Story By: RYAN DELPH SOUTHERN NATIONALS SERIES – RURAL RETREAT, VA – National Dirt Late Model Hall of Famer Dale McDowell found Schaeffer’s Oil Southern Nationals Series victory lane for the eighth time in his career on Saturday evening in front of a great crowd at the picturesque Wythe Raceway.
Dale knocked down the sixth quickest lap overall during FK Rod Ends qualifying prior to finishing third in his heat race. The Chickamauga, Georgia star then rolled off from the inside of the fifth row in the 53-lap headliner at the Rural Retreat, Virginia speedplant and immediately pointed his Team Zero Race Car towards the front of the strong 22 car field.
Dale was patient in picking off car after car until moving past leader Cory Hedgecock to grab the point on the 37th circuit. The popular driver known as “MacDaddy” then stayed out front throughout the remainder of the feature distance to bag the $10,053 windfall. Hedgecock, who won last night’s series opener at Beckley (WV) Motor Speedway and led laps 30-36 tonight, settled for a strong runner-up performance after starting in the seventh spot. Michael Brown started and finished third, while polesitter and early race leader Vic Hill came home in the fourth position. Camaron Marlar picked off a trio of competitors to round out the top five at Wythe Raceway.
A total of four caution flags slowed tonight’s event. Second running Carson Ferguson ran into bad luck for the second straight night, as he slowed with mechanical trouble on the second circuit. Last night’s runner-up Jensen Ford then relinquished a spot inside of the top five a lap later by slowing with left front damage. Parker Martin then stopped on the racetrack to draw a yellow flag on lap 17, while Kenny Collins drew the final caution by slowing with steering woes on lap 44.
“First of all, we just heard about the passing of Martha Swims this afternoon and I’d like to dedicate this win to the entire Swims family,” quoted McDowell on the frontstretch following the entertaining contest. “Dixie Speedway played a big part in my racing career, so I’d like to dedicate this win to them along with Tiffany’s brother who passed away on this date. We were really lost after the heat race and didn’t really know what to do to the car after making some mistakes in the heat and being off a bit during qualifying. But Shane (McDowell) kept digging, kept digging, kept digging, and made some adjustments and the car took off and drove right up through there.”
Dale’s third Southern Nationals victory at Wythe came aboard a Shane McDowell Racing Team Zero Race Car powered by a Clements Racing Engine. Sponsorship on his #17M comes in part from E-Z-GO, Cometic Gaskets, Klotz Synthetic Lubricants, Connected Strategy Advisors, Fox Racing Shox, and Northeastern Fabrication.
A total of 22 competitors piled into the infield pit area at Wythe Raceway for the second round of the 2022 Schaeffer’s Oil Southern Nationals Series. Mosheim, Tennessee driver Vic Hill earned Fast Time honors with his quick lap of 15.972 seconds during qualifying and was awarded an extra $150 from Memory Lane Classic Car Museum. The three heat races were won by Hill, Carson Ferguson, and Michael Brown and each of the 22 entrants started the 53-lapper. Twelve cars were around at the waving of the checkered flag, but only the top nine finished on the lead lap.
The third event of the Schaeffer’s Oil Southern Nationals Series campaign will be held on Sunday, July 17 at the high-banked Volunteer Speedway in Bulls Gap, Tennessee. For the third straight night, a $10,053 top prize will be up for grabs tomorrow at “The Gap.” Cory Hedgecock is the current series point leader, as he leads Dale McDowell by eight markers after only two shows. Previous Southern Nationals winners at Volunteer Speedway include Jimmy Owens (’06 & ’07), Tommy Kerr (’08 & ’09), Jonathan Davenport (’10), Chris Madden (’11), Casey Roberts (’12), Vic Hill (’13), Chris Madden (’20), and Dale McDowell (’21).
Schaeffer’s Oil Southern Nationals Series presented by Sunoco Race Fuels
Round 2 Race Summary
Saturday, July 16, 2022
Wythe Raceway (Rural Retreat, Virginia)
Schaeffer’s Oil Feature Finish (53 Laps):
1. (9) Dale McDowell $10,053
2. (7) Cory Hedgecock $5,000
3. (3) Michael Brown $2,500
4. (1) Vic Hill $1,800
5. (8) Camaron Marlar $1,250
6. (11) Matthew Nance $900
7. (10) John Henderson $800
8. (4) Will Roland $700
9. (14) Ross Bailes $675
10. (17) Parker Martin $650
11. (19) Tim Vance $625
12. (12) Ashton Winger $600
13. (6) Kenny Collins $575
14. (18) Mason Zeigler $550
15. (13) Clay Coghlin $525
16. (21) Brenden Smith $500
17. (15) Zack Mitchell $500
18. (16) Forrest Trent $500
19. (20) Travis Greer $500
20. (5) Jensen Ford $500
21. (22) Dalton Cook $500
22. (2) Carson Ferguson $500
Lap Leaders: Vic Hill (Laps 1-29), Cory Hedgecock (Laps 30-36), Dale McDowell (Laps 37-53)
Cautions: 4 (Second Running Carson Ferguson Slowed with Mechanical Woes on Lap 2, Top Five Running Jensen Ford Slows with Left Front Damage on Lap 3, Parker Martin Slows on Lap 17, and Kenny Collins Slows with Steering Problems on Lap 44)
FK Rod Ends Time Trials:
Fast Time Overall: Vic Hill 15.972
Sunoco Race Fuels Heat Race #1 Finish (All Cars Transfer): 1. Vic Hill, 2. Will Roland, 3. Cory Hedgecock, 4. John Henderson, 5. Clay Coghlin, 6. Forrest Trent, 7. Tim Vance, 8. Dalton Cook
American Racer South Heat Race #2 Finish (All Cars Transfer): 1. Carson Ferguson, 2. Jensen Ford, 3. Camaron Marlar, 4. Matthew Nance, 5. Ross Bailes, 6. Parker Martin, 7. Travis Greer
E-Z GO Heat Race #3 Finish (All Cars Transfer): 1. Michael Brown, 2. Kenny Collins, 3. Dale McDowell, 4. Ashton Winger, 5. Zack Mitchell, 6. Mason Zeigler, 7. Brenden Smith