Dirt Late Model
National Headlines

Steve Hixson
CLEVELAND, Tenn. (August 7) - The Tarheel Tiger Ray Cook delivered a hot summer night to Cleveland Speedway fans Saturday night, taking the lead from Bo Shirley in back-marker traffic on lap 9 of the 40 lap Southern Regional Racing Series event. The win worth $3,000 at a place the Brasstown, NC racer, "considers his home track" kept the D&R Motorsports # 53 "Hicks & Ingle Co, A+ Moving & Storage" sponsored MasterSbilt / Race Engine Design powered racer spirits high addressing the crowd on the front straight-away. "I just wanna thank the good lord for all he's blessed me with. The crew did an awesome job without them this couldn't happen. I know there's some Murphy (NC) people up there in the stands. Thank ya'll a bunch for coming out tonight." Cook concluded in thanking promoter Monty Morrow for putting on these events.

At racetime thirty (30) S.R.R.S Super Late Model raceteams had signed in for the nights events that would begin with Qualifying Time Trials. The three (3) group system used by the series Locked In the fastest three (3) of each group, setting up the remaining racers into "B" Main Last Chance races. In group one all eyes were on fan favorites Dale McDowell and Cook, but it would be COACH David Payne would would trip the clock quickest with a 13:335 lap in his # 8 "Payne Tire & Racing, Gibson Motorsports" sponsored MasterSbilt machine. BIGG BADD Bo Shirley clocked second quick overall and earned the outside FRONT ROW JOE honors with his 13:408 lap. Local racer Preston Graves (of Murphy, NC) set 3rd fastest with his Group 3 lead qualifying run with a 13:636. The other six racers locked-in on the qualifying time were; Cook, Derek Ellis, Mike Hill, McDowell, Anthony Burroughs and Chad Ogle.

In "B" Main #1 Jake Knowles headed the charge over THE X-MAN Shawn Chastain. Randy Weaver (driving) the #B1 "Bob Harris, Preferred Sandblasting" sponsored Rocket / Race Engine Design powered SLM drew side by side Chastain but had to settle for third that also saw Rick Rogers and Jay Brinkley earn transfer position. Race #2 saw Riley Hickman in the #R1 "Hickman Manufacturing, American Billett, Bodies by Rick Hixson Fabrication" sponsored MasterSbilt / Racetek race past Kayne Hickman. Mark Vineyard got by Kayne also late in the going as Tony Morris rounded out the transferring Top-4 after he and Josh Putnam crashed on the back straight-away. Putnam was subsequently black-flagged and not permitted a provisional for the "A" Main feature. Rick Hixson won "B" Main #3 over Davy Davis, Jamie Perry and Brian Hickman respectfully. Series provisionals went to Jacob Grizzle and Todd Morrow to set the 24-car starting field.

After a 4-Wide Salute to the fans, Payne and Shirley lit up the HOT SUMMER NIGHT, drag racing down the front-stretch to the green flag. Shirley opened up a lead leaving Payne to duel Cook, Graves and McDowell. The action was fast & furious for the first handful of circuits as the field stretched out. Morrow would slow as the leaders pressed the rear of the field, allowing Cook to power under Payne on lap 8. Immediately the TARHEEL TIGER again pounced, but this time it was on leader Shirley off of turn four to take the lap 9 lead. Lap 10 with Morrow pulling in, Perry would rear the first yellow. On the restart it was McDowell on the move, making quick work of Graves for 4th. Burroughs would rear caution #2 as he would stall his racecar on the back straight-away on lap 18.

Hixson and B. Hickman would end there runs just past the halfway point, but it was Shirley in second place that would be disappointed leaving his #2 spot, stalled in turn 2 of lap 35. Inherit the runner-up position Payne as another lap 37 caution would fly, when Hill and Graves got together coming off of turn-4. The spun Graves, collected (a pair of 10's) Ogle and Brinkley in the front straight-away melay. Grizzle would rear the final caution, setting up a green/white/checkered restart for Cook. Despite front-end damage Cook kept out front giving Payne his 4th big race Top-5 finish of the season. McDowell in his Clint Bowyer Racing, # 17M "Cherrios, Dollar General, Cometic" sponsored Warrior / Custom Race Engines racecar collected third with R. Hickman and THE DREAM Weaver rounding out the Top-5.

Finish Start Car# Driver Hometown/State
1 4 53 Ray Cook Brasstown, Nc
2 1 8 David Payne Murphy, Nc
3 7 17M Dale Mcdowell Chickamagua, Ga
4 11 R1 Riley Hickman Ooltewah, Tn
5 16 B1 Randy Weaver Crossville, Tn
6 10 66 Jake Knowles Tyrone, Ga
7 5 99 Derek Ellis Chatsworth, Ga
8 14 4 Mark Vineyard Powell, Tn
9 13 X15 Shawn Chastain Murphy, Nc
10 17 H31 Kayne Hickman Soddy Daisy, Tn
11 20 M31 Tony Morris Murfreesboro, Tn
12 3 105 Preston Graves Murphy, Nc
13 23 99G Jacob Grizzle Blairsville, Ga
14 6 11 Mike Hill Rockwood, Tn
15 22 10B Jay Brinkley Raus, Tn
16 9 10 Chad Ogle Sevierville, Tn
17 2 111 Bo Shirley Gadsden, Al
18 19 44 Rick Rogers Knoxville, Tn
19 21 41 Brian Hickman Soddy Daisy, Tn
20 12 16 Rick Hixson Soddy Daisy, Tn
21 8 121 Anthony Burroughs Athens, Al
22 15 D11 Davy Davis Tunnel Hill, Ga
23 18 P4 Jamie Perry Ringgold, Ga
24 24 T1 Todd Morrow East Ridge, Tn

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