Dale McDowell Wins Southern Nationals Finale at Tazewell; Cory Hedgecock Crowned Champion

(TAZEWELL, TENNESSEE)  “MacDaddy” Dale McDowell secured his third Schaeffer’s Oil Southern Nationals Series triumph of the year in the miniseries finale on Saturday night at the bad-fast Tazewell Speedway!  After stopping the clock fourth quickest in Memory Lane Classic Car Museum time trials, Dale ran second in his heat race to earn the outside of the second row for the 53-lap feature event.  The Chickamauga, Georgia Hall of Famer then took advantage of leader Dakotah Knuckles’ misfortune with a lapped car to inherit the point on the forty-first circuit.  From there, Dale led the rest of the way in the ‘Ray Varner Ford 53’ to bag the $10,053 payday.

Finishing 1.481 seconds behind winner McDowell at the checkered flag was runner-up Mack McCarter, who started in the sixth position.  Ricky Weiss advanced past six competitors during the contest to round out the podium in third.  David Payne won a heat race before finishing fourth, while Forrest Trent passed five racecars to land in the fifth spot.

A total of four caution periods slowed the action at the high-banked Tazewell, Tennessee oval.  Series point leader Cory Hedgecock slowed to draw the first yellow flag on lap 19 with a flat left rear tire.  Dakotah Knuckles, who led laps 10-40, was then out front working on lap 41 when he tangled with another competitor in heavy lapped traffic and ultimately spun to a stop.  The third caution came on lap 46 when a multicar pileup blocked the track in turn four.  Leader Dale McDowell stopped to avoid the incident, but was not part of the caution and therefore kept his spot in front of the field.  The fourth and final yellow then waved on lap 51 when third running Eli Beets, who paced the field for the first nine circuits, spun on the backstretch after contact with another competitor.

Dale’s tenth career Schaeffer’s Oil Southern Nationals Series triumph came aboard a Shane McDowell Racing Team Zero Race Car powered by a Clements Racing Engine.  Sponsorship on his #17M comes in part from E-Z-GO, Cometic Gaskets, Klotz Synthetic Lubricants, Connected Strategy Advisors, Fox Racing Shox, Northeastern Fabrication, Campbell Insulation Specialists, M&S Motors, and Garrison Enterprise.

A total of 26 Super Late Model competitors piled into the Tazewell Speedway pit area and Eli Beets started off the evening by clicking off the fastest lap during time trials.  His quick lap of 11.374 seconds earned him an extra $150 courtesy of Memory Lane Classic Car Museum.  The three heat race winners were Beets, Dakotah Knuckles, and David Payne, while Josh Sneed captured the victory in the lone B-Main.  Seventeen of the starters were still on the track at the completion of the ‘Ray Varner Ford 53’ and the top ten all finished on the lead lap.

With the dust settled on the 2022 Schaeffer’s Oil Southern Nationals Series tour, Loudon, Tennessee ace Cory Hedgecock was celebrated following the finale as the Series Champion and received an extra $10,053 for his efforts.  Will Roland finished a strong runner-up in the final point tally to earn an additional $5,053 and the Jasper, Georgia youngster also picked up a $1,000 paycheck courtesy of Dirt Draft for Rookie of the Year honors.  Eight drivers were eligible for point fund money this year with Kenny Collins third, Jensen Ford fourth, John Henderson fifth, Parker Martin sixth, Dalton Cook seventh, and Brenden Smith eighth rounding out the final point standings.

Schaeffer’s Oil Southern Nationals Series presented by Sunoco Race Fuels

Round 12 Race Summary – Ray Varner Ford 53

Saturday, July 30, 2022

Tazewell Speedway (Tazewell, Tennessee)

Schaeffer’s Oil Feature Finish (53 Laps):

  1. (4) Dale McDowell $10,053
  2. (6) Mack McCarter $5,000
  3. (9) Ricky Weiss $2,500
  4. (3) David Payne $1,800
  5. (10) Forrest Trent $1,250
  6. (5) Kenny Collins $900
  7. (15) Vic Hill $800
  8. (12) Austin Neely $700
  9. (11) John Henderson $675
  10. (7) Parker Martin $650
  11. (8) Cory Hedgecock $625
  12. (13) Will Roland $600
  13. (18) Jensen Ford $575
  14. (16) Ryan Winchester $550
  15. (17) Aaron Guinn $525
  16. (22) Brenden Smith $500
  17. (19) Josh Sneed $500
  18. (1) Eli Beets $500
  19. (14) Wil Herrington $500
  20. (2) Dakotah Knuckles $500
  21. (21) Matt Tharp $500
  22. (20) Steve Smith $500


Entries: 26

Lap Leaders: Eli Beets (Laps 1-9), Dakotah Knuckles (Laps 10-40), Dale McDowell (Laps 41-53)

Cautions: 4 (Cory Hedgecock Suffers Flat Left Rear Tire on Lap 19, Dakotah Knuckles Tangles with Lapped Car and Spins on Lap 41, Multicar Pileup Blocking Track on Lap 46, and Eli Beets Spins on Backstretch on Lap 51)


Memory Lane Classic Car Museum Time Trials:

Fast Time Overall: Eli Beets 11.374


Sunoco Race Fuels Heat Race #1 Finish (Top Six Transfer): 1. Eli Beets, 2. Dale McDowell, 3. Parker Martin, 4. Forrest Trent, 5. Will Roland, 6. Ryan Winchester, 7. Josh Sneed, 8. Brenden Smith


American Racer South Heat Race #2 Finish (Top Six Transfer): 1. Dakotah Knuckles, 2. Kenny Collins, 3. Cory Hedgecock, 4. John Henderson, 5. Wil Herrington, 6. Aaron Guinn, 7. Steve Smith, 8. Brian Shockley, 9. Joshua Chesney


E-Z-GO Heat Race #3 Finish (Top Six Transfer): 1. David Payne, 2. Mack McCarter, 3. Ricky Weiss, 4. Austin Neely, 5. Vic Hill, 6. Jensen Ford, 7. Matt Tharp, 8. Matthew Holt, 9. Troy Eads


Collins Signs B-Main Finish (Top Four Transfer): 1. Josh Sneed, 2. Steve Smith, 3. Matt Tharp, 4. Brenden Smith, 5. Brian Shockley, 6. Matthew Holt, 7. Troy Eads, 8. Joshua Chesney (DNS)


Final Schaeffer’s Oil Southern Nationals Series Point Standings:

  1. Cory Hedgecock – 1510
  2. Will Roland [R] – 1482
  3. Kenny Collins – 1462
  4. Jensen Ford – 1454
  5. John Henderson – 1404
  6. Parker Martin [R] – 1388
  7. Dalton Cook [R] – 1372
  8. Brenden Smith [R] – 1372
  9. Carson Ferguson – 1256
  10. Wil Herrington – 928
  11. Zack Mitchell – 928
  12. Camaron Marlar – 902
  13. Ashton Winger – 860
  14. Dale McDowell – 788
  15. Michael Brown – 738


2022 Schaeffer’s Oil Southern Nationals Series Schedule:

Friday, July 15 | Beckley Motor Speedway, Mount Hope, WV | CORY HEDGECOCK

Saturday, July 16 | Wythe Raceway, Rural Retreat, VA | DALE MCDOWELL

Sunday, July 17 | Volunteer Speedway, Bulls Gap, TN | DALE MCDOWELL

Tuesday, July 19 | I-75 Raceway, Sweetwater, TN | CORY HEDGECOCK

Thursday, July 21 | Senoia Raceway, Senoia, GA | CARSON FERGUSON

Friday, July 22 | East AL Motor Speedway, Phenix City, AL | RAINED OUT

Saturday, July 23 | Screven Motor Speedway, Sylvania, GA | BRANDON OVERTON

Sunday, July 24 | Swainsboro Raceway, Swainsboro, GA | RAINED OUT

Tuesday, July 26 | Toccoa Raceway, Toccoa, GA | BRANDON OVERTON

Thursday, July 28 | Tri-County Race Track, Brasstown, NC | DAVID PAYNE

Friday, July 29 | Boyd’s Speedway, Ringgold, GA | RAINED OUT

Saturday, July 30 | Tazewell Speedway, Tazewell, TN | DALE MCDOWELL


For more information on the Schaeffer’s Oil Southern Nationals Series presented by Sunoco Race Fuels, please point your Internet browser to www.SouthernNationalsSeries.com or feel free to call series promoter Ray Cook at 828-360-5353.  You can also follow us across social media platforms on facebook.com/southernnationalsseries and on Twitter @sonationals.


The Southern Nationals Series would like to thank all of our 2022 marketing partners including:  Schaeffer’s Oil & Specialized Lubricants, Sunoco Race Fuels, American Race Tires, Delph Communications, E-Z-GO, Dirt Draft, Memory Lane Classic Car Museum, Arizona Sport Shirts, Capital Race Cars, Collins Signs, DirtonDirt.com, FK Rod Ends, Hoosier Racing Tire, MasterSbilt Race Cars, Wiles Driveshafts, Vic Hill Racing Engines, The Steering Buddy, The Joie of Seating, and DirtCarLift.com.


About Schaeffer’s Oil & Specialized Lubricants:

Schaeffer’s Specialized Lubricants:  synthetic motor oils, hydraulic fluids, and diesel fuel additives have achieved a world-class reputation for improving engine performance and fuel economy, but their diverse product line includes all types of industrial lubricants, industrial greases, and industrial oils as well as specialty items like their chain lubes and degreasers.  Founded in 1839, their philosophy is to provide advanced lubricants for improved performance, reliability, and fuel economy.  Learn more or find a rep near you at www.SchaefferOil.com.


Media Contact: Ryan Delph – Delph Communications