By Michael Despain
WOODSTOCK, GEORGIA – May 26, 2018 – The Schaeffer’s Oil Spring Nationals presented by Sunoco Race Fuels and Tennessee RV would makes its annual Memorial Day weekend visit to Dixie Speedway in Woodstock, GA and Dale McDowell of Chickamauga, GA would take the race lead from Tyler Millwood on lap thirty-six and drive away to a 4.162 seconds victory and a $5,000 payday.
McDowell’s victory was his third of the 2018 Schaeffer’s Oil Spring Nationals presented by Sunoco Race Fuel and Tennessee RV tour and was his ninth career series victory, which is first on the Spring Nationals all-time win list. The win for McDowell would behind the wheel of the Shane McDowell Racing owned Textron Off-Road, Cometic Gaskets, Klotz Lubricants, C and S Transport, Kinzer Drilling Company, Will Kinzer Foundation for Autism Research, Quality Natural Gas sponsored #17m Sweet-Bloomquist Race Car powered by a Clements Race Engine.
Outside front-row starter Tyler Millwood would take the lead at the start of the fifty-lap contest, with polesitter Jason Croft, Dale McDowell, Austin Horton, and Donald McIntosh giving chase. Ashton Winger would immediately challenge McIntosh for the fifth position and would claim the spot on lap two. Meanwhile, the front three of Millwood, Croft, and McDowell would put some distance on the rest of the field. By lap eleven, McDowell began to challenge Croft for the second position and McDowell would grab the runner-up slot on lap sixteen when the only caution of the event would wave when Croft would slow on the backchute and pull to the work area with right-rear suspension damage on his mount. The restart would see Millwood and McDowell stay first and second, while Winger would take third from Horton on lap seventeen, only to have Horton reclaim the third position back from Winger one circuit later. The front pair of Millwood and McDowell would pull away from third-place Horton by lap twenty-three. Fifth-place McIntosh would take the fourth position from Winger on lap twenty-eight, while sixth-place Casey Roberts and seventeenth-place starter Michael Page had charged through the field to the seventh position and that pair challenged Winger for the fifth spot.
Lap thirty-three would see business pick up at the point as McDowell closed in on Millwood and would challenge him for the race lead, with McDowell making what would turn out to be the race-winning on Millwood on high-side of turn two on lap thirty-six. McDowell would start to work traffic on lap thirty-eight and would work masterfully through the backmarkers, while Page would get by Roberts for the sixth position and set his sights on Winger for the fifth spot. As the field completed lap forty-five, McDowell was stretching his lead out over Millwood, while Page finally disposed of Winger for the fifth position. McDowell would proceed to see the checkered flag first five laps later and take the victory, with Millwood settling for second and Horton claiming third. McIntosh would come home in the fourth position, while Page’s charge from the seventeenth-starting position would yield a fifth-place effort. The remainder of the top ten finishers would be Roberts, Winger, Tyler Bruening, Shane Clanton, and Aaron Ridley.
The Schaeffer’s Oil Southern Nationals Bonus Spring Nationals presented by Sunoco Race Fuel and Tennessee RV next event will be on Sunday May 27 at Rome Speedway in Rome, GA, paying $6,000 to win.
Further information on the Spring Nationals, Southern Nationals, and Southern Nationals Bonus Series can be obtained by calling Promoter Ray Cook at (828) 360-5353 or Series P.R. Coordinator Chris Tilley at (606) 219-1723 or by visiting the official website located at www.SouthernNationalsSeries.com.
Official Summary of Results
Feature Results for Schaeffer’s Oil Spring Nationals at Dixie Speedway in Woodstock, GA on May 26, 2018
1. Dale McDowell-Chickamauga, Ga.
2. Tyler Millwood-Kingston, Ga.
3. Austin Horton-Whitesburg, Ga.
4. Donald McIntosh-Dawsonville, Ga.
5. Michael Page-Douglasville, Ga.
6. Casey Roberts-Toccoa, Ga.
7. Ashton Winger-Senoia, Ga.
8. Tyler Bruening-Decorah, Iowa
9. Shane Clanton-Zebulon, Ga.
10. Aaron Ridley-Chatsworth, Ga.
11. Austin Smith-Rome, Ga.
12. Eric Wells-Hazard, Ky.
13. Justin Shipley-Douglasville, Ga.
14. Zach Leonhardi-Cartersville, Ga.
15. David Payne-Murphy, N.C.
16. Kenny Collins-Colbert, Ga.
17. Will Roland-Jasper, Ga.
18. Chicky Barton-Middlesboro, Ky.
19. Jason Croft-Woodstock, Ga.
20. Scott Groves-Canton, Ga.
21. Cla Knight-North Augusta, S.C.
22. Ronnie Johnson-Chattanooga, Tenn.
Time of Race: 17 minutes, 9 seconds
Margin of Victory: 4.162 seconds
Yellow Flags: 1 (lap 16)
Red Flags: None
Lap Leaders: Tyler Millwood 1-35, Dale McDowell 36-50
Overall Top Qualifier: Tyler Millwood (Group B) 13.868 seconds
Keyser Manufacturing 11th Place Award: Austin Smith
Highest Finishing CT525 Engine ($200): Michael Page
Highest Finishing Steel/SPEC Engine ($200): None
Provisional Starters: None
Heat One Finish (12 laps/top 6 transfer)- Michael Page, Chicky Barton, Zach Leonhardi, Scott Groves, Ronnie Johnson, Kenny Collins, Wayne Echols, Casey Turman, Buster Goss, Scott Hall (DNS-Rodney Martin, Dalton Polston)
Current Schaeffer’s Oil Spring Nationals Points (after 5/26/18)
1. Eric Wells-1,308
2. Aaron Ridley-1,256
3. Casey Roberts-1,254
4. Zach Leonhardi-1,250
5. Ryan King-1,008
6. Chicky Barton-1,002
7. David Payne-852
8. Brandon Kinzer-826
9. Donald McIntosh-770
10. Jason Jameson-710
10. Shanon Buckingham-710
By Michael Despain