Late Models Ray Cook's Southern Nationals 

McIntosh Takes Memorial Day Classic at Tri-County Race Track

BRASSTOWN, N.C. (June 2) — The seventh edition of the Memorial Day Classic at Tri-County Racetrack took place four days later than planned due to rain which postponed the event, but the delay didn’t deter Donald McIntosh as the Dawsonville, Ga., driver rolled to a flag-to-flag victory in his Larry Garner-owned machine to claim a $3,000 victory Friday night at the high-banked track.
McIntosh wasn’t seriously challenged for most of the distance, and held off local competitors David Payne, Johnny Chastain, George Mashburn and Clayton Turner to nail down his third-career victory on the Ray Cook-promoted Schaeffer’s Oil Southern Nationals Bonus Series (presented by Sunoco and Tennessee RV Supercenter) circuit. It was the Super Late Model touring organization’s third event of the season.
McIntosh started from the outside of the front row next to fast qualifier and pole position starter Shawn Chastain, but the local favorite retired to the infield during the earlier stages. That freed up McIntosh to lead the distance, but he had to maintain a lead over Payne on a final restart with a handful of laps remaining. The fourth and final yellow waved on lap 34 when early challenger Kurt English, who battled fiercely with Payne for the runner-up spot before relinquishing the position on the 33rd circuit, spun between the third and fourth turns. He was running third at the time.
English’s departure from immediate contention (he restarted seventh and placed sixth) left Payne as the eventual runner-up finisher, a scenario that might have seemed unlikely earlier in the program. Payne banged up both ends of his machine in time trials, slapping the outside guardrail between turns three and four. A massive team effort allowed him to start the feature from fifth on the grid after making rushed repairs to his car’s front nose and right-rear spoiler.
A total of 16 drivers turned out for the event, which drew a strong crowd to the high-banked oval that’s nestled into the Western North Carolina mountain region. Next events for the series will be a $4,000-to-win event June 23 at Ponderosa Speedway in Junction City, Ky., and a $10,000-to-win contest slated June 24 at Florence (Ky.) Speedway.

Memorial Day Championship: 1. Donald McIntosh, 2. David Payne, 3. Johnny Chastain, 4. George Mashburn, 5. Clayton Turner, 6. Kurt English, 7. Trevor Parker, 8. Michael Barnett, 9. Jeff Neubert, 10. Joey Standridge, 11. Doug Smith, 12. Andy Standridge, 13. Glenn Barnett, 14. Jamie Oliver, 15. Shawn Chastain, 16. Casey Turman.

Southern Nationals Bonus Series (points): 1. David Payne, 562; 2. Donald McIntosh, 558; 3. Jamie Oliver, 524; 4. Brandon Overton, 354; 5. Joey Standridge, 346; 6. Caleb Ashby, 342; 7. Ricky Weiss, 336; 8. Tim McCreadie and Tyler Carpenter, 200; 10. Dale McDowell and Zack Dohm, 196.


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