It was most definitely ‘Fergy Time!’ in the Southern Nationals Bonus Series promoted Robert Pursley Memorial event at the Cherokee Speedway on Friday night. The Mount Holly, NC driver set fast time in qualifying and led every of the feature to earn the $7,000 winner’s payoff that came on the first of a two night double header.
Ferguson posted the best time in qualifying when he toured the Gaffney, SC track in 14.991 seconds to lead Group B as well as overall. Scott Bloomquist and Boom Briggs joined Ferguson from that group in earning a spot in the dash race that would set the first three rows of the starting grid for the feature.
Casey Roberts led Group A with a lap of 15.123 seconds with Ross Bailes and Steve Francis also making their way to the dash race from that group.
After a redraw among those top-6 drivers for starting positions in the dash, Francis took the win and secured the pole for the feature with Ferguson, Bailes, Briggs, Roberts and Bloomquist trailing.
There were no B-mains as the remainder of the 22 car field was set via time-trials.
Immediately at the drop of the green flag for the 40-lap main event, Ferguson seized the top spot from his outside front row starting position. Francis, Bailes, Bloomquist and Roberts trailed the leader in the early laps.
A total of five cautions slowed the action and kept Ferguson within sight of the rest of the field during the event. However, the #22 Longhorn quickly bolted away from the pack and put several car lengths on his pursuers after each restart.
While there was hardly a battle for the lead, the racing for the other top-5 positions was a tight one. Francis was always able to keep his Clint Bowyer owned car ahead of the group but Bloomquist, Bailes and Roberts exchanged places on multiple occasions.
After the race’s final yellow flag waved on lap 27, Ferguson jumped out to a significant lead and went on to win by the length of a straightaway over Francis, Roberts, Bloomquist, Bailes, Dennis Franklin, Chris Madden, Brent Dixon, Don O’Neal and Brandon Overton.