By CHRIS TILLEY
SUMMERTOWN, TN – Ross Bailes has undoubtedly become one of the hottest drivers in the Southeast this season as he captured his first-career Schaeffer’s Oil Spring Nationals Series presented by Sunoco Race Fuels payday Saturday Night at Thunderhill Raceway Park in Summertown, Tenn. Bailes picked up the $10,000 payday during the regional touring event at the Jason Walker-promoted race track. Bailes now has victories on the two National tours this season along with his Thunderhill triumph.
The Clover, S.C. driver drove the Felony Farms, STI Trucking, Bailes Construction and Penske Shocks-sponsored Clements Racing Engines-powered Barry Wright Race Car to the victory. Bailes became the fifth different winner in eight events on the tour while also becoming the 27th different series winner since 2013.
Polesitter Dale McDowell and Donald McIntosh brought the field to life for the start of the 60 lapper with McDowell setting a blistering pace early on. Bailes would start fourth in the main event and by the 36th lap inch close to the back bumper of McDowell. As McDowell and Bailes worked their way around lapped traffic, Bailes would get past McDowell for the race lead and never look back and lead the remaining distance for the payday. McDowell would finish second with Eric Hickerson finishing in third at the checkered flag. Finishing fourth was Tanner English and Dane Dacus finished fifth.
Two caution flags slowed the field. The first caution came on lap-12 as Brandon Overton slowed on the backstretch. The final caution flew on lap-40 as Donald McIntosh slowed in turn one while running fourth.
The Schaeffer’s Oil Spring Nationals Series presented by Sunoco Race Fuels returns to action on Saturday May 25th at Dixie Speedway in Woodstock, Ga. racing 40 laps for $4,000-to-win, then Sunday May 26th at Rome Speedway in Rome, Ga. racing 50 laps for $5,000 to win and the season finale will be Monday May 27th at 411 Motor Speedway in Seymour, Tenn. racing 52 laps during the Seventh Annual Scott Sexton Memorial event paying $10,052-to-win.
Official Summary of Results
Round Eight-Schaeffer’s Oil Spring Nationals Series-Thunderhill Raceway Park-Summertown, TN-May 18, 2019
1. Ross Bailes-Clover, S.C.
2. Dale McDowell-Chickamauga, Ga.
3. Eric Hickerson-Linden, Tenn.
4. Tanner English-Benton, Ky.
5. Dane Dacus-Lakeland, Tenn.
6. David Brannon-Elora, Tenn.
7. Brandon Overton-Evans, Ga.
8. Brad Skinner-Springhill, Tenn.
9. Donald McIntosh-Dawsonville, Ga.
10. Josh Putnam-Florence, Ala.
11. Scott Cook-Shelbyville, Tenn.
12. Mitch Thornton-Columbia, Tenn.
13. Justin Weaver-Columbia, Tenn.
14. Greg Love-Culleoka, Tenn.
15. Caleb Ashby-Cunningham, Tenn.
16. Thomas Dale-Culleoka, Tenn.
17. David Earl Gentry-Murfreesboro, Tenn.
18. Ray McElhiney-Pulaski, Tenn.
19. Donald Johns-Summertown, Tenn.
20. Tommy Taylor-Lascassas, Tenn.
Fast Qualifier: Dale McDowell-12.781 seconds
Time of Race: 24 minutes, 41 seconds
Yellow Flags: Two (laps 12, 40)
Red Flags: None
Lap Leaders: McDowell (1-36), Bailes (37-60)
Margin of Victory: 02.064 seconds
Heat Race One Finish: Dale McDowell, Brandon Overton, Eric Hickerson, Josh Putnam, David Earl Gentry, Brad Skinner, Donald Johns, Mitch Thornton, Greg Love, Thomas Dale.
Heat Race Two Finish: Donald McIntosh, Ross Bailes, Tanner English, Dane Dacus, Ray McElhiney, Scott Cook, David Brannon, Justin Weaver, Tommy Taylor.
Current Schaeffer’s Spring Nationals Series Points (after Round Eight on May 18)
1. Dale McDowell-1,548
2. Donald McIntosh-1,530
3. Brandon Overton-1,096
4. Tanner English-940
5. Ashton Winger-926
5. Ross Bailes-926
7. Casey Roberts-734
8. Michael Page-732
9. John Henderson-694
10. Austin Horton-554