NASHVILLE, Tenn :: It was called the North/South Super Late Model Challenge, but a driver from Oklahoma swept the CRA and Southern Super Series combination weekend at Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville.
Big winner Donnie Wilson told Short Track SCENE that the drive to Music City is 10 hours from his Oklahoma City home.
“This is the closest racetrack we have that we go to,” Wilson said. “Everything else is 12 [hours] and more.”
Maybe the short ride is why he is so dominant at the Fairgrounds. The Southern Super Series regular’s win in the non-points, 75-lap CRA/SSS combo feature on Saturday evening was his third Super Late Model victory in Nashville since the spring of 2014. It was also his second of the weekend.
He set Super Late Model fast time on Friday with a time trial lap of 18.412 seconds, then dominated a¬ 50-lap, points-paying Southern Super Series race on Friday night. The only race he didn’t win this weekend was the one he wasn’t in – another Friday night 50-lapper for CRA series markers.
A re-draw at the conclusion of Friday’s program meant Wilson started third for Saturday’s main event. He was in front of a crash in turn one on lap one which took out a variety of contenders and led to a red flag.
After stalking early leader Stephen Wallace for several laps, Wilson eventually got alongside on the frontstretch and made the pass for the lead on the inside of turns one and two during the 19th circuit. He never looked back, opening up nearly a half straightaway lead throughout the race. The event would not be slowed by another caution period.
“Our car was pretty good off the corner,” Wilson said of his early-race battle with Wallace. “I wasn’t as good as I wanted to be but was just a little bit better than him. I rode up on him and tried the smart thing to do because if we ever would have had a caution I might have been in trouble.
“Everyone was slipping and sliding around the last twenty laps, but besides that it was all good.”
He believes his team has found a good setup for the 5/8-mile high banks and that the facility suits his driving style. It’s tough to argue with that.
The combination event also brought back memories of the short-lived Stock Car Connection from the late 1980s. The program brought together stars from the All-Pro Series, American Canadian Tour and American Speed Association to race at legendary tracks around North America, including the Nashville Fairgrounds.
While such an undertaking may not be feasible in today’s version of Super Late Model racing, you can count Wilson as a fan of this weekend’s format.
“It’s pretty cool honestly,” Wilson said about the combination event. “I wouldn’t mind doing more of it.”
North/South Super Late Model Challenge Results
5. William Byron
7. Zane Smith
8. Cody Coughlin
9. Riley Herbst
10. Quinnton Bear
11. Joseph Meyer
12. Derek Kraus
13. Tyler Ankrum
14. Boris Jurkovic
15. Spencer Davis
16. Mason Mingus
17. Dennis Schoenfeld
18. Derek Scott, Jr
19. Cole Anderson
20. Brian Bergakker
21. Quin Houff
22. Christopher Bell
23. Spencer Wauters
24. Justin Ashburn
25. Wes Griffith Jr
26. Thomas Woodin
27. Dalton Sargeant
28. Fredrick Moore
29. Allen Karnes
30. Johnny Brazier
31. Kenzie Ruston