*Story based on updates from Race Monitor as well as @WoO_Updates on Twitter.
The Xtreme DIRTcar Winter Series made its way to Lavonia Speedway for the third of its six-race schedule. Ultimately, it would be Zack Mitchell who become the second ever driver to win a race on this new series and would leave the Georgia track with the winner’s trophy and a check valued at $5,000.
Zack Mitchell led the way in qualifying by turning a lap 15.662 seconds around the clay oval to beat out Chris Madden, Chris Ferguson, John Henderson, Trent Ivey and G.R. Smith.
The top-2 from each heat would be eligible to enter the Xtreme DIRTcar Winter Series redraw that would set the first three rows on the feature starting grid.
Zack Mitchell won the first heat race of the day by topping Logan Roberson, Kenny Collins and John Henderson while Chris Madden won the second preliminary ahead of Trent Ivey, Kyle Strickler and Pearson Lee Williams.
G.R. Smith won the third and final heat over Chris Ferguson, Payton Freeman and Ross Bailes.
The re-draw placed Zack Mitchell on the pole to be followed by Logan Roberson, Chris Ferguson, G.R. Smith, Chris Madden and Trent Ivey.
At the start of the 40-lap feature it was Mitchell who quickly went to the lead ahead of Roberson, Smith, Strickler and Ivey. Ivey and Strickler swapped fourth and fifth on lap 5 with Ivey eventually maintaining the position.
Mitchell built up a lead of just over one second in the early laps until a caution flag waved on lap 8 to tighten the field. On the ensuing restart it was Ivey and Madden who would take advantage as those drivers moved to third and fifth respectively.
Bailes spun to bring out the second yellow flag in the feature when he spun on lap 10. Mitchell continued lead following the restart ahead of Smith, Ivey, Roberson and Mitchell.
Another caution once again slowed the action lap 14 when Collins experienced mechanical issues.
The race ran under green flag conditions up to lap 29 with Mitchell maintaining a relatively comfortable advantage over Ivey. Meanwhile, Roberson moved up to third in the running order when he passed by Smith on lap 21.
On lap 23 Smith’s slide continued as Madden took fourth. At the same time, Strickler assumed the sixth position when he moved around Ferguson.
A lap 29 caution flag was displayed when Bailes fell off the pace. That was immediately followed by a lap 30 yellow flag for a spin by Brian Connor.
On the restart, Mitchell wasted no time in rebuilding his lead over Ivey, Roberson and Madden.
Madden, who entered the day as the series points leader, passed by Roberson for third on lap 35. But Mitchell would run the remainder of the distance largely unchallenged as he sailed under the checkered flag to collect the win.
Feature Finish: 1. Zack Mitchell, 2. Trent Ivey, 3. Chris Madden, 4. Logan Roberson, 5. G.R. Smith, 6. Ross Bailes, 7. Kyle Strickler, 8. Chris Ferguson, 9. John Hederson, 10. Pearson Lee Williams, 11. Payton Freeman, 12. Brian Connor, 13. Ethan Wilson, 14. Jeff Smith, 15. Cla Knight, 16. Tim Vance, 17. Avery Breedlove, 18. Blake Craft, 19. Kenny Collins, 20. Bubba Russell, 21. Jamie Oliver