The Southern All Star Dirt Racing Series ventured to Smoky Mountain Speedway on Saturday night to contest a $5,000-to-win feature as part of the tracks Big Daddy 500 event. In the end, hometown hero Tommy Kerr led a Blount Motorsports sweep of the top two positions as he beat out teammate Casey Roberts at the historic Maryville, Tenn. track.
Kerr began the night by setting fast time in Group A qualifying and overall when he toured the 4/10 mile clay oval in 17.127 seconds. That lap not only earned the No. 4T machine the pole position for the feature race. Also locked into the main event from the first group were T.J. Reaid, Steven Roberts, Jay Scott and Kenny Collins.
Riley Hickman led the way in Group B with a mark of 17.346 seconds to better the efforts of Casey Roberts, Stacy Boles, Dakotah Knuckles and Vic Hill.
Cory Hedgecock and Tanner English won the two B-main races used to set the remainder of the starting lineup.
Kerr immediately shot to the front of the pack at the start of the 40-lap feature with Hickman, Casey Roberts, Reaid and Boles trailing. Scott, who entered the evening as the SAS points leader, moved into to challenge Boles for the fifth position on the second circuit as Kerr worked to slip away from his pursuers.
A lap 7 caution for a blown left rear tire on Hill’s machine bunched the field and set up a restart. Boles moved around Roberts for third when the green flag waved while Hedgecock jumped all the way up to fifth in the running order.
Roberts reclaimed third as he moved by Boles on lap 9 while Scott and Reaid fought for position just outside the top-5. Shanon Buckingham began making a charge toward the front when he passed by Collins to grab the eighth position on lap 17.
The race’s second yellow flag was displayed at the halfway mark when Ray McElhiney stopped on track. Hedgecock moved around Boles to take fourth on the restart then Buckingham also moved around Boles to enter the top-5 just one lap later.
After a lap 22 caution. Roberts was able to pass Hickman for the runner-up spot at the same time Buckingham made an outside move stick as he went by Hedgecock to claim fourth.
From the point, the two Blount Motorsports cars moved just far enough ahead of the field that they could settle the issue among themselves. With just three laps remaining, Roberts pulled alongside Kerr off of turn 2 as the brightly colored yellow machines roared down the backstretch. But Kerr was up to the challenge as he bolted ahead in turn three and was ultimately able to beat back the attempt of his teammate.
Feature Finish: 1. Tommy Kerr, 2. Casey Roberts, 3. Shanon Buckingham, 4. Riley Hickman, 5. Cory Hedgecock, 6. Stacy Boles, 7. Jay Scott, 8. Kenny Collins, 9. Tanner English, 10. Dakotah Knuckles…