Story By: RYAN DELPH / SOUTHERN NATIONALS SERIES – TOCCOA, GA – On Tuesday night, the Schaeffer’s Oil Southern Nationals Series made their return to Toccoa Raceway for the first time in four years. Just like back in 2018, Brandon Overton, of Evans, Georgia, was standing tall in victory lane tonight at the historic Toccoa, Georgia facility.
Brandon started off the evening by clicking off the quickest time in qualifying, which earned him an extra $950 courtesy of Simpson Grading, Gus Simpson Trucking, and Memory Lane Classic Car Museum. Following a commanding heat race triumph, the popular driver known as “Big Sexy” started the 67-lap feature event from the pole position.
Brandon, who is a three-time Southern Nationals Champion, then controlled the entire headliner at the Peach State venue and survived a rash of late caution flags to claim the $10,067 first place prize money. At the checkered flag in the contest, which celebrated Toccoa’s 67th Anniversary, Brandon won by 1.591 seconds over runner-up Kenny Collins, who started in the fourth position. Dirt Draft Rookie of the Year competitor Parker Martin had his best run on tour by rounding out the podium in third. Series point leader Cory Hedgecock survived a lap 61 flat tire – while running in the second spot – to finish fourth. Cla Knight also suffered a flat tire on lap 57 before battling back to salvage a steady fifth place performance.
A slew of 11 caution flags slowed the richest race in Toccoa Raceway history. Dalton Cook slowed to draw a lap 4 yellow before John Henderson slowed on the track with right rear problems on the restart. Yet another caution flag flew on the subsequent lap 4 restart for a spinning Jensen Ford. Will Roland and Galen Robinson then tangled to draw a yellow on lap 19 prior to David Payne stopping on the racing surface on lap 27. Brenden Smith slowed with mechanical trouble on lap 46 before third-running Cla Knight suffered a flat tire on lap 57. Galen Robinson went for a spin in turn two on lap 60, while Jensen Ford slowed with a flat tire on the subsequent restart. Second-running Cory Hedgecock suffered an untimely flat tire on lap 61 before Wil Herrington also gave up the second position on lap 62 with a similar flat tire.
“Man, I don’t know. I didn’t get to work on my car after the heat. I knocked the whole back end off of it – messed it all up. We barely got back out here,” said Overton in Schaeffer’s Oil Victory Lane. “Maybe I should start trying that approach. It was pretty good. I love coming here. Wish it was a 40-lapper where we could have gotten after it and raced a little bit. Hell, it is what it is. I just love coming back home and racing – seeing all the people I grew up around.”
For his twenty-first win in Schaeffer’s Oil Southern Nationals Series history, Brandon piloted a Wells Motorsports-owned Longhorn Chassis powered by a Clements Race Engine. Sponsorship on his #76 entry comes in part from CrossFit Overton, E-Z-GO, Big Dog Stump & Tree, R.W. Powell Construction, Angry Elephant Tattoos & Piercings, Convenient Lube, Dirt Mafia, Allstar Performance, Penske Racing Shocks, Hoosier by Brian, and Topnotch Kustom Koncepts.
23 Super Late Model competitors showed up to Toccoa Raceway for the midweek special event. Brandon Overton earned Fast Time honors during Memory Lane Classic Car Museum qualifying with his quick lap of 12.318 seconds. The three heat race victories went to Brandon Overton, Carson Ferguson, and Cla Knight. Each of the 23 entrants transferred into the 67-lap headliner, but Payton Freeman and Cody Overton were unable to make the call. Ten cars were around at the unfurling of the checkered flag in the attrition-filled contest, while only eight competitors were on the lead lap.
Next up for the cars and stars racing with the Schaeffer’s Oil Southern Nationals Series will be a visit to Tri-County Race Track in Brasstown, North Carolina on Thursday, July 28. A $7,553 payday will be up for grabs in round 10 of the miniseries this Thursday at the track deemed as the “Tiger Pit.” Previous series winners include: Benji Cole (’05), Casey Roberts (’06), Chris Madden (’07), Casey Roberts (’15), Shanon Buckingham (’16), Brandon Overton (’17), Jake Knowles (’19), Chris Madden (’20), and Kenny Collins (’21).
Schaeffer’s Oil Southern Nationals Series presented by Sunoco Race Fuels
Round 9 Race Summary
Tuesday, July 26, 2022
Toccoa Raceway (Toccoa, Georgia)
Schaeffer’s Oil Feature Finish (67 Laps):
1. (1) Brandon Overton $10,067
2. (4) Kenny Collins $5,000
3. (7) Parker Martin $2,500
4. (8) Cory Hedgecock $1,800
5. (3) Cla Knight $1,250
6. (15) Wil Herrington $900
7. (17) Will Roland $800
8. (5) Jensen Ford $700
9. (13) Jimmy Sharpe, Jr. $675
10. (10) Galen Robinson $650
11. (14) Brenden Smith $625
12. (11) Brent Dixon $600
13. (6) David Payne $575
14. (21) Brad Basey $550
15. (20) Shun Thomas $525
16. (16) Lance Brasington $500
17. (22) Spencer Diercks $500
18. (2) Carson Ferguson $500
19. (9) John Henderson $500
20. (18) Jamie Oliver $500
21. (12) Dalton Cook $500
DNS. (19) Payton Freeman $75
DNS. (23) Cody Overton $75
Lap Leaders: Brandon Overton (Laps 1-67)
Cautions: 11 (Dalton Cook Slows on Lap 4, John Henderson Slows with Right Rear Issues on Lap 4 Restart, Jensen Ford Spins on Lap 4 Restart, Will Roland and Galen Robinson Tangle on Lap 19, David Payne Stops on Lap 27, Brenden Smith Slows on Lap 46, Cla Knight Suffers Flat Right Rear Tire on Lap 57, Galen Robinson Spins on Lap 60, Jensen Ford Suffers Flat Right Rear Tire on Lap 60 Restart, Cory Hedgecock Suffers Flat Right Rear Tire on Lap 61, Wil Herrington Suffers Flat Right Rear Tire on Lap 62)
Memory Lane Classic Car Museum Time Trials:
Fast Time Overall: Brandon Overton 12.318
Sunoco Race Fuels Heat Race #1 Finish (All Cars Transfer): 1. Brandon Overton, 2. Kenny Collins, 3. Parker Martin, 4. Galen Robinson, 5. Jimmy Sharpe, Jr., 6. Lance Brasington, 7. Payton Freeman, 8. Cody Overton (DNS)
American Racer South Heat Race #2 Finish (All Cars Transfer): 1. Carson Ferguson, 2. Jensen Ford, 3. Cory Hedgecock, 4. Brent Dixon, 5. Brenden Smith, 6. Will Roland, 7. Shun Thomas, 8. Spencer Diercks
E-Z-GO Heat Race #3 Finish (All Cars Transfer): 1. Cla Knight, 2. David Payne, 3. John Henderson, 4. Dalton Cook, 5. Wil Herrington, 6. Jamie Oliver, 7. Brad Basey