The Spring Nationals mini-series completed its two-race weekend by sanctioning the Scott Sexton Memorial at Volunteer Speedway in Bulls Gap, TN. Dale McDowell made it two-for-two on the Spring Nationals tour by picking up the win in thrilling fashion and collecting his second check of $10,000 after having won a race at Senoia(GA) Raceway on March 31st.
Jason Jameson led the way in Group A qualifying when he posted a lap of 12.613 seconds around the 4/10 mile clay oval to beat out the efforts of Dakotah Knuckles, Casey Roberts and Vic Hill.
Mike Marlar was fastest in Group B time-trials and overall when he turned a lap in 12.488 seconds to better the marks set by Jimmy Owens, Donald McIntosh and Robby Moses.
Roberts won the first heat race of the night ahead of Jameson, Chicky Barton and Ryan King while Hill took the second heat over Knuckles, Brandon Kinzer and David Payne.
McIntosh led the way in the third heat by beating out Marlar, Dale McDowell and Forrest Trent just before Jimmy Owens topped Eric Wells, Shanon Buckingham and Carder Miller.
Michael Chilton won the night’s only B-main race.
At the start of the 52-lap feature, it was McIntosh who would show the early way with Roberts, Owens, Hill and Marlar in his tire tracks. Jameson made an early move when he got around Marlar to claim the fifth position. That maneuvering allowed the top-4 of slip away from the rest of the pack by the end of the fourth circuit.
By lap 9, the leaders found themselves in traffic which tightened their battle. McDowell also began to make his moved forward by taking sixth from Marlar. A few laps later he would grab 5th from Jameson.
The lead cars of McIntosh, Roberts and Owens had to work their way through heavy traffic in a race that would go until lap 44 without a caution. McIntosh on occasion had to make three-wide maneuvers to get by the cars he was attempting to put a lap down. In the meantime, McDowell continued to work forward from his tenth starting position as he passed by Hill to take fourth.
McDowell’s surge toward the front continued on lap 34 when he moved around Owens for third. One lap later he took second away from Roberts and immediately began closing on McIntosh. Owens then began working on Roberts in hopes of moving into third.
Following a lap 44 restart, Hill and Hedgecock engaged in an epic slide job and crossover battle that saw them swap positions multiple times as they raced for fifth.
McDowell closed in on McIntosh and then made his move on lap 46. The No. 17M machine bolted to the lead at that point. However, a lap 49 caution would provide McIntosh and others one final opportunity to make a bid for the lead. However, the veteran racer was able to beat everyone to the checkered flag and claim the lucrative first prize.
Feature Finish: 1. Dale McDowell, 2. Donald McIntosh, 3. Jimmy Owens, 4. Casey Roberts, 5. Cory Hedgecock, 6. Vic Hill, 7. Shanon Buckingham, 8. Jason JJameson, 9. Mike Marlar, 10. Eric Wells, 11. Forrest Trent, 12. Dakotah Knuckles, 13. Branon Kinzer, 14. David Payne, 15. Michael Chilton, 16. Aaron Ridely, 17. Zach Leonhardi, 18. Ryan King, 19. Chicky Barton, 20. Carder Miller, 21. Mack McCarter, 22. Robby Moses