Randy “The Dream” Weaver might need to pinch himself to wake up from the dream season he is experiencing thus far in 2015. The veteran dirt racer, who recently scored a big win at the 18th Annual Bama Bash, added to his already impressive season resume on Sunday afternoon by leading wire-to-wire en route to claiming the $7,500-to-win March Madness for the Southern All Star Dirt Racing Series.
Weaver started from the pole position, avoided a chaotic mid-race pileup in turn one and then held off a hard charging Jonathan Davenport on his way to victory at Gaffney, South Carolina’s Cherokee Speedway.
“With my dad begin sick last year, he passed away in November, we try to win a lot of races, and we did last year, just to keep his morale up,” Weaver told Speed51.com powered by JEGS in victory lane. “I told somebody that this year is in his memory so I’m going to let it rip this year. I’m going to race more and be more focused. So far it has worked out great, but I couldn’t do it without all of my sponsors and really, really good equipment.”
Davenport, who started from the seventh spot, wasted no time getting to the front. The Blairsville, Georgia driver used the high side early on to quickly pick off positions and work his way into the runner-up spot. Despite trying every groove of the race track to try to gain more speed and make the pass on Weaver, Davenport was unsuccessful and settled for second on this night.
“I was trying to before it got blowing so much grit up there,” Davenport said when asked about his moves to the high side of the race track early on in the race. “For some reason it won’t just pack in anymore, but they wet the track and it helped us out. I just tried to sneak up there as fast as I could before it started becoming just one lane on the bottom.”
Although it appeared that Davenport would be able to mount a challenge against Weaver during the middle portion of the race, Weaver was able to pull away each time that he noticed Davenport’s No. 6 becoming larger in his mirror. His strategy to play that cat-and-mouse game while attempting to conserve equipment paid off at the end.
“It’s always bit us when we start as early as we did today,” said Weaver. “Night stuff we can kind of just let it roll, so I was just watching my guys and we were trying to keep him one to three car lengths back. I kept backing up to that point and then sometimes they’d tell me he was right there. But the thing was that I had enough left that I felt like he couldn’t pass me on the outside at that pace and if he did then he deserved to win.”
Casey Roberts made a strong run towards Weaver and Davenport while the leaders battled lapped traffic, but settled for the final podium spot on Sunday afternoon. Dennis Franklin and Jason Hiett rounded out the top-five.
The 60-lap Southern All Star Racing Series feature was red flagged for an extended period of time after a scary accident in turn one that involved multiple drivers. Dilon Tidmore's car would wind up on top of Dustin Mitchell's upside down No. 8 at the end of the incident. All drivers were able to walk away from the scene okay.
Speed51.com will have more on March Madness, including information on the SECA Late Models and Cherokee Speedway weekly divisions, on Monday afternoon.
-By Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor – Twitter: @Brandon_Paul51
-Photo credit: Speed51.com