wells family and for them to trust me and take this stuff and hire the team, I can’t thank them enough. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.”
For his part, David Wells is just as appreciative of Overton as his driver is toward him.
“This whole year has been unbelievable,” Wells declared in Eldora victory lane. “He has absolutely done things that nobody would have dreamed of and it has absolutely been wonderful. This is the one I wanted.”
Overton’s mastery of this year’s major races is the stuff of legend much like the run Jonathan Davenport had in 2015 or the 2019 season in which Brandon Sheppard won three races that paid more than $100,000. The driver of the No. 76 car will have the opportunity to add to this story on Saturday with the running of the 50th annual World 100.
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