Donald McIntosh outlasts Southern All-Stars field at I-75

Donald McIntosh scored the SAS win at I-75

The Southern All-Stars Dirt Racing Series made its way to I-75 Raceway on Saturday night to contest its tenth feature event of the coronavirus-plagued 2020 season. After a rain shower delayed the action, Donald McIntosh eventually prevailed as the race winner after an attrition-filled feature event. The Dawsonville, GA driver left the Sweetwater, TN track $5,000 richer as a reward for his efforts.

Drivers were divided into two groups for time-trials with the top-5 from each group being locked into the feature.

David Crabtree led the way in Group A qualifying with a lap time of 13.494 seconds around the third-mile clay oval to top the efforts of John Ownbey, Heath Hindman, Justin Owens and David Webb.

It was Donald McIntosh who proved to be fastest in Group B qualifying with a mark of 12.441 seconds to outperform Cory Hedgecock, Dusty Carver, Jason Manley and Logan Roberson.

Ray Cook won the first B-main of the night ahead of Zack Mitchell, Billy Franklin, Kyle Courtney, Tim Rucker and Mark Dodson.

Jason Hiett took the second preliminary race over Tyler Millwood, Riley Hickman, Hudson O’Neal, Josh Richeson and Jason Croft.

At the start of the 50-lap feature Crabtree bolted to the early lead with McIntosh, Ownbey, Hedgecock and Hindman trailing. Hedgecock, who won the Southern Nationals feature at this track in July, wrested third away from Ownbey just after the completion of the first lap and just before a yellow flag was displayed to the field when the Hickman car suffered a flat tire.

On the restart, Hindman moved by Hedgecock to take third away.

In short order the lead duo of Crabtree and McIntosh found themselves racing each other while also battling to get through slower traffic. Contact between the two on lap 7 sent smoke flying off the Crabtree car while further back a multi-car incident claimed one of the pre-race favorites as Hedgecock retired from the race with damage.

Just after the restart another multi-car wreck on the lightning fast track sent Hickman for a wild ride that saw the No. R1 machine roll over several times before coming to rest right side up. Following the race, the driver reported that he was uninjured.

When the racing action returned to green, Crabtree looked as if he might run away from the field. However, that appearance would prove to be short-lived as the No. c5 car slowed suddenly on lap 18 after emitting a plume of smoke. That bit of misfortune handed the lead to McIntosh, who would remain there for the remainder of the feature.

A series of cautions over the second half of the race took their toll as only eight cars would be running at the finish. Most notably among those who were affected by the attrition was O’Neal, who after making his way up to second, briefly closed in on McIntosh only have mechanical woes send him to the pit area on lap 44.

Ultimately, it would be McIntosh who would sail under the checkered flag to collect the win.

Feature Finish: 1. Donald McIntosh, 2. David Webb, 3. Tyler Millwood, 4. Jason Hiett, 5. Jason Manley, 6. Logan Roberson, 7. Josh Richeson, 8. Mark Dodson, 9. Hudson O’Neal, 10. Billy Franklin, 11. John Ownbey, 12. Kyle Courtney, 13. David Crabtree, 14. Ray Cook, 15. Brandon Francis, 16. Zack Mitchell, 17. Justin Owens, 18. Jason Croft, 19. Riley Hickman, 20. Dusty Carver, 21. Heath Hindman, 22. Cory Hedgecock, 23. Bobby Giffin, 24. Tim Rucker

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