Woodstock, GA - John Ownbey of Cleveland, TN used his outside front row starting position to jump out to an early lead in route to the "Down in Dixie 30" Feature win at Dixie Speedway in Woodstock, GA. Ownbey's win marks his second on the Chevrolet Performance Super Late Model Series tour in his Sam's Restaurant Equipment sponsored car after picking up a win earlier in 2016.
Phenix City, AL driver Williams Thomas set fast time with a 15.057 lap around the d-shaped oval during time trials to secure the pole starting position. Thomas and Ownbey led the field to green at the "Home of the Champions" for the 30 lap feature. As the two entered the "starting box" it was Ownbey who used the outside lane of the race track to inch out ahead of Thomas as the field entered turn 1.
While Ownbey was able to get to the lead, fierce competition between current 2 nd place points driver Jake Knowles, Thomas, Ronnie Johnson, and a host of other drivers were in a fierce battle for position. Two and three wide, position swapping action was taking place all through the field as Ownbey set a torrid pace out front. Jake Knowles would move his Knowles Racing Parts and Bodies/Coosa Heating and Cooling sponsored car into the second spot and begin to reel in Ownbey.
As Ownbey approached the tail end of the field, Knowles was able to get to within a half a car length of the race long leader. Both drivers were choosing wisely in their quest to get around the lapped traffic and not give the other any advantage. As their battle raged, the races only caution flag would fly on lap 19 for the single car spin of Ryan King in turn 2.
The caution would bunch the field up with 11 laps remaining. On the ensuing restart, Knowles chose the inside line for the "dixie-style" double file restart which allowed William Thomas to draw alongside him coming to the green flag. Thomas was now able to use the outside starting line to get around Knowles on the restart and kept his nose tucked right on the back bumper of Ownbey. Thomas appeared to have a run on Ownbey for several laps, but was not able to secure the spot. Behind the leaders the action was intense as drivers jockeyed on the wide Dixie Speedway racing surface for precious positions.
As Ownbey came to the white flag all eyes were on Thomas to see if would be able to finally complete the pass. He threw it all at Ownbey heading into turn 1 in hopes of being able to get around the race long leader down the back straightaway, but Ownbey proved to be too much as he was able to keep his car out front and cruise under the checkered flag with Thomas just 0.287 behind him.
Drivers now prepare to head to Rome Speedway for the 50 th Anninversary and the Chevrolet Performance 100 presented by Sunoco Race Fuels. The 2016 Championship and Cruise with the Champions Rookie of the Year titles are going to come down to the 100 lap event. There are just 16 points separating Tyler Crowder and Jake Knowles to see who will be crowned National Champion. Ronnie Johnson and Tim Busha are slugging it out for positions among the top 3. Austin Smith and Ryan King are separated by just 10 points to determine the Rookie of the Year standings. Sunday night is shaping up to be one for the record books, and will be the first 100 lap event at Rome Speedway in over 15 years, so it is anybody's race heading into the season finale.
For more information about the Chevrolet Performance Super Late Model Series please visit the official website at 525superseries.com.
You can also find us on all of your favorite social media outlets as well:
Facebook - Chevrolet Performance Super Late Model Series
Twitter - @525SuperSeries
Instagram - @chevysuperseries_525