Ross Bailes dominates Xtreme DIRTcar feature at Cherokee

Ross Bailes drove to a dominant win at Cherokee

The Xtreme DIRTcar Winter Series made its way to the Cherokee Speedway on Sunday afternoon to contest the fourth of what is now a five-race mini-tour. At the end of the day it was Ross Bailes who took the $5,000 first prize away from the Gaffney, SC facility.

Bailes scored the victory in a Rocket Chassis after having lost his ride in the Barry Wright Race Cars house car at the end of the 2019 season. Less than one year ago the Clover, SC driver took home the winner’s trophy from a World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series feature race from the same track.

Ross Bailes led the way in qualifying by setting a new track record with a lap of 14.568 seconds around the 4/10 mile clay oval to beat out Zack Mitchell, Johnny Pursley, Trent Ivey, Chris Madden, Pearson Lee Williams, Kyle Strickler and Casey Roberts.

Bailes won the first heat race of the day ahead of Pursley, Madden and Strickler.

Mitchell was flagged as the victor of the second preliminary over Roberts, Ivey and Williams.

The DIRTcar redraw placed Roberts on the pole with Bailes, Ivey, Pursley, Madden and Mitchell lining up in order on the starting grid.

At the start of the 40-lap feature it was Bailes jumping to the early lead from his outside front row starting spot with Roberts, Pursley and Ivey trailing. Mitchell and Madden battled for the remaining spot in the top-5 with Mitchell ultimately winning out by the end of the second lap.

Mitchell soon grabbed the fourth position away from Ivey which then opened the door for Madden to also move into the top-5.

Throughout the middle stretches of the even the top-5 of Bailes, Roberts, Pursley, Mitchell and Madden separated themselves from the rest of the pack as they ran primarily in single-file formation.

A lap 31 caution for a flat tire on the Payton Freeman car bunched the field back up and provided drivers with an opportunity to gain spots. Madden took advantage of that opportunity as he took fourth away from Mitchell when the race returned to green flag conditions.

But over the remaining nine laps it was Bailes who would cruise to the checkered flag for the win.

Feature Finish: 1. Ross Bailes, 2. Casey Roberts, 3. Johnny Pursley, 4. Chris Madden, 5. Zack Mitchell, 6. Pearson Lee Williams, 7. Kyle Strickler, 8. Ryan Gifford, 9. Tim Vance, 10. Scott Shirey, 11. Will Harris, 12. Trent Ivey, 13. Payton Freeman, 14. Bobby Sexton

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