By Chris Tilley, Series Publicist
TOCCOA, GA (March 17, 2018)—Ricky Weiss of Headingly, Manitoba, Canada soared past Casey Roberts on lap 18 to lead the remaining distance and capture his first-career Schaeffer’s Oil Southern Nationals Bonus Series presented by Sunoco Race Fuels and Tennessee RV Saturday Night at Toccoa Raceway in Toccoa, Ga. in front of a packed house.
Weiss drove the Derrick’s Sandblasting, AIE Communications, Hawkeye Construction, Penske Shocks and Turk Enterprises-sponsored Vic Hill Racing Engines-powered Sweet-Bloomquist Race Car to the $6,400 payday, his first on the Southern Nationals Bonus Series.
Polesitter Casey Roberts and Cla Knight brought the field to life for the 64-lapper to open the 64th season at Toccoa Raceway with Roberts going to the lead early on. By the 15th lap, Ricky Weiss was poised to make a challenge for the lead as he had gotten to the back bumper of Roberts. Weiss would make the pass for the lead on the 17th lap and by the time they got back to the flagstand he had now held the race lead. Weiss would hold on to the point for the remaining distance as a great race ensued behind the leader as drivers would swap positions multiple times until the end of the race. Shanon Buckingham would make the bottom side of the race track work to his advantage and finish second ahead of David Payne at the finish line with Zack Mitchell and Brent Dixon rounding out the top five.
Six caution flags slowed the event that took just over thirty minutes to complete. The first caution came as Drew Collins and David McCoy would slow on lap nine. Clayton Turner would slow his mount on lap 15 to draw the second yellow flag. Kenny Collins slowed on lap 29. Fast Qualifier Cla Knight slowed on lap 32 to draw the fourth caution while Casey Roberts slowed in turn four to bring out the next caution. The final yellow flag came on lap 61 as Benji Hicks slowed at the top of turn one.
The Canadian hot shoe talked about his victory. “Once I got rolling there, I knew we were good. I just tried to be patient, it’s a different track to pass on. I knew we had a good hot rod. I’ve (messed up) a few times and took myself out of a race, so I didn’t want to do that. I didn’t want to see that caution (late with three laps left) but we made it work,” Weiss said.
The Southern Nationals Bonus Series returns to action on Saturday Night April 28th at Blue Ridge Motorsports Park in Blue Ridge, Ga. paying $4,000-to-win and $400-to-start. The Schaeffer’s Oil Spring Nationals opens action on March 30-31 at Senoia (GA) Raceway for $3,000-to-win and $10,000-to-win races respectively.
Official Summary of Results
Southern Nationals Bonus Series-Toccoa Raceway-Toccoa, GA-March 17, 2018
1. Ricky Weiss-Headingly, Canada
2. Shanon Buckingham-Morristown, Tenn.
3. David Payne-Murphy, N.C.
4. Zack Mitchell-Enoree, S.C.
5. Brent Dixon-Elberton, Ga.
6. Aaron Ridley-Chatsworth, Ga.
7. Casey Roberts-Toccoa, Ga.
8. Chicky Barton-Middlesboro, Ky.
9. Robby Moses-Maryville, Tenn.
10. Benji Hicks-Mt. Airy, N.C.
11. Cla Knight-North Augusta, S.C.
12. Kenny Collins-Colbert, Ga.
13. Jeremy Ledford-Mt. Airy, Ga.
14. Clayton Turner-Toccoa, Ga.
15. David McCoy-Franklin, N.C.
16. Drew Collins-Auburn, Ga.
17. Randy Nichols-Young Harris, Ga. (Did Not Start)
Fast Qualifier: Cla Knight-12.024 seconds
Time of Race: 30 minutes, seven seconds
Yellow Flags: Six (laps 9, 15, 29, 32, 36, 61)
Red Flags: None
Current Southern Nationals Bonus Series Points (after March 17)
1. Ricky Weiss-396
2. David Payne-382
3. Casey Roberts-380
4. Shanon Buckingham-372
5. Aaron Ridley-370
5. Brent Dixon-370
7. Kenny Collins-360
8. Benji Hicks-358
9. Robby Moses-356
10. Chicky Barton-354
By Chris Tilley, Series Publicist