The Schaeffer’s Oil Spring Nationals mini-series for Super Late Models kicked off the first of two consecutive three-race weekends on Thursday night at the Tri-County Race Track. At the end of the night it was Donald McIntosh who left the Ray Cook-promoted facility in Brasstown, NC with the winner’s trophy and a first place check valued at $4,000.
McIntosh would start the feature event from the pole position by virtue of leading Group A qualifying with a lap of 13.453 seconds around the quarter-mile clay oval. That lap bettered the efforts of Brandon Overton, Casey Roberts and Kenny Collins in that group.
Dale McDowell earned the right to start the feature from the outside of the front row by leading Group B time-trials with a lap of 13.393 seconds to beat out Jamie Oliver, Shawn Chastain and Tanner English.
At the start of the 40-lap feature it was McIntosh who took the early lead with McDowell, Oliver, Roberts and Overton trailing in his tire tracks. Chastain made an early move when he moved by Overton to grab third.
A series of early cautions kept the field tightly bunched. On a lap 2 restart Oliver was able to get side-by-side with McDowell as they fought over the runner-up spot. However, Oliver would lose ground on lap 4 when the nose of his car clipped the inside berm and broke his momentum. Chastain was hurt the most by that mishap as he found himself losing multiple positions after jamming up behind the slowed car of Oliver.
Meanwhile, McIntosh was flexing the muscle of his No. 7 Blount Motorsports car as he slipped away from McDowell and Roberts, who had moved around Oliver for third.
The final 32 laps of the feature ran caution free and saw McIntosh, McDowell and Roberts slip away from the fourth and fifth running cars of Oliver and Collins.
McIntosh pulled away in the middle stages of the race but was briefly held up as he attempted to lap a slower car. McDowell and Roberts were able to close ground but once clear of the lapped machine the No. 7 once again built a relatively comfortable lead.
Further back, the cars of Oliver, Tanner English, Overton and Chastain engaged in a battle for positions 5-8.
With just eight laps remaining, Roberts made his move in hopes of wresting second away from McDowell. The No. 101 machine employed a slide job maneuver to briefly take the position through turns one and two. However, McDowell countered with a crossover going down the backstretch and into turn three that regain the spot.
Over the closing laps McIntosh pulled away to score the victory.
Feature Finish: 1. Donald McIntosh, 2. Dale McDowell, 3. Casey Roberts, 4. Kenny Collins, 5. Jamie Oliver, 6. Shawn Chastain, 7. Brandon Overton, 8. Tanner English, 9. David Payne, 10. Joey Standridge, 11. Clayton Turner, 12. Johnny Chastain, 13. Glenn Barnett, 14. Kurt English