CROSSVILLE, TENNESSEE – The Schaeffer’s Oil Spring Nationals presented by Sunoco Race Fuels and Tennessee RV would conclude its 2018 campaign at Crossville Speedway in Crossville, TN on Thursday evening and Michael Chilton of Salvisa, KY would take the lead on lap eleven and hold off the charges of Jason Jameson in the closing laps to secure the $4,000 payday.
The win by Chilton would be his second victory with the Spring Nationals in 2018 and his third Spring Nationals career victory and would come in the seat of the Caton Industrial Painting, Parkview Home Center, Dial Painting, MKC Transport, Irvin Enterprises, Brucebilt Performance sponsored #97 Rocket Chassis, Bullock Race Engines powered entry. The event was originally scheduled on May 24, but fell victim to Mother Nature just as the Super Late Model feature got underway that evening.
Casey Roberts would take the lead at the drop of the green flag in the 40 lap, $4,000 to win Spring Nationals 2018 series finale, with Jason Jameson, Michael Chilton, Aaron Ridley, and Eric Wells in pursuit. Wells would work past Ridley for the fourth position on lap two, with Chilton working under Jameson for the runner-up slot one circuit later. Chilton would begin the process of slowly catching Roberts for the lead and would grab the top spot on lap eleven. Chilton would start working slower traffic two laps later and Jameson would pressure Roberts for second, while Wells and Ridley had a dandy of duel going for the fourth position. Jameson would take second from Roberts as the field started working lap sixteen and disaster would strike Roberts as he would tangle with a lapped car in turn three to draw the first caution of the event. Back underway, Chilton would maintain the lead, with Jameson in second, while Ridley and Wells battle for third, with Zach Leonhardi now in the fifth spot. Ridley and Wells would continue their side-by-side battle and Wells would claim the third position on lap nineteen. The second caution appeared on lap twenty-two when Ricky Tinch’s mount would slow on the frontchute and stop at the bottom of turn one and be pushed pitside for the remainder of the event. This restart would see Chilton and Jameson motor away from the field a bit, with Wells and Ridley resuming their spirited battle for third. Chilton would open a bit of a lead at this point, only to see the caution negate his advantage on lap thirty-two as Roberts would slow on the frontchute with a flat left-rear tire, which he would change in the work area and return to action. The restart would see only one more circuit scored when the final caution of the event would wave on lap thirty-three when Chicky Barton would loop his machine entering turn one as he challenged Leonhardi for the fifth position. The final restart would see Jameson keep pace with Chilton this time, while Jadon Frame would make his way into the top five around Leonhardi on lap thirty-four. As the field came to the five laps remaining signal, Jameson would mount one final charge around the high-side of the racing surface and would pull to within a car length of Chilton, however, Chilton would prove too strong around the bottom and middle of the racing surface and would beat Jameson back to the checkered flag by 0.343 seconds. Jameson would settle for second, with Wells securing the 2018 Spring Nationals title with a third-place effort. Ridley would come home fourth, while Leonhardi worked back around Frame in the late going to finish fifth. Frame would head up the remainder of the top-ten finishers at the finish, followed by fourteenth starting David Payne, Barton, Roberts, and Rusty Ballenger.
Eric Wells of Hazard, Ky. would capture his first-career Schaeffer’s Oil Spring Nationals Series title after the event was completed. Wells took home $5,053 for the eight-race mini-series championship. Aaron Ridley of Chatsworth, Ga. finished second in the final totals 54 points out of the top spot. Third in series points was Zach Leonhardi of Cartersville, Ga., fourth in series points was Casey Roberts of Toccoa, Ga. and fifth in the final point totals was Chicky Barton of Middlesboro, Ky. There were 112 different race teams that competed on the tour in the eight races contested with five racers with perfect attendance. Two events were rained out, Boyd’s Speedway on May 25th and Rome Speedway on May 27th.
The Schaeffer’s Oil Spring Nationals presented by Sunoco Race Fuels and Tennessee RV would like to thank all of it sponsors, race teams, tracks, and race fans who participated throughout the 2018 tour. Your support is greatly appreciated and the series sincerely thanks you for your support.
Further information on the Spring Nationals, Southern Nationals, and Southern Nationals Bonus Series can be obtained by calling Promoter Ray Cook at (828) 360-5353 or Series P.R. Coordinator Chris Tilley at (606) 219-1723 or by visiting the official website located at www.SouthernNationalsSeries.com.
Official Summary of Results
Feature Results for Schaeffer’s Oil Spring Nationals at Crossville Speedway in Crossville, TN on June 14, 2018
1. Michael Chilton-Salvisa, Ky.
2. Jason Jameson-Lawrenceburg, Ind.
3. Eric Wells-Hazard, Ky.
4. Aaron Ridley-Chatsworth, Ga.
5. Zach Leonhardi-Cartersville, Ga.
6. Jadon Frame-Winchester, Tenn.
7. David Payne-Murphy, N.C.
8. Chicky Barton-Middlesboro, Ky.
9. Casey Roberts-Toccoa, Ga.
10. Rusty Ballenger-Sevierville, Tenn.
11. Jeff Neubert-Rockford, Tenn.
12. Kenny Cobble-Cookeville, Tenn.
13. Craig Greer-Cleveland, Tenn.
14. Ryan King-Seymour, Tenn.
15. Ricky Tinch-Deer Lodge, Tenn.
Did Not Start- Brandon Overton, Tyler Bruening, Richard Frost, Dan Tipton, Gary McPherson, Caleb Ashby, Phil Helton
Time of Race: 24 minutes, 23 seconds
Margin of Victory: 0.343 seconds
Yellow Flags: 4 (Lap 16, 22, 32, 33)
Red Flags: None
Lap Leaders: Casey Roberts 1-10, Michael Chilton 11-40
Overall Top Qualifier: Jason Jameson (Group B) 11.728 seconds (new track record)
Keyser Manufacturing 11th Place Award: Jeff Neubert
Highest Finishing CT525 Engine ($200): None
Highest Finishing Steel/SPEC Engine ($200): None
Provisional Starters: None
Heat One Finish (8 laps/all transfer)- Chicky Barton, Richard Frost, Dan Tipton, Ricky Tinch, Gary McPherson, Caleb Ashby, Jeff Neubert, Kenny Cobble, Phil Helton, Craig Greer
Final 2018 Spring Nationals Points (after 6/14/18)
1. Eric Wells-1,502
2. Aaron Ridley-1,448
3. Zach Leonhardi-1,440
4. Casey Roberts-1,436
5. Chicky Barton-1,186
6. Ryan King-1,180
7. David Payne-1,038
8. Jason Jameson-906
9. Brandon Kinzer-826
10. Donald McIntosh-770
-Schaeffer’s Oil Spring Nationals Press Release. Photo Credit: Trevor Gonzales/STL Motor Mag