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    Main event winner David Payne slides his No.8 through turns three and four of Tri County Racetrack. Travis Dockery • Clay County Progress

Payne returns to victory lane in Brasstown

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A hot summer sun covered the quarter mile clay oval known as Tri County Racetrack in Brasstown Friday, Aug. 9. As the evening wore on, the heat in the air relented somewhat, replaced by the hot laps on the track.

The main event of the night belonged to the Super Late Model drivers. After an exciting round of qualifying, Murphy’s David Payne found himself atop the time sheets with the pole position. The driver known as “The Coach” lined up alongside fellow Murphy driver Jamie Oliver to bring the pack to full throttle. The green flag flew but was quickly replaced by the yellow thanks to a mid-field spinner.

With no laps complete, there was a second attempt at a double-file start. Payne failed to get a jump on the start and Oliver stayed to the outside, using the cushion to edge ahead of Payne’s No. 8 to lead lap one. Payne continued to challenge Oliver and on lap five, ripped away the lead. Just after Payne moved into the point, a spin at the rear of the field slowed the pace again. The caution period was short lived and Payne led the field off turn four and under the waving green flag.

Oliver mounted a charge but had to lift on lap 7 due to a repeat spinner at the tail of the pack. On the following restart, Payne found himself in a dog fight with Oliver. Payne took the high side while Oliver tried the low line. It took a couple of laps but when Payne got heat in his tires, his Capital car looked like it gained 20 horsepower and pulled away.

Meanwhile, Oliver found himself defending the runner-up position as Shawn Chastain and Kurt English closed in. Oliver tried to maintain in the low line but real- ized he was giving up time to the pair of challengers. Even a move to the high side didn’t let Oliver pull away from the threat, but the mo- mentum he carried out of the turns and down the straights allowed him to hold on to the spot.

By the time the checkered flag waved to end the 25-lap feature, Payne had increased his lead to a full straight away and cruised to victory. Oliver held on to the second spot and Chastain settled for third. Other winners on the night in- cluded Jim Twiggs in the Street Stock division, Michael Barnette in the Modified Street division, Colton Berrong in the 602 Rookie divi- sion and Logan Exum in the Front Wheel Drive division. Post-race inspection changed the outcome of the Limited/Crate Late Model feature. Brian Kinnersley held off a charge from Jason Deal to cross the stripe first but failed tech after the race which gave the win to Deal. It was on Friday that Tri County

Racetrack has been selected to be part of the #MyTrackMyRoots movement. The movement, with support from NBC Sports, was created to shine the spotlight on the weekend warriors who compete at small town tracks around the country.

The next race at the track is scheduled for Friday, Aug.23. Regular divisions will be in action along with the inaugural visit for the Iron Man Super Late Model Se- ries who will compete for $3,000. Gates open at 5 p.m. with racing at 7:30 p.m.

Clay County Progress

Mailing Address: PO Box 483, Hayesville, NC 28904
Physical Address: 43 Main Street, Hayesville, NC 28904
Phone: 828-389-8431
Fax: 828-389-9997