Payne dominates at Tri County Racetrack; Beaver nets first win
Updated: May 23, 2022
By Travis Dockery
389 Country Editor
The calendar said May, but the temperature felt more like a mid-summer day in Brasstown on Friday, May 20. Even the hot weather couldn't keep fans from passing through the ticket gate at Tri County Racetrack. A total of seven divisions were in action with the main event belonging to the Super Late Models who competed for $2,000.
In qualifying, Murphy's Jamie Oliver turned in the fastest lap to earn the top spot in the Super Late Model feature. David Payne started on the outside of row number one and the pair shot under the waving green flag and led the field into turn one. As the group of mean machines maneuvered through turns three and four, Levi Hicks almost spun. Directly behind Hicks was Shaun Chastain, who spun trying to avoid Hicks.
That brought out the caution and reset the field for a full double-file restart. As the pack exited turn four, the green flag waved. Chaos ensued which resulted in Oliver eventually getting hit from behind by Chastain and the pair came to rest against the outside wall in turn one. While some speculated that a mechanical failure on Oliver's No. 38 had prevented him from being even with Payne, "The Murphy Bulldog" said he felt like Payne jumped the start.
Oliver's night ended, but Chastain was able to continue. On the third and final attempt at a restart, Hicks moved into the inside front row starting spot next to Payne. Payne got the jump and motored around the high side to clear Hicks for the top spot. From there, Payne's No.8 led flag-to-flag as "The Coach" took the win. Hicks held on to second and Chastain's eventful night ended with a third place finish.
Jason Deal played the role of skunk in the Limited/Crate Late Model feature race as the defending track champion stunk up the show. Deal was the fastest qualifier and shared the front row with Brett Shook. Once the field mashed the loud pedal, Deal moved forward and Shook found himself under attack. Warne's Danny Ledford got a launch off of turn two and cleared Shook for the runner-up spot. Shook continued to struggle and Deal seemed to have his No.7 car on cruise control. Ledford turned lap times comparable to Deal, but the distance the pole-sitter gained in the opening laps was too much. Deal took parked in victory lane with Ledford crossing the line in second and Kip Cochran came home in third.
After a potential win was taken away from him in post-race tech a few weeks ago, Dylan Beaver righted the wrong by scoring his first career 602 Late Model win at Tri County.
Beaver started the event from the outside pole position, lined up next to fast qualifier and most recent division winner Dante Curtis. Beaver got a great start when the green flag waved and when the field came back around to complete lap 1, Beaver's No.117 was out front. That's where the young lead foot would stay through race. Curtis held on for second and Jacob Hamby had a solid third place finish. Beaver passed the tech shed and was able to collect his trophy in victory lane.
The Street Stock championship race which payed $800 saw action on the track and in the infield. Charles Devine and Alex Vance battled from the front row after winning their heat races. Devine was able to put his No. 14 out front and capture the checkered flag. Vance was a close second with Troy Turner crossing the stripe in third. Following the race, Vance protested Devine's motor. It's not the first time the pair has been involved in post-race activity. Earlier this year, Devine protested Vance's Camaro after finishing second to it. According to track promoter Ray Cook, Devine's engine will be sent to Eagle Race Engines this week. Official results of the race won't be known until then.
In other action, Chuck Southard won the Open Wheel Modified race, Chance Hughes took first in the 602 conciliation race, Jamie Cross was victorious in the Pony division and Josh Deese ended the night in victory lane following the Front Wheel Drive main event.
The track will be in action once again on Monday, May 30 for the Memorial Day celebration.