- Oct. 8 - Tri-County Racetrack by Sam Holbrooks


Roberts Tames Tri-County for Tarheel Win

By Chris Tilley

BRASSTOWN, N.C. Casey Roberts of Toccoa, Ga. inherited the lead from Don O’Neal on lap 23 and never looked back en route to a $3,500 win at the Tri-County Race Trackon Thursday during the eighth annual Ray Cook promoted "Tarheel 53" event.

Roberts drove his Cushman Paint and Body sponsored entry to the $3,500 win. He was debuting a new Capital Race Car prepared by Marshall Green and company. This was the first outing and it turned into a win for the # 101.

"We were tickled to death with our new car", stated Roberts in Victory Lane. ‘We had a really good race there, we really like racing with Jonathan (Davenport) and the caution came out there and saved us, it was just our night to win I guess".

Fast Qualifier Don O’Neal and Ross Bailes brought the field of 20 to the green flag for the start of the 53-lapper. O’Neal jumped to the early lead with Bailes and Shawn Chastain in hot pursuit before the first yellow came on lap eight as Eric Jacobsen came to a stop, collecting Tommy Kerr. Both were sent to the tail on the restart. By the tenth circuit David Payne, who started in the sixth spot, had already come to the second spot.

The field would stay green until the 21st lap when the caution would wave as Preston Graves and Danny Ledford went around in turn four. They collected the two leaders Don O’Neal and David Payne. Payne had damage and went to the pits while O’Neal continued and went to the rear for the restart. On the restart, the yellow would wave again as Billy Ogle spun. The next yellow would fly on the 24th lap as Randy Nichols spun in turn four, collecting Jacobsen and George Mashburn.

During the green flag laps after lap 35, Davenport, who was on the move from the fifth starting spot, was gaining speed and knocking on the back door of Roberts' machine. The caution would wave again on lap 39 for Mashburn as he slowed, and then on lap 41, as Tony Knowles slowed in turn two.

Davenport was making his move on the 41st lap when the caution came out yet again, and Roberts was at the point for the restart. Davenport tried to get underneath for several laps, but couldn’t make it stick until lap 44, when Davenport got up beside Roberts at the line to actually led that lap, only to see Roberts pull away in turn one. Davenport tried one last time to pass - this time for the slider - and went underneath Roberts in turn one, but with two laps to go, Roberts was able to go underneath for the lead again. Roberts held off Davenport for the win with Shawn Chastain coming home third ahead of Johnny Chastain and O’Neal.

Roberts talked about his run with Davenport in the closing laps.

"‘He (Davenport) done a slide job on us and we cut back under him, everything was clean, I guess when it’s your night it’s your night and we got it done tonight".

Oct. 8 - Tri-County Racetrack "Tarheel 53"
1) Casey Roberts, 2) Jonathan Davenport, 3) Shawn Chastain, 4) Johnny Chastain, 5) Don O’Neal, 6) Benji Cole, 7) Billy Ogle, Jr. 8) Ross Bailes, 9) Tommy Kerr, 10) Brent Dixon, 11) Ethan Hunter, 12) Jacob Anderson, 13) Randy Nichols, 14) Tony Knowles, 15) George Mashburn, 16) Eric Jacobsen, 17) David Payne, 18) Skip Arp, 19) Preston Graves, 20) Danny Ledford
Fast Time (28 entries): O’Neal (13:115); Last Chance race winners: Roberts, J. Chastain

Mark Bochiardy photo

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