The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series made its first ever appearance at the 411 Motor Speedway on Friday night in front of a huge crowd that saw a first time winner on the series collect the $12,000 first prize. South Carolina’s Ross Bailes led all 50 laps of the feature to capture the checkered flag at the Seymour, TN facility.
Hometown driver Ryan King led the way in Group A qualifying and overall when he turned a lap in 13.348 seconds around the 3/8 mile clay oval. That time bettered those of Josh Richards, Ross Bailes and Billy Moyer, Jr. in that that group.
Donald McIntosh turned the quickest lap in Group B time-trials with a time of 13.587 seconds to beat out Robby Moses, Dale McDowell and Jimmy Owens.
Bailes secured the pole position for the feature by winning the first heat race of the night over King, Jonathan Davenport and Michael Chilton while Richards took the win in the second preliminary of the evening ahead of Moyer, Tim McCreadie and Kyle Bronson.
McDowell would start the main event from the outside of the front row by virtue of his win in the night’s third heat race by beating out McIntosh, Earl Pearson, Jr. and Stormy Scott just before Owens won the fourth and final heat over Moses, Tyler Erb and Devin Moran.
Cory Hedgecock won the lone B-main of the night.
At the start of the 50-lap feature it was Bailes going to the early lead with McDowell, Richards, King and Owens just behind. However, the action was slowed on lap 2 when Jason Jameson spun to bring out the first yellow flag of the night.
On the ensuing restart, Owens got around King to take fourth. And just two laps later he also swept by Richards to grab third. McIntosh also began moving toward the front on lap 5 when he wrested the fifth position away from King.
Owens moved to second just after a lap 7 restart while McIntosh captured fourth at the same time. Soon after, Moses also took advantage of King by taking sixth away. McIntosh and McDowell began to tussle over the third spot on lap 14 with McIntosh taking the spot just before a lap 17 caution.
Two more restarts prior to the halfway mark saw Richards and McDowell exchange the fourth position each time while Owens and McIntosh began a fight for position that would last for the remainder of the event.
The race’s second half saw fewer incidents that the opening stanza. All the while, Bailes went largely unchallenged, even during the multiple restarts. McIntosh and Owens continued to battle for the runner-up spot but Bailes would ultimately drive under the checkered flag to earn the victory.
Feature Finish: 1. Ross Bailes, 2. Donald McIntosh, 3. Jimmy Owens, 4. Jonathan Davenport, 5. Dale McDowell, 6. Kyle Bronson, 7. Ryan King, 8. Josh Richards, 9. Tyler Erb, 10. Earl Pearson, Jr., 11. Tim McCreadie, 12. Robby Moses, 13. Michael Chilton, 14. Jason Jameson, 15. Vic Hill, 16. Billy Moyer, Jr., 17. Stormy Scott, 18. Devin Moran, 19. Shanon Buckingham, 20. Don O’Neal, 21. Cory Hedgecock, 22. Hudson O’Neal, 23. Pierce McCarter, 24. David Crabtree