Dale McDowell takes thrilling Iron-Man feature at Smoky Mountain

Dale McDowell took the lead late and drove on to the win

The Schaeffer’s Oil Iron-Man Late Model Series completed the second of its two-race features on Saturday night at Smoky Mountain Speedway. National Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame member Dale McDowell emerged from a late race battle to capture the win. The Chickamauga, GA driver earned $5,000 for his victory.

Jonathan Davenport won the Iron-Man event held on Friday night at Ponderosa Speedway in Junction City, KY.

Donald McIntosh was quickest in Group A qualifying by laying down a lap in 16.664 seconds around the 4/10 mile clay oval to beat out Pearson Lee Williams, Dakotah Knuckles, Dale McDowell and Tommy Kerr.

Cory Hedgecock topped the Group B qualifiers with an effort of 16.903 seconds to top Zach Leonhardi, Michael Chilton, Riley Hickman and series points leader Ryan King.

There were no heat races held.

At the start of the 40-lap feature it was McIntosh who went to the early lead with Hedgecock, Williams, McDowell and Hickman trailing. McDowell got by Williams by the end of the first lap just before the Williams machine slammed the turn two wall to bring out a yellow flag.

McIntosh began to pull away when green flag racing resumed. However, slower traffic would slow the progress of the race leader allowing Hedgecock and McDowell to close in by lap 10. The top-3 drivers then ran in tight formation for several circuits as they pulled away from the rest of the pack.

Ryan King (1G) battles Riley Hickman (R1).

McDowell moved to second on lap 24 when he passed by Hedgecock. The “Mac Daddy” then took the lead away from Mcintosh on lap 26. However, McIntosh would fight back on the outside with the two cars roaring through turns three and four side-by-side on lap 28.

Contact between the two caused both car to get out of shape as the raced onto the front straightaway. Hedgecock looked to seize the opportunity as he split between McDowell and McIntosh to briefly take the lead into turn one. But the No. 23 car was carrying too much speed and drifted up the banking allowing both McIntosh and McDowell to pass by.

Dale McDowell (17m) pressures Donald McIntosh (7m) for the lead.

McDowell then set off in pursuit of McIntosh as the laps clicked away. On lap 34 the No. 17m machine drove past McIntosh to take the lead for the final time. From there, McDowell sailed on to the checkered flag and claimed the victory.

Feature Finish: 1. Dale McDowell, 2. Donald McIntosh, 3. Cory Hedgecock, 4. Ryan King, 5. Dakotah Knuckles, 6. Robby Moses, 7. Tommy Kerr, 8. Riley Hickman, 9. Joey Standridge, 10. Michael Chilton, 11. Tim Rucker, 12. Jay Scott, 13. Pearson Lee Williams, 14. Zach Leonhardi

Dale McDowell and crew in victory lane.

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