SWEETWATER, TN – Inheriting the pole position when fast-timer Benji Hicks suffered a flat tire during the pace laps around I-75 Raceway, current Schaeffer’s Oil Spring Nationals Series presented by Coltman Farms Racing and fueled by Sunoco point leader Carson Ferguson went on to dominate Friday’s 40-lap headliner at the Sweetwater, Tennessee oval. Carson, who clicked off the second quickest time in Group A during the qualifying session to lock himself into the feature, was never seriously challenged during the contest in leading from flag-to-flag to record the $7,553 victory. The Lincolnton, North Carolina ace won by 3.064 seconds to claim his second series triumph of 2023, which stretched out his current point lead.
His closest pursuer in the point standings – Ross Bailes – drove from his seventh starting spot to finish in the runner-up position. The Clover, South Carolina driver stayed within shouting distance of Ferguson in the point standings with the second place effort and currently finds himself only 24 markers behind with two point races remaining. Dale McDowell, who is the all-time winningest driver in tour history, advanced three spots to round out the podium in third. A pair of consolation race winners completed the top five, as both Cory Hedgecock and Garrett Smith drove from mid-pack to finish fourth and fifth respectively.
“I really hate that for Benji (Hicks),” quoted Ferguson in Schaeffer’s Oil victory lane. “He has put his heart and soul into building his own chassis and he’s really come out here and performed well. He’s been running really good and I hate that he got that flat tire. Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good, but I think we were both tonight. I have to thank all of my great sponsors, Wesley Page, Donald and Gena Bradsher, and everyone associated with our program!”
Now a three-time career Schaeffer’s Oil Spring Nationals Series winner, Carson Ferguson drove a Paylor Motorsports #93 Longhorn Chassis with sponsorship in part coming from Hoopaugh Grading Company, Night Owl National Contractors, WP Racing Shocks, Mega Plumbing of the Carolinas, John Page Racing, Tribble Electric, Schaeffer’s Racing Oil, Bilstein Shocks, Live Oak Family Dentistry, and Allstar Performance.
Aside from the delay to start the race due to Benji Hicks’ flat tire, only one caution flag slowed the action tonight at I-75 Raceway. Chase Oliver stopped on the frontstretch working lap 16 to draw the single yellow of the evening.
A strong field of 34 entrants signed into the I-75 Raceway pit area to do battle in round eight of the Schaeffer’s Oil Spring Nationals Series season. West Virginia invader Mike Benedum knocked down the quickest time during hot laps to claim the Boyd Bilt Spring-Pro “Smashing the Clock” Award. Benji Hicks then clicked off the fastest lap overall during FK Rod Ends qualifying with his quick time of 14.447 seconds. Cory Hedgecock and Garrett Smith captured the victories in the two B-Mains, while series regulars Caden Mullinax and David McCoy received provisionals to gain access into the 40-lapper.
The penultimate event of the 2023 Schaeffer’s Oil Spring Nationals points season will take place on Saturday evening, May 27 at North Georgia Speedway. The series makes its first-ever visit to sanction the $10,053 to win ‘Biddle Ridley Memorial.’ Along with the ground-pounding Super Late Models, other classes in action include: 604 Late Models, 602 Late Models, Beginners, and Front Wheel Drive.
The pit gates will swing open at the Chatsworth, Georgia venue tomorrow at 2:30pm, while the grandstands will open starting at 3:00pm. The Drivers Meeting will commence at 6:00pm with hot laps scheduled for 6:30pm. Grandstand admission will be $25.00 for adults and only $10.00 for children ages 6-12. Pit admission will be $45.00 for adults and $20.00 for children ages 6-12. Kids ages 5 and under will be allowed onto the speedway grounds for FREE!
North Georgia Speedway is located at 300 North Georgia Raceway Road in Chatsworth, Georgia. If you can’t make it to the track, we invite you to watch all of the action LIVE on FloRacing at https://flosports.link/3YNyY0y. For additional information, please call the track at 762-231-9550 or log onto their official website at www.NorthGeorgiaSpeedway.net.
A trip to Duck River Raceway Park on Sunday, May 28 will then wrap up the points on the Schaeffer’s Oil Spring Nationals trail in 2023 and a Champion will be crowned following the $10,053 to win finale. The tour has paid a visit to DRRP on three previous occasions with Tim McCreadie (’13), Dale McDowell (’14), and Josh Putnam (’22) taking home the wins. Joining the Spring Nationals will be the 602 Late Model, Open Wheel Modified, Modified Street, Factory Stock, Pure Pony, Dwarf, Front Wheel Drive, and Kids Mini Cup divisions.
Adult grandstand admission into the Wheel, Tennessee racetrack will be $30.00, while adults can buy a pit pass for $40.00. Children ages 6-12 will be admitted into the stands for only $20.00 and into the pit area for $25.00. Kids ages 5 and under will be allowed onto the grounds for FREE. The pit gates will open on Sunday at 1:00pm, while the grandstands will open at 3:00pm. The Drivers Meeting will get underway at 5:00pm and hot laps will take to the dirt surface at approximately 5:30pm.
Duck River Raceway Park is located at 1100 Haskins Chapel Road in Lewisburg, Tennessee. If you can’t make it to the track, we invite you to watch all of the action LIVE on FloRacing at https://flosports.link/3YNyY0y. For additional information, please call the track at 615-474-2505 or log onto their official website at www.DuckRiverRacewayPark.com.
Schaeffer’s Oil Spring Nationals Series presented by Coltman Farms Racing
Round 8 Race Summary
Friday, May 26, 2023
I-75 Raceway – Sweetwater, Tennessee
Schaeffer’s Oil Feature Finish (40 Laps):
1. (3) Carson Ferguson $7,553
2. (7) Ross Bailes $3,500
3. (6) Dale McDowell $2,000
4. (11) Cory Hedgecock $1,500
5. (12) Garrett Smith $1,200
6. (5) Haiden Cowan $900
7. (2) Gavin Cowan $700
8. (19) Eli Beets $650
9. (4) Mike Benedum $600
10. (16) Sam Seawright $575
11. (20) Kenny Collins $550
12. (9) Kaede Loudy $540
13. (22) David McCoy $530
14. (13) Austin Horton $520
15. (10) Jed Emert $510
16. (21) Caden Mullinax $500
17. (17) John Llewellyn $500
18. (8) Chase Oliver $500
19. (15) Skip Arp $500
20. (18) Heath Hindman $500
21. (14) Jadon Frame $500
22. (1) Benji Hicks $500
Lap Leaders: Carson Ferguson (Laps 1-40)
Boyd Bilt Spring-Pro “Smashing the Clock” Award: Mike Benedum 14.537
FK Rod Ends Time Trials:
Fast Time Overall: Benji Hicks 14.447
Group A (Top Five Locked In): Benji Hicks 14.447, Carson Ferguson, Haiden Cowan, Ross Bailes, Kaede Loudy
Group B (Top Five Locked In): Gavin Cowan 14.508, Mike Benedum, Dale McDowell, Chase Oliver, Jed Emert
Sunoco Race Fuels B-Main #1 Finish (Top Five Transfer): 1. Cory Hedgecock, 2. Austin Horton, 3. Skip Arp, 4. John Llewellyn, 5. Eli Beets, 6. Hayden Ownbey, 7. Ruben Mayfield, 8. James Kelso, 9. Caden Mullinax, 10. Steve Smith, DNS. Kyle Courtney, DNS. Jason Manley
American Racer South B-Main #2 Finish (Top Five Transfer): 1. Garrett Smith, 2. Jadon Frame, 3. Sam Seawright, 4. Heath Hindman, 5. Kenny Collins, 6. David McCoy, 7. John Ownbey, 8. Braxtin Barber, 9. Joe Denby, 10. David Payne, DNS. Booger Brooks, DNS. Jake Rainey