Page, Bailes overcome issues to earn podium finishes at Cochran

There was no doubt that Brandon Overton was the cream of the crop on Friday night at Cochran(GA) Motor Speedway when the Super Late Model division completed a rain delayed $20,000-to-win feature that had originally been scheduled for last fall. To further add to that home state driver’s dominance was the fact that his two closest competitors, second finishing Michael Page and third finishing Ross Bailes, each had issues that had to be overcome in order for them to obtain their eventual podium results.

Michael Page finished second on Friday night at Cochran despite engine trouble

At one point in the race, Page had carved into the sizable advantage Overton had built as the lead machines fought their way through slower traffic. However, a lap 53 caution flag provided a reprieve from that traffic but also gave Overton a clear track and another opportunity to pull away from his pursuers.

Page explained after the race that his ability to stick with Overton had been hampered by an ailing power plant under the hood of his race car.

“It lost a cylinder or two then somehow it got them back,” the runner-up pointed out. “I mean, I don’t know, but I thought it blew up. It just started coming back there at the end. We didn’t need that.”

During his post-race interview on, Page thought back to a lap 28 restart when he was passed by Wil Herrington then had to work his way back to second. Still, he knew that keeping pace with Overton would be a difficult task.

“We didn’t need it there when I messed up on that restart,” the driver of the No. 18x declared. “I was trying to get a run on them and I was about to jump them. I didn’t need that caution there in that long run. I was getting pretty good, I mean, it would be hard to outrun Brandon either way. We were pretty good and I’m happy with second. We are trying something different. We’ve just got to work on it a little bit more and I think we’ll be alright.”

Ross Bailes overcame brake troubles to finish third at Cochran

Third finishing Bailes was fighting difficulties of his own as he worked to track down Page and Overton. His Big Frog Motorsports entry was having brake issues that impeded his progress as the 75-lap feature wore on.

He hopes that he and his crew can resolve the issue before the Super Late Models take to the track on Saturday night.

“That’s a new car there,” Bailes explained. “We’ve got something going on with the brakes. Every time I get on the brakes, it shoves like crazy and we’ve got to get that figured out. We were just holding on there. Hopefully we can get that figured out and be a be a lot better tomorrow.”

Bailes ran the final laps of the race in the bottom groove although he saw potential for more speed in the higher line. And further, he does not believe the slick conditions of the track on Friday night favored his driving style.

“If I could have got it to turn, I might could have ran up there but it just would turn for me so I had to stay right around that bottom wall,” he said. “I’m not good on this(slick track). I’ve got to get better on this. I’m getting a little bit better as I go but it’s not my forte, that’s for sure.”

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