Catching up with Super Late Model news
I thought I would take this off week to catch up on some Super Late Model news.
Two of the biggest events the entire year took place over the last month. The World of Outlaws Super Late Models, Big Block Northern Modifieds and the Winged Outlaw Sprint cars all decided their year-end point championships at the dirt track at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The World Finals — as it’s called — should be on every race fans bucket list!
Decided over three evenings in the cool North Carolina air, the action is literally non-stop except for an occasional shower from Mother Nature. Rain postponed some of the action a little but the finals didn’t disappoint. A total of 76 cars were on hand for the SLM show. That field was divided into two groups. Group 1 qualifying was led by Mike Marlar over Scott Bloomquist. Group 2 was led by Dale McDowell over Kent Robinson. Regional drivers from West Virginia were Zach Dohm, Tyler Bare and Mike Benedum. There were six heat races, which would have been great features at any track across America. Winners were, Mike Marlar, Scott Bloomquist, Chase Junghans, Dale McDowell, Kent Robinson and Earl Pearson Jr. There were three last chance showdown races. Listen to the quality of drivers transferring to the feature through last chance races. Two from each race were Jackie Boggs, Donny Schatz, Jimmy Owens, Chris Ferguson, Shane Clanton and the “Real Deal” Don O’Neal. All our regional guys that failed to transfer. Now it was feature time, 50 quick laps to decide it all. Scott Bloomquist took the win over Jonathan Davenport. Brandon Sheppard was third. Chase Junghans was fourth. Tim McCreadie finished fifth. Mike Marlar was crowned 2018 World of Outlaws LMS Points Champion.
The ground pounding Big Block Modifieds were up next and even though these fast cars don’t visit West Virginia much, they have some of the greatest dirt racers in the country. The feature in this division saw veteran Tim Fuller win over Matt Sheppard. Billy decker finished third. Brett Hearn and Demetrois Drellos rounded out the top five. Matt Sheppard captured the points championship.
They saved the fastest cars for last, as 28 of the amazing Winged Outlaw Sprint cars battled it out for 50 laps to end a great night of racing. Donny Schatz in his Tony Stewart owned car won the event and captured the points championship. Young Logan Schuchart finished second and turned heads for sure. Brad Sweet was third. Tim Shaffer finished fourth. Young son of NHRA drag racing Funny Car driver Garry Scelzi, Giovanni Scelzi, rounded out the top five.
On Dec 1, the Gateway Dirt Nationals were held indoors at the America’s Center Dome in St Louis, Missouri. A total of $30,000 was up for grabs plus bragging rights for the rest of the winter! Tyler and Freddie Carpenter from Parkersburg made the tow out west and Tyler made the feature and finished a respectable ninth. His dad, Freddie, just missed the feature. A total of 60 Super Late Models worked through six Last Chance Qualifiers to decide the 22-car starting field for the 40-lap feature. LCQ winners were Jonathan Davenport, Cameron Marlar, Joey Coulter, Shannon Babb, Tanner English, (note Freddie Carpenter finished third in this LCQ and they transferred two) and Bob Gardner took the last LCQ win. Bobby Pierce survived numerous cautions and took the win. Veteran Billy Moyer took second. Don O’Neal finished third. Jason Whelshan finished fourth and Ryan Unzicker Jr rounded out the top five.
The UMP/AMRA type Modifieds were also on the program at Gateway. First prize money of $10,000 to win for 30 laps brought out 39 Modifieds to compete. The only regional driver I recognized in the field was Ohio’s K.C. Burdette. He struggled with a 16th-place finish but made the 22-car starting field. The top five finishers were, Mike Harrison winner, Mike McKinney, Levi Kessinger, Brent Mullins and Kyle Steffens. Other notable finishers were, Kenny Wallace seventh and Nick Hoffman ninth.
The super-fast little Dirt Midget racers finished up the evening. There were 43 cars on hand and the feature read like a who’s who of racing. The 20-car field also raced 30 laps for a $10,000 first prize. Young NASCAR star Christopher Bell took the win. Shane Golobic finished second. The little man with the big left foot Rico Abreu took third. Charleston’s own Zach Dohm took fourth! Chris Windom rounded out the top five. Cup star Kyle Larson could only manage a 17th-place finish. Drivers that failed to make the feature were, Billy Paunch, Tim McCreadie, Chase Briscoe, Sammy Swindell, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Bobby Pierce. Wow what a night of racing!
This weekend is the Elkins Raceway Championship Awards Banquet. I hope to see you there and remember at the end of the straightaway there’s Another Left Turn.