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Dirt flies at Tri County on Memorial Day

(Photo by Travis Dockery / 389 Country) "Dandy" Donte Curtis motors down the backstretch during practice laps on Memorial Day.

By Travis Dockery

389 Country Editor

Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer, but the evening sun in Brasstown made it feel like a mid-summer's evening at Tri County Racetrack on Monday. Seven divisions filled the pit area to wrap up the holiday weekend with each division chasing $1,000 and victory lane.

The grandstands continued to fill up throughout the preliminary portion of Monday's event.

Consistently the largest class at the track, the Interstate Welding 602 Late Models qualified 25 cars in preparation for their feature. After a long hiatus, Jacob Parris returned the Tri County and put his No.4 on the pole in qualifying. Murphy's Dante Curtis clocked in second quick. The two young guns led the 16-car feature field to the green flag.

Curtis had the high line, which is usually the preferred lane at Tri County, but Parris fought hard on the low side, and executed a successful slide job in the middle of turns one and two, clearing Curtis for the lead. Possession of the top spot was short-lived as Curtis ducked under Parris coming out of turn two and the pair drag raced down the backstretch. Curtis was able to clear Parris coming out of turn four to lead the first lap.

The action through the field was fierce and, at times, wild. John Howard's No.81 fell back through the field as the laps went on, but that resulted in a great show for the fans as Howard gave it his all to try to hang on to every spot. The 602's most recent winner, Dylan Beaver and the defending track champion, Bobby Elkins, found themselves in the middle of the hornets' nest, trying desperately to move forward.

Up front, Curtis was smooth even though Parris was right behind him. The checkered flag waved, giving Curtis his second win of the season. Parris had to settle for third and Jamie Oliver crossed the strip in third.

The remaining 602 Late Models lined up for a non-qualifiers race and entertained the fans. Brad Thomas debuted his new car in style, picking up the win. Chance Hughes ran second the entire race, but spun in turn four coming to the checkered flag. That allowed Ronnie Wren to finish second and Wade Teems to take third.

One lucky fan won the door prize of $1,000 as part of the Memorial Day celebration.

In the King Ford Limited/Crate Late Model feature, Blairsville youngster Tucker Anderson

nabbed his first pole in the division with Drew Deaver lined up alongside. After a false start, to field came up to full song to start the 20-lap feature. Deaver got a run on the high side to muscle his way to the lead. For a few laps, Deaver's No.12 was able to pull away and create a gap between himself and Anderson. Veteran Danny Ledford caught Anderson and stayed right in the youngster's tire tracks, waiting to capitalize on any mistake.

That mistake didn't happen and in fact, the two starting catching the leader. Anderson reeled in Deaver and had Ledford in tow. The three leaders found themselves nose to tail as the white flag flew. As the trio rocketed down the backstretch, Anderson positioned himself for one final charge at the win. Anderson drove his No.22 deep into turn three and found himself inside of the No.12. It was close, but Deaver was able to get back into the throttle sooner which sent him to victory lane. Anderson was right behind in second and Ledford took third.

The Super Late Model main event was fast, but anti-climactic. Shawn Chastain got by pole-sitter Jamie Oliver and never looked back. Chastain parked his No.00 in victory lane with Oliver finishing second and Galen Robinson in third.

In other action, Charles Devine was the beneficiary of Josh Hoot's disqualification in the Street Stock race. It's Devine's third win in a row. Chuck Southard grabbed his third Open Wheel Modified feature and Marty King defended his title of "King of the Pony's" with yet another victory. The Front Wheel Drive main event closed out the night and require a novel to describe everything that happened. In short, 19 cars saw the initial green flag, only five saw the checkered. Logan Exum ended the circus with a victory in his return to the division.

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