Dale McDowell Drives To 14th Career Spring Nationals Victory Saturday At Rome Speedway
Story By: RYAN DELPH / SPRING NATIONALS SERIES – ROME, GA – A night after finishing a strong runner-up at Tri-County Race Track, veteran Dale McDowell mastered Rome Speedway on Saturday to secure his first Schaeffer’s Oil Spring Nationals Series presented by Coltman Farms Racing and fueled by Sunoco victory of the 2023 season.
Dale stopped the clock third quickest of the 22 entrants during the qualifying session at the Rome, Georgia speedplant and later picked up a convincing win in his heat race.
After rolling off from the inside of the second row in the 53-lap headliner, the popular driver known as the “MacDaddy” worked his way around leader Sam Seawright to grab the point on the seventeenth circuit.
From there, Dale set sail around the “World’s Fastest 1/2-Mile Clay Track” in leading the remainder of the feature distance to pocket the $10,053 payday for his fourteenth career series triumph. Finishing 3.763 seconds behind the Chickamauga, Georgia superstar at the checkers was runner-up and polesitter Seawright, who paced the talented field from laps 2-16. Austin Horton advanced two spots to finish in third, while Michael Page did the same to record a fourth place effort. Ross Bailes rounded out the top five and gained some valuable points on current series point leader Carson Ferguson, who led the opening circuit, but suffered a lap 33 flat tire and was forced to rally to a tenth place finish.
“The car was really good,” quoted the Dirt Late Model Hall of Famer in Schaeffer’s Oil victory lane. “We struggled a little bit early, the car just didn’t feel real good and so finally in the feature on the longer runs, it was better. Still a little tight, but definitely way better and more maneuverable in traffic. It was a good night for our E-Z-GO hotrod and to win in front of a great Rome crowd like this, we sure appreciate it a lot!”
Dale McDowell, who is the all-time winningest driver in Schaeffer’s Oil Spring Nationals Series history, drove a Shane McDowell Racing Team Zero racecar with a Clements Racing Engine under the hood. Sponsorship on his familiar #17m came in part from E-Z-GO, Cometic Gaskets, Klotz Synthetic Lubricants, Connected Strategy Advisors, Northeastern Fabrication, Fox Racing Shox, Campbell Insulation Specialists, and Shackleford Enterprises.
Four caution flags halted the action in the Super Late Model return to Rome Speedway. Jordan Koehler slowed to draw a yellow flag on lap four before Scott Hall stopped on the track on lap 18. Benji Hicks then slowed with a flat tire on lap 32, while defending miniseries Champion Carson Ferguson did the same only one circuit later to draw the final yellow on lap 33.
A strong group of 22 Super Late Model drivers converged at Rome Speedway tonight for the seventh round of the rain-plagued Schaeffer’s Oil Spring Nationals tour. Sam Seawright, of Rainsville, Alabama, not only earned the Boyd Bilt Spring-Pro “Smashing the Clock” Award for his quick lap in hot laps, but he also set Fast Time in FK Rod Ends qualifying as well. The three heat races were then won by Seawright, Carson Ferguson, and Dale McDowell.
The points portion of the tenth edition of the Schaeffer’s Oil Spring Nationals Series schedule will culminate over a busy Memorial Day holiday weekend in a trio of high-profile races in the states of Tennessee and Georgia. On Friday, May 26, a $7,553 winner’s check will be on the line to kick off the tripleheader at I-75 Raceway in Sweetwater, Tennessee. The action will then quickly shift to North Georgia Speedway in Chatsworth, Georgia on Saturday, May 27 for the penultimate series event, which will shell out a $10,053 top prize. Another $10,053 to win program will then close out the season and a Champion will be crowned on Sunday, May 28 at Duck River Raceway Park in Wheel, Tennessee.
Schaeffer’s Oil Spring Nationals Series presented by Coltman Farms Racing
Round 7 Race Summary
Saturday, May 6, 2023
Rome Speedway – Rome, Georgia
Schaeffer’s Oil Feature Finish (53 Laps):
1. (3) Dale McDowell $10,053
2. (1) Sam Seawright $5,000
3. (5) Austin Horton $3,000
4. (6) Michael Page $2,000
5. (7) Ross Bailes $1,500
6. (12) Will Roland $1,000
7. (10) Tyler Millwood $800
8. (9) Kenny Collins $700
9. (11) Mack McCarter $675
10. (2) Carson Ferguson $650
11. (13) Jason Croft $625
12. (4) Benji Hicks $600
13. (14) Heath Hindman $575
14. (15) David McCoy $550
15. (16) Caden Mullinax $525
16. (22) Haiden Cowan $500
17. (18) Jake Rainey $500
18. (19) Brian Nuttall, Jr., $500
19. (21) Scott Hall $500
20. (8) Jordan Koehler $500
21. (17) Cla Knight $500
DNS. (20) Payton Freeman $500
Lap Leaders: Carson Ferguson (Lap 1), Sam Seawright (Laps 2-16), Dale McDowell (Laps 17-53)
Boyd Bilt Spring-Pro “Smashing the Clock” Award: Sam Seawright
FK Rod Ends Fast Time Award: Sam Seawright 14.380
Sunoco Race Fuels Heat Race #1 Finish (All Cars Transfer): 1. Sam Seawright, 2. Benji Hicks, 3. Ross Bailes, 4. Tyler Millwood, 5. Jason Croft, 6. Caden Mullinax, 7. Brian Nuttall, Jr., 8. Scott Hall
American Racer South Heat Race #2 Finish (All Cars Transfer): 1. Carson Ferguson, 2. Austin Horton, 3. Jordan Koehler, 4. Mack McCarter, 5. Heath Hindman, 6. Cla Knight, 7. Haiden Cowan
E-Z-GO Heat Race #3 Finish (All Cars Transfer): 1. Dale McDowell, 2. Michael Page, 3. Kenny Collins, 4. Will Roland, 5. David McCoy, 6. Jake Rainey, 7. Payton Freeman