Claiming the biggest win of his career to date, Dakotah Knuckles drove to victory at Tazewell Speedway and pocketed the $10,053 first-place prize on Saturday night in the Schaeffer’s Oil Southern Nationals Series.
Becoming only the fourth different winner in the 12-race tour, Knuckles chalked up the win against Brandon Overton’s six tour victories, Chris Madden’s four wins, and Cory Hedgecock’s single victory. Knuckles piloted the Vic Hill Racing Engines-powered Rocket Chassis into victory lane ahead of the #97 of Michael Chilton. Ryan King rounded out the podium.
Dale McDowell started the class warfare by winning the first heat race over a fast Ryan King and Tyler Millwood. Kyle Hardy beat Michael Chilton in the second heat with Ross Bailers winning the third heat. In a preview of things to come, Dakotah Knuckles won the fourth and final heat race with a stacked field of competitors including Chris Madden.
The green flag dropped on the main event with Dale McDowell jumping in front of Ross Bailes from their front-row starting positions. Dakotah Knuckles took third and paced Ryan King and Jason Trammell in the top five. The quick running McDowell began catching lap traffic by lap five and was able to put some distance between him and second place runner Ross Bailes.
Bailes suffered a flat on lap 18, pulling into the infield and moving Knuckles into second. The first race caution came out on lap 19 when Brandon Overton slowed with a right rear flat, eventually making his way to the work area. The restart was a wild scramble that saw a multiple car tangle before a lap could be scored. Trammel’s car came up limping with a flat right-side tire causing Baker, Madden, and Payne to get collected in a mess that left Baker done for the night.
McDowell restarted the race in front with Knuckles in second, King in third, Chilton, and Vic Hill trailing. Another quick caution came out when Kyle Hardy popped a right rear tire causing a delay on the track. During the caution period, McDowell also suffered a flat tire, turning the lead over to Knuckles.
Knuckles led the restart with King, Chilton, McIntosh, and Hill in the top five. Using the front spot, Knuckles put some space on the field and was running comfortably until Tyler Millwood’s right rear tire went flat on lap 32, drawing another caution. Using the restart to get a great jump on the field, Knuckles scooted away leaving King and Chilton to battle for second. Chilton eventually claimed the position with King following.
Two more cautions regrouped the field but Knuckles continued to get great restarts and hold off the field unchallenged for the remaining laps. Michael Chilton finished second with Ryan King, Vic Hill, and Brandon Overton wrapping up the top five. The remainder of the top ten finishers would be Pearson Lee Williams, Kyle Hardy, McDowell, Madden, and Payne.
In post-race celebrations, Brandon Overton of Evans, Ga. was crowned the Series Champion for the third time, second in a row. He won the title by 20 points over Chris Madden. Seven drivers completed the entire 12-race tour. The series was able to get all 12 races in with no rainouts. 113 different drivers raced in at least one race on the tour.
Jonathan Miracle won the Sportsman feature, Logan Hickey took the Modified Street honors, Josh Chesney was victorious in the Classic Car feature, and Tony Trent won the Street Stock main event.
Official Summary of Results: Schaeffer’s Oil Southern Nationals Series presented by Sunoco Race Fuels. Tazewell Speedway-Tazewell, TN. July 25, 2020.
Heat 1: Dale McDowell, Ryan King, Tyler Millwood, David Payne, Heath Hindman, Colton Burdette.
Heat 2: Kyle Hardy, Michael Chilton, John Baker, Brandon Overton, Lynn Leach.
Heat 3: Ross Bailes, Jason Trammell, Donald McIntosh, Pearson Lee Williams, Brian Smith (DNS), Jake Knowles (DNS).
Heat 4: Dakotah Knuckles, Chris Madden, Vic Hill, Brian Shockley, Danny Helton.
Super Late Model: 1. 21K Dakotah Knuckles; 2. 97 Michael Chilton; 3. 1G Ryan King; 4. 1 Vic Hill; 5. 76 Brandon Overton; 6. 2 Pearson Lee Williams; 7. 79 Kyle Hardy; 8. 17M Dale McDowell; 9. 44 Chris Madden; 10. 8 David Payne; 11. 90J Jason Trammell; 12. 58 Ross Bailes; 13. 31 Tyler Millwood; 14. 7M Donald McIntosh; 15. 14 John Baker; 16. 44B Colton Burdette; 17. 17S Brian Shockley; 18. 91 Heath Hindman; 19. 29 Danny Helton; 20. 22 Lynn Leach; 21. 00 Brian Smith; 22. 66 Jake Knowles.
Sportsman: 1. 50 Jonathan Miracle; 2. 50 Adam Mitchell; 3. 54 Mitchell Burke; 4. 17 Logan Seal; 5. 76 Joe Bray; 6. 12 Matt Shockley; 7. 14 Odie Overholt; 8. 00 Chris Raines; 9. 52 Troy Eads; 10. 24 Andy Wilder; 11. 4 Brad Sturgill; 12. 28 Richard Cox; 13. 71 Brandon Waller; 14. 13 Robbie Buchanan; 15. 56J Jody Horton; 16. 10 James Parrott; 17. 31 Ernie Stewart; 18. 44 Jimmy Calloway.
Modified Street: 1. 7 Logan Hickey; 2. 01 Wayne Rader; 3. 01 Jerry Hux; 4. 3 Kaleb Trent; 5. XP21 Bob Petty; 6. 21H Tyler Haynes; 7. M2 Mike Hodges.
Classic Car: 1. XXX Josh Chesney; 2. 88 Richie Overholser; 3. 7 John Stevens; 4. 16 Will Carey; 5. 2 Joe Keck; 6. 17 Rusty Welch; 7. 18 Chris Worsham; 8. 5 Joshua Chesney; 9. 27 Kevin Crane; 10. 69 Jessie Hickman.
DNS: 11 Tim Bounds; 22H Ethan Hansard; DNS 78 Eli Keck
Street Stock: 1. 18 Tony Trent; 2. 90 Austin Lefevers; 3. 15 Donovan Long; 4. 01 Wayne Rader; 5. 5 Greg Harville; 6. 20S James Weaver; 7. 26 Zach Campbell; 8. 73 Marty Irvin; 9. 10 Colby Long; 10. C4 Logan Cobb; 11. B3 Bo Holley; 12. 77B Bradley Dean.
DNS: 77 Chesten Anderson; 7 Chris Hickman