Story By: MIKE WARREN / DIRTCAR – CONCORD, NC – Dillon Brown planned on using the opening night of the eighth annual World Short Track Championship as a test run for Saturday’s finale.
He earned an A-plus, leading all 15 laps to win Thursday’s Fox Factory Pro-Late Model All-Star Invitational Feature at The Dirt Track at Charlotte.
Jody Knowles, the pole-sitter, led the 20-car field to the green. But that didn’t last long as Brown saw his opportunity to pounce in Turn 1. The Gaffney, SC driver snuck past both Knowles and Justin Hudspeth to take the lead away on the opening lap.
As Brown pulled away from Hudspeth, defending Fox Factory Pro Late Model Championship winner Trent Ivey moved toward the front. He snuck by Hudspeth for second in Turn 1 on Lap 9. Then, the Union, SC competitor, chased Brown in the race’s final stages, getting as close as three car lengths with two laps remaining.
However, it wasn’t enough as Brown held off the #G4 to earn his second Fox Factory Pro Late Model All-Star Invitational Feature win—and third World Short Track Championship win.
Brown said getting off to a good start played a crucial role in his trip to Victory Lane, but he also knows this is just an appetizer for Saturday’s championship.
“(At the start) we were just trying to position ourselves to second,” Brown said. “But when we came down the front straightaway, I was like, I ain’t letting off; let’s just see where this goes. We got to the lead, but we need to get a lot, lot better.
“We have something to work with. We have a really good piece. But we changed four or five shocks and springs before that race. I wanted to try something you don’t usually get to here in race trim, so I just kind of looked at that race as a test session.”
Ivey crossed the line second, narrowly missing out on his second World Short Track Championship Victory. The “Lil’ Headknocker” said the track reminded him of how it was during his win last year.
“We were really good,” Ivey said. “We just got a little slow start to the night in Qualifying for the other race. But that kind of looked like last year’s main event. So, we’re fast, and hopefully, it’ll carry on into tomorrow.”
Hudspeth crossed the line third, while Ricky Greene and Jeremy Steele rounded out the top five.
The Fox Factory Pro Late Models return to action on Friday, Oct. 27, for day two of the World Short Track Championship at The Dirt Track at Charlotte.
All-Star Invitational Feature (15 Laps): 1. 6-Dillon Brown; 2. G4-Trent Ivey; 3. 27H-Justin Hudspeth; 4. 18-Ricky Greene; 5. 22-Jeremy Steele; 6. 55-Matt Long; 7. 66-Jody Knowles; 8. 55H-Benji Hicks; 9. 615-Colton Trouille; 10. 18DD-Derek Dent; 11. 31G-Stephen Pedulla; 12. 1-Brent Trimble; 13. 215-Jamison McBride; 14. 78B-Matthew Brocato; 15. 5-Travis Steele; 16. 42-Mark Greene; 17. P4-John Price; 18. 34-Logan Roberson; 19. 7J-Dalton Jacobs; 20. 00R-John Ruggiero Jr