Dale McDowell Masterful in Schaeffer’s Oil Spring Nationals Debut at North Georgia Speedway

CHATSWORTH, GA – In a race rescheduled by inclement weather back on March 10, the ‘Biddle Ridley Memorial’ was definitely worth the wait, as a large contingent of fans and 116 total cars showed up and showed out on Saturday at North Georgia Speedway. When the dust had settled at the storied Chatsworth, Georgia oval, it was veteran Dale McDowell standing tall on the front stretch in victory lane. Dale swept the entire Schaeffer’s Oil Spring Nationals Series presented by Coltman Farms Racing and fueled by Sunoco program, as the Chickamauga, Georgia star earned Fast Time honors in qualifying, won his heat race, and later led all 53 circuits in the headliner to pocket the $10,053 payday for his fifteenth career series triumph.

Seventh-starting Ross Bailes, of Clover, South Carolina, came out on top of a spirited battle with Spring Nationals point leader Carson Ferguson to record the runner-up performance. Ferguson, who won Friday at I-75 (TN) Raceway, rounded out the podium in the third spot and maintained his position atop the heated point standings with only a single point race remaining. Benji Hicks has had a fast racecar the past few nights and finally knocked down a strong finish, as he came home with a fourth place effort. Sam Seawright was the final driver in the top five at North Georgia Speedway tonight after starting from the outside of the third row.

“Shane (McDowell) and the boys made all the right adjustments tonight, but qualifying was key,” exclaimed National Dirt Late Model Hall of Famer McDowell in Schaeffer’s Oil victory lane. “What a cool night. I got to watch Biddle Ridley race down here when I was a kid and watched him and Jody, got to talk to Jody tonight and Bill Elliott came over by the truck too. Just a lot of my childhood heroes, so it was just a cool night. It was awesome to win – an honor to all the Ridley family and everything they did for racing back in the day, it’s totally amazing. I’m very honored to win their event!”

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.

A total of four caution flags slowed the fast-paced action tonight at the northern Georgia facility. John Ownbey brought out the first yellow when he slowed on the track on lap 4. A multi-car pileup was not only the culprit of a lap 8 caution flag, but another pileup on the subsequent restart drew the third yellow of the evening. The fourth and final caution came on lap 37 when Corey Roulette went for a spin. The ‘Biddle Ridley Memorial’ lasted 27 minutes with 12 competitors completing all 53 laps.

For the second straight night, 34 Super Late Model entrants signed into the pit area for Schaeffer’s Oil Spring Nationals Series competition. Dale McDowell posted the quickest time during the hot lap session to win the Boyd Bilt Spring-Pro “Smashing the Clock” Award, as well as the fastest overall lap during the FK Rod Ends qualifying session. The four heat races were won by McDowell, Carson Ferguson, Benji Hicks, and Michael Page, while the pair of consolation race victories went to Mike Benedum and Eli Beets. Haiden Cowan and David McCoy utilized series provisionals to start shotgun on the feature field.

A trip to Duck River Raceway Park on Sunday, May 28 will 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 tomorrow. 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 9 Race Summary
Saturday, May 27, 2023
North Georgia Speedway – Chatsworth, Georgia

Schaeffer’s Oil Feature Finish (53 Laps):
1. (1) Dale McDowell $10,053
2. (7) Ross Bailes $5,000
3. (2) Carson Ferguson $3,000
4. (3) Benji Hicks $2,000
5. (6) Sam Seawright $1,500
6. (12) Kenny Collins $1,000
7. (9) Cory Hedgecock $800
8. (14) Tyler Millwood $700
9. (16) Josh Walker $675
10. (13) Garrett Smith $650
11. (18) Eli Beets $625
12. (15) Austin Horton $600
13. (21) Haiden Cowan $575
14. (20) Corey Roulette $550
15. (8) John Ownbey $525
16. (22) David McCoy $500
17. (19) Hayden Ownbey $500
18. (17) Mike Benedum $500
19. (11) Jordy Nipper $500
20. (4) Michael Page $500
21. (5) Heath Hindman $500
22. (10) Booger Brooks $500

Entries: 34
Lap Leaders: Dale McDowell (Laps 1-53)
Cautions: 4

Hot Laps:
Boyd Bilt Spring-Pro “Smashing the Clock” Award: Dale McDowell 13.972

FK Rod Ends Time Trials:
Fast Time Overall: Dale McDowell 14.075
Group A (Top Five): 1. Dale McDowell 14.075, 2. Carson Ferguson, 3. Heath Hindman, 4. Sam Seawright, 5. Garrett Smith
Group B (Top Five): 1. Benji Hicks 14.228, 2. Michael Page, 3. Austin Horton, 4. Kenny Collins, 5. Ross Bailes

Sunoco Race Fuels Heat Race #1 Finish (Top Four Transfer): 1. Dale McDowell, 2. Heath Hindman, 3. Cory Hedgecock, 4. Garrett Smith, 5. Hayden Ownbey, 6. Mike Benedum, 7. Caden Mullinax, 8. Donald McIntosh, DNS. Shawn Chastain

American Racer South Heat Race #2 Finish (Top Four Transfer): 1. Carson Ferguson, 2. Sam Seawright, 3. Booger Brooks, 4. Tyler Millwood, 5. Tate McCollum, 6. Haiden Cowan, 7. David Payne, 8. Joe Denby

E-Z-GO Heat Race #3 Finish (Top Four Transfer): 1. Benji Hicks, 2. Ross Bailes, 3. Jordy Nipper, 4. Austin Horton, 5. Corey Roulette, 6. David McCoy, 7. Gary McPherson, 8. Jeremy Cropper, 9. Jody Knowles

Delph Communications Heat Race #4 Finish (Top Four Transfer): 1. Michael Page, 2. John Ownbey, 3. Kenny Collins, 4. Josh Walker, 5. Eli Beets, 6. Gavin Cowan, 7. Darryl Matheson, 8. Braxtin Barber

Hoosier Racing Tires B-Main #1 Finish (Top Two Transfer): 1. Mike Benedum, 2. Hayden Ownbey, 3. Tate McCollum, 4. Caden Mullinax, 5. Haiden Cowan, 6. David Payne, DNS. Donald McIntosh, DNS. Joe Denby, DNS. Shawn Chastain

Collins Signs B-Main #2 Finish (Top Two Transfer): 1. Eli Beets, 2. Corey Roulette, 3. David McCoy, 4. Darryl Matheson, 5. Gary McPherson, DNS. Gavin Cowan, DNS. Jeremy Cropper, DNS. Braxtin Barber, DNS. Jody Knowles

Series Provisionals: Haiden Cowan, David McCoy