Brandon Overton thought he was destined to finish second Wednesday night during the 28th Dirt Late Model Dream at Tony Stewart’s Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio after waiting more than two months to finish the postponed race.
When lap 90 clicked on the scoreboard at “The Dream”, he was running out of time to catch up with Chris Madden. However, his luck changed when a caution united the field on lap 91.
The Evans, Georgia rider took his chance on the restart, outplayed Madden and held on to win his third consecutive Dirt Late Model Dream, this one valued at $128,000.
Overton stated that without the yellow, Madden would have won the race. However, he used a lesson from his past in Eldora to gain the upper hand in the reset.
“I shouldn’t have won that race,” Overton said. “I probably had a second-place car, but I have a couple of guardian angels riding this thing with me.
“All I was thinking is I forgot which one it was when I was leading, and I picked the bottom one, and he blew around me on top. So when he picked the bottom, I was smiling, and I didn’t want to fool him, and I drove him over there and I knew he had it figured out, so I let him rip.
Overton is now the second driver to win “The Dream” more than twice, joining eight-time winner Scott Bloomquist on that list. He remained as pleased with his third “Dream” victory as he was with his first once he learned the stat at Victory Lane.
“Like I said the first time I won, if I don’t win another one, I did more than I thought I would,” Overton said. “It’s a good start to the week; Let’s keep rolling.”
The race resumed on lap 15 on Wednesday after being postponed due to rain, with 14 laps completed in June. Madden led all 14 laps at the start of the event and had to wait 88 days to see the green flag again at “The House Earl Built.”
He settled for second place, again short of his first crown jewel win from Eldora.
Madden, who also finished second in the Eldora Million, said he knew his lead was in jeopardy when the caution for Bobby Pierce and Devin Moran came out with nine laps to go.
“We were fine as long as we didn’t have a yellow flag,” Madden said. “I knew that if we had a yellow flag, we were in trouble. We were under a cylinder. We had a spark plug wire that fell off with probably 25 (turns) to go, and we were only on seven cylinders messing around.”
Tim McCreadie finished third, his sixth top five on “The Dream.” Eldora Million winner Jonathan Davenport finished fourth after restarting 20th.
Davenport entered the top five and said that if he passed Brandon Sheppard earlier, it could have changed the outcome of the race.
Sheppard, the 2019 Dirt Late Model Dream winner, rounded out the top five. He charged from 14th but said his tires were too hot when he tried to pass McCreadie.
Before the conclusion of “The Dream”, drivers who had not won a race at Eldora were given the opportunity to reach the iconic Victory Lane stage for the first time.
Ryan Gustin, Mike Marlar and Daulton Wilson each had $5,000 wins on “Chasing the Dream,” giving them momentum for the 52nd World 100.
Tonight in Eldora will be the 52nd annual World 100 for Late Models, paying $55,000 to win. For ticket information, visit eldoraspeedway.com. The racing action will be live on FloRacing.
Races scheduled for Sept. 3 at Brownstown Speedway were rained out. The track will be down tonight. The next scheduled race will be on September 17 with the pro late models, super stocks, pure
stocks, hornets and corona victims. For more information visit brownstownspeedway.com
lawrenceburg it rained
The Dick Gaines Memorial that was rescheduled for Sept. 3 at Lawrenceburg Speedway was again canceled due to rain. The track will be off tonight. The next race in Lawrenceburg is scheduled for September 17.
Columbus go-karts rained down
Events scheduled for September 3 at Tony Stewart Speedway for Columbus Speedway Go-Kart Racing were rained out. The next event scheduled is for Friday at the Bartholomew County 4-H Fairgrounds.
The current points leaders in their respective divisions are Bentley McCann (rookie), Jake Hudak (junior 1), Jacob Chadd (junior 2), Blake Robertson (junior 3), Grant Hiler (middle and heavy), Mike Sullivan (super heavyweight). and Troy Cowan (pred).
Former runner dies
Woody Smith of Little York, a former late-model racer at Brownstown Speedway, passed away on August 20. He was 87 years old.
Smith began his racing career in the mid-1950s, but sat out for several years before returning to the cockpit in 1972, racing almost exclusively at Brownstown. Smith had one of the fastest cars of his day, but he never won a notable race at Brownstown. He finished second four different times (three times by Jim Curry and once by Don Hobbs) during his career. His best result in the points standings was in 1973, when he finished third.
Smith drove a 1964 Chevelle with a 454-cubic-inch engine that he sold to Paul Crockett after the 1974 season. The car became one of the winningest in Brownstown Speedway history, with Crockett winning 18 starts at Brownstown alone in 1975 and 1976 capturing the track championships both years in the same car. The car was subsequently destroyed in an accident at Bloomington Speedway in late 1976.
Smith returned briefly during the 1983 season, but retired from driving soon after. His son-in-law, Tommy Fleenor, and his grandson, Dalton Fleenor, respectfully compete in Brownstown in the pure stock and super stock divisions.
This week in racing history
For 50 years this weekend in Brownstown, Ira Bastin won the latest model feature over Jim Curry and Kenny Simpson.
Also from this weekend in 1972 in the Twin Cities, Mike Stewart won the feature race over Leo Boner, Bill Smith, Ron Clark and Dee Kramer.
For 50 years in Haubstadt, Mike Johnson has won the speed car event over Snooky Bullock, Tony Solomito, Jim Hirsch and Leon Thickstun. Jack Owens won the late model feature over Ira Bastin, WT Harris, Don Turpen and Charlie Mounce.
Also since 1972 at Paragon, Bobby Black won the sprint car event over Rex Mitchell, Mike Johnson, Don Baker and Chet Johnson. Slim Simpson won the stock car feature over Henry Landcaster, Clyde Harris, Horace Lake and Paul Hobbs.
Forty years ago, in 1982, in the Twin Cities, Lee Fleetwood won the limited late model role over Steve Boley, Gregg Lyle, Chuck Gilpin and Ronnie Sipes. Bill Franks won the street action main event over Bob Johnson, Don Walp, Phil Fultz and RC Calton.
For 30 years, in 1992 in Bloomington, Kevin Thomas won the Sheldon Kinser Memorial for sprint cars over Tray House, Jon Stanbrough and Dave Darland. Scott Patman won the street action feature over Adam Sasser, Danny Carmichael and Cale Kern.
Also from 1992, Ray Godsey won the late model feature at Martin County Speedway at Loogootee over Dan Sturgeon, Brad Cummings, David Hill and Barry Gerkin. Denny Campbell won the street stock feature over Joe Lucas, Albert Webb Jr., Wally Moses and Danny Carmichael. Dwayne Klem won the bomber role over Todd Kempf, Randy Wininger, Rick McCormick and Danny Ashby.
20 years ago in 2002 in the Twin Cities, Mark Frazier won the UMRA Midget Feature over Travis Stickels, Terry Goff, Mike Smith and Gregg Cory.
Also since 2002 at Lawrenceburg, Troy Link won the sprint car feature over Jason Knoke, JD Turner, Brandon Petty and Kevin Briscoe. Mike Marlar won the modified stage over Randy Petro, Tim Littrell, Joey Kramer and John DeMoss.
Since 2002 at Brownstown, Jimmy Owens has won the modified stage over Mike Marlar, Earl Plessinger, Matt Boknecht and Brad Erwin. Mike Fields took super special action over Jay Deckard, Tim Clark, Lee Hobbs and Keith Deppe.
James Essex writes a motorsports notebook for The Republic. Send feedback to [email protected]