Ogle Stays Red Hot At Smoky Mountain
MARYVILLE, Tenn. — Billy Ogle Jr. being unstoppable would be an understatement.
The defending Southern All Stars Dirt Racing Series champion won his fifth straight Super Late Model event, and third straight SAS victory on Saturday night Sept. 22 at the Smoky Mountain Speedway Ogle’s victory was his second straight Super Late Model victory at Smoky Mountain where he started his ‘drive for five’ on August 11th.
Ogle has won five straight events coming in Southern Regional Racing Series, Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series and now three in a row with the Southern All Stars. This was Ogle’s sixth victory of 2012.
Ogle began the night by setting fast time in qualifying with a lap of 15.801 seconds around the four-tenths-mile clay oval. The Southern All Stars lock in the top-10 drivers onto the starting grid through time-trials so Vic Hill, Mark Douglas, Randy Weaver, Riley Hickman, Skylar Marlar, Tommy Kerr, Dillon Wood, David Crabtree and Stacy Boles were able to avoid the heat races as they were set for the feature early in the evening.
Derek Ellis and Skip Arp won the two heat races used to set the remainder of the 23 car field. Finishing 2nd to Arp in the second heat was 2011 Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne, who was making only his second Super Late Model start on dirt. Bayne’s previous start came on August 24th during the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series-sanctioned Scorcher at Volunteer (TN) Speedway.
At the drop of the green flag for the 50 lap feature, Ogle darted to the early lead with Hill and Weaver trailing in his tire tracks. But it didn’t take long for Ogle and his Blount Motorsports car to seize complete control of the top spot as the #201 pulled away to a near straightaway lead after only three laps.
However, a seemingly unending string of cautions would continually tighten the pack. On lap 11 the first of what would ultimately be nine yellow flags waved over the field. Minor spins and a series of flat tires claimed the likes of Weaver (twice), Hill, Kerr and Mike Weeks. Some of the drivers involved in the cautions would continue but a number fell out as only thirteen machines were left running at the finish.
On each ensuing restart after a caution Ogle would storm back to a commanding lead as others fought for the right to chase him. In the beginning it was Hill and Weaver who would battle for the runner up spot but both had tire issues that would set them back.
Eventually, Hickman and Crabtree waged a tremendous contest for the 2nd position while Ogle remained out of reach throughout the race’s second half.
Ultimately, Ogle was never seriously challenged for the top spot as he cruised to another victory. Following the winner to the checkered flag were Riley Hickman, David Crabtree, Dillon Wood, Vic Hill, Mark Vineyard, Derek Ellis, Tommy Kerr, Trevor Bayne and Dylan Ames.
Ogle came to the $5,000 victory while driving the Larry Garner owned, Blount Motorsports & Excavating, Cherokee Millwright & Mechanical, Grady & King Construction, GEO Services, Massey Electric Company, Stowers CAT sponsored Custom Race Engine powered Rocket Chassis.