The Ultimate Super Late Model Series ventured to the Volunteer Speedway on Thursday night to contest its third event of the 2019 season. When all was said and done, it was veteran racer Dale McDowell who walked away from the Bulls Gap, TN facility with the $10,000 first prize after a hard fought battle with Jimmy Owens.
McDowell led the way in qualifying after he turned a lap of 12.276 seconds around the 4/10 mile clay oval. That time beat out the efforts of Michael Chilton, Shanon Buckingham, Owens and Robby Moses.
Owens earned the pole position for the feature when he won the first heat race of the night ahead of McDowell, Ross Bailes and Donald McIntosh while Chilton would start the main event from outside the front row due to his win in the night’s second preliminary over Brandon Overton, Moses and Cla Knight.
Buckingham took the third and final heat of the evening ahead of Ryan King, Zack Mitchell and Vic Hill.
At the start of the 50-lap feature it would be Chilton jumping to the early lead with Owens, Buckingham and McDowell trailing. Overton improved his position on the second circuit when he passed by McDowell to take fourth. Both of those drivers then closed in on the third running Buckingham as they fought over the third position in the running order.
Owens closed in on Chilton and challenged the early front runner multiple times before finally taking the lead on lap 13. That began a downward slide for Chilton as Overton moved around the No. 97 for second on lap 14 and McDowell slide passed on lap 16 to gain third.
The top-3 of Owens, Overton and McDowell ran in tight formation as they worked through some heavy traffic in a race that had not seen a caution up to its halfway point. On lap 24, McDowell took the runner-up spot away from Overton and began stalking the race leading car of Owens.
The move that would decide the outcome of the race came on lap 31 when Owens was briefly held up by a slower car. McDowell seized the opportunity and made a three-wide move going into turn one that would put him in front of both Owens and the slower machine.
The race’s only caution flag waved on lap 34 when Daulton Wilson’s car came to a stop in turn two.
Following the ensuing restart, McDowell pulled away from the pack and drove on to the take the checkered flag.
Feature Finish: 1. Dale McDowell, 2. Jimmy Owens, 3. Brandon Overton, 4. Shanon Buckingham, 5. Ross Bailes, 6. Donald McIntosh, 7. Zack Mitchell, 8. Vic Hill, 9. Robby Moses, 10. Michael Chilton, 11. Ryan King, 12. Billy Moyer Jr., 13. Forrest Trent, 14. Cla Knight, 15. Dakotah Knuckles, 16. Chicky Barton, 17. Josh Sneed, 18. Cory Hedgecock, 19. Daulton Wilson, 20. Anthony Sanders, 21. Steve Smith, 22. Ahnna Parkhurst