GAFFNEY, S.C. — Brandon Overton won his second Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series race of the season with a furious rally on Friday night at Cherokee Speedway, driving around Jonathan Davenport on lap 41 and never looking back.
Overton started seventh but charged in the last 15 laps of the race to get the win, overcoming a side-by-side duel with Scott Bloomquist and then passing four cars in front of him on his way to victory lane.
Josh Richards came home second for Best Performance Motorsports, maintaining the championship points lead over Bloomquist and Tim McCreadie heading into the series’ next race on Saturday at Smoky Mountain Speedway.
Jimmy Owens was third, while Bloomquist — who ran as high as second — crossed the line in fourth. Ross Bailes completed the top five.
In Lucas Oil Victory Lane, Overton was grateful for the chance to drive for car owners Chip Stone and Randy Weaver.
“Chip Stone was coming down tonight, but he had a flat tire and Randy [Weaver] stayed at home tonight. So, it was ironic we got to victory lane and our left rear tire was flat,” Overton said. “Man, that was an exciting race. We went with a harder compound on the right rear than most. A lot of them went softer and for those that did it kind of brought them back to me in the last ten laps or so.”
Davenport led the first 40 laps of the race before being overtaken by Overton. His night then ended a few laps later against the turn one wall.
Richards then picked up the challenge for the lead, but fell just short of his sixth series win of the season.
“We had a really good car,” said Richards. “For this being our first-time here that’s pretty good. Just seeing this place on video doesn’t do it justice. It is a lot bigger than you think. You must learn where to let off the accelerator and get back on the gas here. It took us a while, but I think we adapted well. It was a good points night. Congratulations to Brandon on the win.”
Owens was glad to be in the hunt for the win in the final ten laps.
“Our car was good all night,” Owens said. “We tried our best to hang in there; those two in front of me were just a little bit better than us. The track was in really good shape, we have run here enough, but Overton picked the right tire obviously and that’s why he won the race.”
RESULTS: Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series; Cherokee Speedway; July 7, 2017
Feature (50 laps): 1. Brandon Overton, 2. Josh Richards, 3. Jimmy Owens, 4. Scott Bloomquist, 5. Ross Bailes, 6. Don O’Neal, 7. Earl Pearson Jr., 8. Steve Francis, 9. Michael Brown, 10. Tim McCreadie, 11. Brent Dixon, 12. Dennis Erb Jr., 13. Gregg Satterlee, 14. Boom Briggs, 15. G.R. Smith, 16. Hudson O’Neal, 17. Donald Bradsher, 18. Jonathan Davenport, 19. Chris Ferguson, 20. Tyler Millwood, 21. Johnny Pursley, 22. Darrell Lanigan, 23. Casey Roberts, 24. Dennis Franklin.
CREDIT: Lucas Communications