Editor's Note: Every Monday we send out the the Hunt the Front Weekly Dirt Report, bringing all the latest Dirt Late Model news and results directly to the inboxes of subscribers. Read this week's edition below and click here to sign up to receive future editions FOR FREE.
Welcome to the Hunt the Front Weekly Dirt Report. Today’s edition is powered by DirtonDirt.com and its live video coverage of this weekend’s $50,000-to-win USA Nationals at Cedar Lake Speedway. Click here for live video ordering options.
Devin Moran Scores Biggest Win at Prairie Dirt Classic
Devin Moran scored the biggest victory of his career in winning the World of Outlaws Late Model Series-sanctioned Prairie Dirt Classic Saturday night at Fairbury American Legion Speedway.
Moran, the 23-year-old racer from Dresdon, Ohio., took the lead for good on lap 79 from defending series champion and defending race winner, Brandon Sheppard then led the final 21 laps to score a $30,000 payday.
“It’s incredible what we can do with such a little team that we have. Everyone on this team have come together and to be able to do what we’re doing is so unbelievable,” Moran said after the event. “It’s by far the biggest one; this tops them all. It’s just incredible what we’ve done, and I can’t thank God enough for blessing us with the capabilities to come out here and race let alone win.” Click here to read the full report.
Roberts Wraps Up Southern Nationals Title
With his fourth-place finish Saturday night at Tazewell Speedway, Casey Roberts wrapped up his second championship on Ray Cook’s Schaeffer's Southern Nationals Series. The Toccoa, Ga., driver became just the third driver to win the title without winning a race on the two-week miniseries. Devin Gilpin did it in 2015 and Jeff Cooke did it in the tour’s inaugural season way back in 2005.
Roberts and his Blount Motorsports team recorded an average finish of 4.8 in the tour’s nine events with runner-up finishes at Toccoa Raceway and Swainsboro Speedway. His worst result (and only finish outside the top 10) was 12th at in the tour’s second race at Swainsboro. Overton’s Southern Nationals Dominance Hampered by DNFs
Brandon Overton might look back on his Southern Nationals campaign as a success with a tinge of disappointment. Winning four of nine events, Overton was the dominant driver on the tour in his new Billy Franklin-owned ride, but a 25th-place result in the series opener at Wythe Raceway and a 22nd-place effort at Boyd’s Speedway sank the Evans, Ga., drivers shot at a repeat championship.
Overton takes over the bitter-sweet distinction of winning the most events in a season without claiming the title. Dennis Franklin won three races in finishing runner-up in the 2008 standings, while Randy Weaver won three events while not following the full tour in 2014.
Proving His Point Cost McDowell the Title
We wrote extensively about Dale McDowell’s run-in with Michael Page in the Southern Nationals July 22 stop at Rome Speedway. You can follow these links to catch up on all of the details and read our reaction, but the fact is, McDowell’s on-track reaction following apparent contact from Page late during the 53-lap feature, cost him the championship.
Because McDowell exited his car on the track, he was penalized with a last-place finish in the event, meaning what would’ve been a 15th-place finish worth 170 points became a 22nd-place result worth 156 points. That’s a 14-point difference. McDowell finished eight points behind Casey Roberts in the final standings.
Questioning the Validity of Tire Testing
In case you haven’t heard, Bobby Pierce and seven members of the Dunn-Benson Motorsports team took lie detector tests to prove their innocence following Pierce’s tire-cheating penalty at June’s Dirt Late Model Dream. Last week, HTF writer Jonathan Joiner shared his thoughts on how the lie detector tests affects tire testing going forward. Read it here.
Terry Phillips scored a $3,000 MLRA victory at Lakeside Speedway in Kansas City, Kan,. on Friday. … Hunter Rasdon and Jack Sullivan split Comp Cams victories at Arkansas’ Batesville Motor Speedway and Missouri’s Legit Speedway Park respectively. … R.J. Conley scored $3,000 on the Ultimate MOV tour at Moler Raceway Park in Williamsburg, Ohio, on Friday, while Chub Frank claimed $3,000 in the Ultimate MOV and Ultimate BoB co-sanctioned event at Wayne County Speedway in Orrville, Ohio on Saturday. … Rusty Schlenk bagged a $4,000 victory at I-96 Speedway in Lake Odessa, Mich., co-sanctioned by the ALMS and Ethanol tours. … Chad Thrash scored his second straight MSCCS event at Hattiesburg (Miss.) Speedway on Friday. … Dustin Mitchell won $4,000 at North Carolina’s Dixieland Speedway on Friday, while Clint Smith won $4,000 at Georgia’s Dixie Speedway on Saturday. … Jared Miley won Lernerville Speedway’s $3,000 DIRTcar special on Friday. … In Crate action, Ashton Winger scored $2,500 with DLCS at Blue Ridge (Ga.) Motorsports Park, while Damian Bidwell won $2,000 in RUSH action at Stateline Speedway in Busti, N.Y. … Zack Dohm scored another $3,000 in an unsanctioned event at 201 Speedway in Sitka, Ky. … Michael Lake scored a $5,000 ULMS victory at Dog Hollow Speedway in Strongstown, Pa.
What to Watch For
Cedar Lake Speedway hosts the World of Outlaws Late Model Series this weekend for the tour’s highest paying event of the season. The 31st annual USA Nationals pays a whopping $50,000 to the winner along with the events signature Eagle Trophy.
Our friends at DirtonDirt.com are providing live video coverage of all of Cedar Lake’s action, which kicks off with a tune-up event Thursday night. Friday’s USA Nationals prelim action will feature a double-heat-race format for the first time in the event’s history, and last-chance races and the 100-lap finale wrap up the weekend on Saturday.