Story By: MIKE WARREN / DIRTCAR – ROSSBURG, OH – A seasoned veteran gained valuable momentum for the 52nd World 100 Friday night at Eldora Speedway.
Dale McDowell scored one of two $12,000 victories on the final preliminary night at “The House that Earl Built,” building confidence entering Saturday’s 100-lap $55,000-to-win finale.
Many years of experience in traffic paid off for McDowell in Friday’s second preliminary Feature.
The veteran driver chased Josh Rice in the final five laps of the race, inching closer to traffic directly ahead of them.
The “Mac Daddy” finally saw his opportunity to strike with two laps to go when Rice had to move away from the cushion. McDowell dove under Rice’s Rocket Chassis, sprinting away from the Verona, KY driver and earning the $12,000 triumph.
McDowell, from Chickamauga, GA, stated he was grateful to reach Eldora’s Victory Lane again.
“You don’t know how many times you get to be up here or come here and be competitive,” McDowell said. “I really cherish it and thank all you guys. It’s been a lot of fun, and I got a lot of good people behind us. But it’s a lot of fun pulling back up on this stage.”
Rice crossed the line second, narrowly missing out on a win after leading 23 laps. He said he’d never thought he’d be disappointed with a second-place finish at Eldora.
“If you’d have told me I would’ve run second and be disappointed, I would’ve said you were crazy,” Rice said. “First off, congrats to Dale. He was so much better than me in the air when I caught them lap cars. I was already pretty much married to the cushion.
“We were just one lap car short of 12 grand.”
Chris Madden rounded out the podium after starting seventh. The Gray Court, SC driver, stated he’s pleased with his Rocket Chassis heading into Saturday’s World 100.
“We had a great car tonight,” Madden said. “It’s just inches out there. We started [seventh] and made it to third. I’m very pleased with the balance of our car and pleased with the racetrack. Hopefully, we can get a good starting spot in the Heat Race tomorrow and start up toward the front in “The World.”
Garrett Smith crossed the line fourth, and Brian Shirley finished fifth.
UP NEXT: The DIRTcar Late Models return to Eldora Speedway on Saturday, Sept. 10, for the 52nd World 100. One driver will stand tall at the end of the night, earning a $55,000 prize at the end of 100 laps.
After two nights of racing, Chris Madden, the overall points leader, spun a six on Eldora’s Wheel of Misfortune. Six cars will be inverted in each of Saturday’s Heat Races.
A Feature 2 (25 Laps): 1. 17M-Dale McDowell; 2. 11R-Josh Rice; 3. 44-Chris Madden; 4. 10S-Garrett Smith; 5. 3S-Brian Shirley; 6. 19R-Ryan Gustin; 7. 17-Zack Dohm; 8. 18C-Chase Junghans; 9. 0-Scott Bloomquist; 10. 28-Dennis Erb Jr; 11. 1T-Tyler Erb; 12. 2S-Stormy Scott; 13. 23-John Blankenship; 14. 18D-Daulton Wilson; 15. 6-Victor Lee; 16. 46-Earl Pearson Jr; 17. 71-Hudson O’Neal; 18. 22S-Gregg Satterlee; 19. 3-Jon Henry; 20. 15-James Rice; 21. 25B-Mike Benedum; 22. 31K-Kye Blight; 23. 20C-Duane Chamberlain; 24. 101-Forrest Trent