- Sept. 24 - Smoky Mountain Raceway by Sam Holbrooks


Billy Ogle Jr and Skip Arp at Smoky Mt Raceway

Billy Ogle, Jr. slips into the lead just as early pacesetter Skip Arp slows with mechanical trouble at Smoky Mountain Raceway. (Michael Moats)

Southern All Stars: Ogle Captures SAS Points Lead With Smoky Mountain Win

Richard Allen, series report

MARYVILLE, Tenn. - Sept. 24. Knoxville’s Billy Ogle, Jr. used what could be considered a home track advantage to earn the title ‘King of the Mountain’ and take over the lead in the Southern All Stars series standings to boot.

Ogle’s Blount Motorsports car owner, Larry Garner, is a part owner in the Smoky Mountain Speedway in Maryville. With his team shop just a few miles away from the 4/10 mile clay oval, Ogle could enjoy a short ride back home with a trophy, a crown and a $5,000 check in his possession.

Mark Douglas and William Thomas at Smoky Mt

Mark Douglas tries to keep second place from #22 William Thomas before Thomas ultimately wound up advancing to the spot at Smoky Mountain. (Michael Moats)

At the start of the night, another Knoxville driver, Mark Douglas, asserted himself as an early favorite by claiming the pole position with a fast lap of 15.880 seconds. Ogle found himself barely locked into the starting lineup by posting the 10th fastest lap in time trials and just avoiding a run in the heat races.

At the start of the 50-lap feature event, outside front row starter Skip Arp bolted to the lead with Douglas, William Thomas and Matt Barrett trailing. Barrett, normally a crew member, was driving the Bloomquist Race Car normally piloted by Eric Jacobsen.

Tommy Kerr and Matt Barrett

Tommy Kerr gets under Eric Jacobsen Crew Chief Matt Barrett to challenge for fifth. Kerr finally advanced to third in the rundown. (Michael Moats)

While Arp cruised through the first third of the event, the competition was intense from third through 10th as drivers jockeyed for position and a chance to move up and challenge the top three of Arp, Douglas and Thomas. Ultimately, it was Ogle who would make the boldest of moves to gain spots as his #201 Rocket chassis found traction on the low side of the speedway.

By lap 13, Ogle had already made his way up to third place when he brushed by Thomas. Then, by lap 15 he powered around Douglas and immediately began closing the gap on Arp.

David Payne and Billy Ogle

Billy Ogle, Jr. takes the high side on a restart to try and get around Mike Weeks and #8 David Payne at Smoky Mountain Raceway. (Michael Moats)

At lap 19, Ogle made a move under Arp for the lead as the two cars roared through turn two. At just the moment Ogle looked to move into the top spot, Arp’s car slowed dramatically with what appeared to be rear end damage after a brush with the outside wall. He did not return to the race.

From that point Ogle was on cruise control, having only to endure a couple of restarts in the final ten laps of the event. At the finish it was Ogle, Thomas, Tommy Kerr, Mark Vineyard, Douglas, Bobby Giffin, David Crabtree, Mike Weeks, David Payne and Terry Wolfenbarger.

Ogle, who entered the race trailing Thomas by two points in the SAS standings, took the series lead with his victory.

In the Crate Late Model feature, Greg Martin lead every lap to claim the $1,000 first prize.

Smoky Mountain Raceway Southern All Stars
1) Billy Ogle Jr., 2) William Thomas, 3) Tommy Kerr, 4) Mark Vineyard, 5) Mark Douglas, 6) Bobby Giffin, 7) David Crabtree, 8) Mike Weeks, 9) David Payne, 10) Terry Wolfenbarger, 11) Sammie Russell, 12) Robby Moses, 13) Chad Ogle, 14) Gary McPherson, 15) Hunter Best, 16) Matt Barrett, 17) Kayne Hickman, 18) Skip Arp, 19) Steve Smith, 20) Ronnie Payne, 21) Ellery Leake, 22) Jason Welshan, 23) Roger Best
Fast qualifier (23 entries): Douglas, 15.880 seconds. Heat race winners: C. Ogle, Vineyard

Michael Moats photo


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