The World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series contested the second of its two-race weekend on Saturday night at the Volunteer Speedway. The evening was highlighted by a spirited victory lane celebration as South Carolina native Zack Mitchell claimed his first national touring series triumph and took the $10,000 first prize away from the Bulls Gap, TN facility.
Friday night winner Brandon Sheppard was fastest in Group A qualifying and overall as he turned a lap around the 4/10 mile clay oval in 13.502 seconds to beat out Darrell Lanigan, Brandon Overton, Cory Hedgecock and Ricky Weiss.
Dale McDowell led the way in Group B time-trials with a time of 13.775 seconds to top Chase Junghans, Chris Madden, Zack Mitchell and Forrest Trent.
Brandon Sheppard earned the first heat race win of the night by outrunning Brandon Overton, Ricky Weiss and Michael Chilton while Darrell Lanigan came out on top of the second preliminary ahead of Scott Bloomquist, Cory Hedgecock and Vic Hill.
Dale McDowell captured the third heat over Forrest Trent, Ashton Winger and Boom Briggs just before Zack Mitchell claimed the fourth and final heat ahead of Kyle Strickler, Chase Junghans and Drew Kennedy.
Michael Brown took the win in the lone Last Chance Showdown used to set the remainder of the starting lineup for the feature.
Lanigan drew the pole position for the feature starting grid in the World of Outlaws redraw to place him ahead of Mitchell, Sheppard, McDowell, Overton, Bloomquist, Trent and Strickler.
At the start of the 50-lap feature it was Mitchell who bolted from his outside front row starting to take the early lead with Lanigan, McDowell, Sheppard, Bloomquist and Overton. By lap 4 Bloomquist began to hound Sheppard in an attempt to wrest fourth away from the defending series champion. Ultimately, Bloomquist would grab the spot.
Mitchell found the tail of the field in a race that went its first 29 laps without a yellow flag. As the No, 57 machine worked through the slower cars, Lanigan and McDowell closed in to challenge. Meanwhile, Overton took fifth away from Sheppard on lap 23.
Just past the halfway mark, the competition had gotten so fierce at the front of the field that Mitchell, Lanigan and McDowell found themselves briefly in three-wide formation as they fought for the lead.
McDowell moved into the runner-up spot on a lap 29 restart while Bloomquist and Lanigan contested third. The battle behind allowed Mitchell to pull away from the pack over the final 19 caution free circuits.
Eventually, it was Zack Mitchell who cruised under the checkered flag to claim the victory.
Feature Finish: 1. Zack Mitchell, 2. Dale McDowell, 3. Darrell Lanigan, 4. Scott Bloomquist, 5. Brandon Overton, 6. Ashton Winger, 7. Kyle Strickler, 8. Brandon Sheppard, 9. Chase Junghans, 10. Vic Hill, 11. Forrest Trent, 12. Dennis Erb Jr, 13. Ricky ‘Weiss, 14. Chris Madden, 15. Michael Chilton, 16. Brent Larson, 17. Ray Cook, 18. Boom Briggs, 19. Cade Dillard, 20. Kody Evans, 21. Drew Kennedy, 22. Cory Hedgecock, 23. Tyler Millwood, 24. Michael Brown