Brandon Overton ripped around the high side of “The Place Your Mama Warned Ya About” to take the lead from Chris Ferguson in the closing laps to score his first-career Blue Gray 100 win at South Carolina’s Cherokee Speedway on Sunday evening.
“Anytime you can win one of these things, it’s always a big deal,” Overton said. “There ain’t no crowd like this crowd down here. This place is a pretty historic place and always puts on a good show, so it’s a special deal to be a part of the group of drivers who have won it.”
Twenty-seven Super Late Models made the trip to Cherokee Speedway in Gaffney, South Carolina to compete in the Carolina Clash Super Late Model Series season finale. Past winners of the event like Scott Bloomquist and Chris ‘Smokey’ Madden looked to add another Blue Gray 100 victory to their resume, but several other drivers hoped to dethrone them and add their name to the list of winners.
‘Downtown’ Michael Brown started the night off on the right foot by holding the top spot in hot laps and carrying that speed through qualifying to claim the pole award. Ferguson, Overton, Benji Hicks and Bloomquist rounded out the top-five in qualifying.
Brown continued to flex his muscles as he went on to win his heat race over Hicks and Johnny Pursley. Ferguson and Overton did the same, both winning their respective heat races and securing solid starting positions for the 100-lap feature.
Brown and Ferguson would lead the field to green. Ferguson jumped out to an early lead, but Brown wouldn’t let him get away as the two of them traded the top spot nearly every lap in the first seven circuits.
After a few restarts, Bown began to fade and Overton began to rise to the front. Eventually, Overton made the pass around Ferguson for the lead and held on for several laps before he too started to fade back. That allowed Madden to take over the top spot as the leaders played musical chairs with the top spot.
Madden was only able to hold off a hard-charging Ferguson for 10 laps before having to relinquish the lead due to a flat tire. Meanwhile, Overton made the trip down pit road for a fresh right rear tire. He would restart from the seventh position with 25 laps to go.
“I couldn’t figure out what was going on,” Overton said. “I was out there leading and then we just started falling back. A few laps later we came in with a flat tire and they told me there was a big gash in it.”
Ferguson looked to be heading to victory lane in the closing laps of the feature, but it was Overton with the late-race charge to the front as he picked off cars one-by-one and moved into second. Overton challenged Ferguson for the lead with 10 to go on the high side. Ferguson tried to take the line away, but Overton crossed under him and made the bottom groove work as well. Overton pulled off the pass and was the first to see the checkered flag fly.
“Our car was good, just for what was going on out there,” Overton said. “I was kind of laying on the right rear. The car was balanced and set up really good. I wish the tire wouldn’t have gone down. I would have liked to have seen what we had out there, but all in all $10,000 is $10,000. Sometimes it takes a little luck to win these things.”
Ferguson was able to hang on for second with New York’s Mike Maresca completing the podium.
-By Madison Mabry, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent – Twitter: @MadisonMabry23
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com
Blue Gray 100
Cherokee Speedway, Gaffney, South Carolina