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BUCKINGHAM IS KING OF THE MOUNTAIN RIGHT OUT OF THE BOX IN DURRENCE LAYNE DLMS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
MARYVILLE, TN – Shanon Buckingham of Morristown, TN returned to action with the Durrence Layne Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series after an eight-year absence, and was crowned the King of the Mountain on Saturday night at Smoky Mountain Speedway. Buckingham set fast time, and led all 50 laps in the Fleetwood RV Longhorn to pick up the $4,000 winner’s check.
Buckingham was the class of the field with a Chevrolet Performance 604 Circle Track Engine that was straight out of the box from Durrence Layne Chevrolet, Buick GMC in Claxton, GA. At one point in the race, Buckingham held a 6.5 second lead over the second-place car. The only way the field could catch the leader was when one of three caution flags slowed the field.
The defending and two-time Durrence Layne Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series National Champion and current point leader Cory Hedgecock of Loudon, TN charged from the 14th starting spot to finish second in the Eagle Racing Engines Rocket. Michael Courtney of Knoxville, TN finished third in the B&M Concrete CVR was third.
Like Buckingham, Courtney’s Chevrolet Performance 604 Circle Track Engine came straight out of the box from Durrence Layne Chevrolet, Buick, GMC in Claxton, GA. Courtney was the second fastest qualifier.
“It’s been so long since we’ve raced with the Durrence Layne Series, I wasn’t sure what we had tonight because we just put this all together this week with an engine straight out of the box and a basic set up on our chassis,” Buckingham said. “I didn’t know I had that big of the lead, but I kept seeing Cory Hedgecock climbing the ladder on the scoreboard, so I didn’t know how close he was to us.”
Buckingham also laid to rest the notion that you had to send a Chevrolet Performance 604 Engine straight out of the box to an Engine Builder to be blueprinted before you could successfully compete in the Durrence Layne Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series.
“Back in the early years that we raced with the series, we always competed with Chevrolet Performance 604 Engines right out of the box, and we won our share of races with them,” Buckingham said. “When we decided to come back and run tonight, everyone told us we had to spend at least $12,000 on a blueprinted engine. I didn’t believe it then, and I don’t believe it now. This engine just about paid for itself tonight, and that’s what I love about the Durrence Layne Series. We’ll be back to do this some more.”
Greg Martin of Oliver Springs, TN ran in the top five all night long, and finished fourth in the Biff Motorsports Special. Ashton Winger of Senoia, GA was the Hard Charger of the Race after starting 18th and finishing fifth in the Keyser Manufacturing Rocket. Winger was also the Cruise With The Champions Rookie of the Race.
Jimmy Elliott of Cleveland, TN drove the Car Smart Auto Sales Special to a sixth-place finish and Eli Beets of Knoxville, TN took the seventh spot in the TMC Trucking Special. T.J. Brittain of Centre, AL was eighth in the Brittain Hauling Warrior, and Jake Knowles of Rome, GA finished ninth in the Knowles Race Parts and Bodies Special. Matt Stewart of Ooltewah, TN rounded out the top ten in the Tony Woodard Racing Special.
In preliminary action, Buckingham out-timed the 34-car field in Knowles Race Parts and Bodies Qualifying with a lap around the 4/10-mile clay oval in 17.301 seconds. The two ten-lap B-Main Races were won by Josh Henry of Newport, TN in the Henry Racing Special and Steward.
Buckingham chose the outside of the front row to start the race and took the lead from Courtney coming off the second turn on lap one. Buckingham led the first lap followed by Courtney, Ross White of Knoxville, TN in the Royal Flush Rocket, Martin, and Cameron Weaver of Crossville, TN in the Weaver Racing Special.
Martin passed White for the third spot on lap two, and Buckingham opened up a half-straightaway lead by lap five. That lead was erased on lap five for the first of three caution flags when Weaver hit the wall on the front straightaway. The second-generation driver was O.K. after the hard hit, but his race car was done for the night.
Buckingham led the field down for the Dixie-Style Double-File Restart with Courtney, Martin, White, Elliott, Knowles, Beets, Hedgecock, Henry, and Brittain doubled up behind him in the top ten. Courtney chose the outside for the restart, and Martin got under him in turn two to take over the second spot. Elliott got by White to move up to the fourth spot.
Buckingham started to check out on the field, and had a three second lead on Martin by lap ten. Winger was putting on a passing clinic, as he came from 18th at the start of the race to fifth by lap 12. The leader had a close call on lap 16 in heavy lapped traffic, as Jason Deal spun in turn two right in front of Buckingham.
Buckingham was able to make a quick right turn to the high side of the track and just miss Deal’s car sitting backwards in the track. That earned Buckingham the VP Racing Lubricants Slick Move of the Race Award. The top ten restart order had Buckingham in front with Martin, Courtney, Elliott, Winger, Hedgecock, Beets, Knowles, White, and Brittain double up behind him.
When the green flag came back out, Buckingham once again began to pull away from Martin. By lap 25, Buckingham was again in lapped traffic with a 1.8 second lead. The more traffic the leader encountered, the bigger the lead he got. Buckingham stretched it out to a 2.5 second lead by lap 30.
In the meantime, Hedgecock came alive in the second half of the race, and had moved up to the fourth spot by lap 30. On lap 35, Hedgecock passed Courtney for the third spot, and set his sights on Martin. With ten laps to go, Buckingham was in a different zip code from Martin and Hedgecock with a 5.7 second lead.
White stalled on the inside of turn one on lap 41 to bring out the third and final caution flag. Hedgecock had just got by Martin for second, and he now had a chance to challenge Buckingham for his third win of the season. Lining up third through tenth respectively for the restart were Martin, Elliott, Courtney, Winger, Beets, Brittain, Knowles and Steward.
On the restart, Courtney and Winger got by Elliott to move up to fourth and fifth respectively, and then began to challenge Martin for the third spot. There would be no challenge for the lead, as Buckingham pulled away from Hedgecock, and had a 1.3 second lead by lap 47. Courtney got by Martin for third on lap 48, and Buckingham took the checkered flag with a 1.805 margin of victory.
The next two races for the Durrence Layne Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series will be at Talladega Short Track in Eastaboga, AL for NASCAR Weekend on October 12 and 13. The race on Friday night, October 12 will be a $2,000-to-win 40-lap event, and the Saturday night, October 13 show will be a $2,500-to-win 50-lap race.
For more information and rules about the Durrence Layne Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series, visit the series web site at www.durrencelayneracing.com, or visit the series on Facebook at Durrence Layne Racing. You can follow us on Twitter @DurrenceLayneRacing.
OFFICIAL FINISH OF ROUND 11 AT SMOKY MOUNTAIN SPEEDWAY IN MARYVILLE, TN ON 10/6/18:
1. 1 50 Shanon Buckingham Morristown, TN 50 $4,000