posted March 18, 2001 11:38 PM
Schlieper’s Creepers: McDowell’s Shamrock Stolen
The scenario sounds the same at Cleveland Speedway, Dale McDowell takes the lead and it’s in the bag… Well that why they race to the checkered flag. In front of a packed house the new and improved Cleveland Speedway provided the first of, what is to be expected, many exciting finishes as Wisconsin racer Dan Schlieper stole a Shamrock Southern All-Star victory from the longtime hometown hero.
Over 150 racecars jam pack the Tennessee Valley dirt track facility for the 6th Annual Sonya’s Used Cars S.A.S. "Shamrock Race". An unprecedented 82 Super Late Models were on hand attempting to make the 24 car starting field, with the fastest 16 from "Sunoco Race Fuels" qualifying time trials being automatically locked in to the feature. The remaining 8 positions were taken from the "Triple Threat" consolation races and the S.A.S. provisionals.
Reigning S.A.S. champion Clint Smith set the precedent early as the 6th racecar out clocking a 14:681 lap time. It was Dan Schlieper of Pewaukee WI cracking a faster qualifying lap at 14:274 as the 10th car to take the track. Dale McDowell rolled out as the 77th qualifier and was able to get a lap at 14:575, which eventually put him on the outside pole for the feature next to Schlieper. Defending "Shamrock Race" winner Ricky Holland qualified 3rd fastest with Smith and Dwayne Hommell rounding out the top five qualifiers.
The first of the three consolation races took to the track next. Danny Peoples flew into the lead underneath front row starters John Jones and "Gobbler 100" winner Patrick Duggan. Duggan raced back to second hold off Chris Madden and Jones for the final transfer position. Jeff Walker finished 5th and would use his S.A.S. provisional to make the feature. The second consi. saw Shane Tankersly outrun the field including the pole sitter Brad Coffey for the win. Jay Brinkley held off Paul Tims for the final transfer position, making Tims use the other S.A.S. provisional to make the field. Pole sitter Coffey finished 4th with Johnney Chastain finishing 5th at the checkers. The third and final feature saw Billy Ogle Jr. take the checkers. Pole sitter Chris Twiggs made an impressive run to earn the final transfer spot of the night holding off John Llewellyn, Jeff Smith, and Ray Cook.
As the Shamrock green flag waved over the field McDowell rocketed into the lead, demonstrating his dominance over his favorite dirt oval, despite it’s new shape. McDowell would pull over a half a straight away lead within the first ten circuits, dipping into back marker traffic, with Schlieper, Holland, Hommell and Rex Richey obtaining the first five positions in the opening laps. Hommell and Holland provided excitement first as the two raced side by side with Hommell taking 3rd on lap six. McDowell was darting through traffic as John Owenby and Ogle Jr. collided at the flagstand. Brinkley and Twiggs crashed hard into the two blocking up the track in front of the top five. Schlieper’s "Shamrock" luck hit good, by barely escaping the wreck after careening off of Brinkley’s spoiler. Cleveland Speedway 2001 rookie sensation Chris Beavers great run ended on lap fourteen when smoke erupted from his mount while running in the 6th position. Others to have mechanical problems included Duggan, Mark Mears and Tim Dohm. McDowell continued putting distance between himself and Schlieper, but it was Skip Arp that was putting on a show. Arp starting 16th raced on the outside passing the field and getting into the top five. Hommell in third put up the best fight against Arp as the two dance side by side for many circuits. With Arp in third towards the end of the race it seemed a sure lock for McDowell as he had over a half a straight-away lead over Schlieper and Arp. Unfortunately McDowell ran up on traffic which slowed him enough for Schlieper make a bid on the lead as the white flag waved. Schlieper drove under McDowell in turn one taking the lead coming out of turn two. McDowell drove back under Schlieper in turn three and the two exited turn four with third place Arp glued to their spoilers. Schlieper and McDowell crossed the checkers locked together with Schlieper ahead by less than half a cars length. Schlieper pulled his "Performance Roofing Systems, Pro Power Engines" Rayburn, Chevrolet Monte Carlo in to victory lane and commented on the finish. "We were just a second place car tonight. Dale had us beat, but I saw the traffic ahead at the end and just kept in it.", the fact which validates that it must be some of the luck of the Irish at this Shamrock event.
Official "Shamrock Race" Finish:
1.Dan Schlieper (# s9) of Pewaukee WI
2.Dale McDowell (# 17M) of Rossville GA
3.Skip Arp (# 31) of Georgetown TN
4.Dwayne Hommell (# H2) of Newport TN
5.Rex Richey (# 87) of Ringgold GA
6.Clint Smith (# 44) of Senoia GA
7.Ricky Holland (# 42) of Ooltewah TN
8.Jamie Perry (# P4) of Ringgold GA
9.Vic Hill (# 1) of Knoxville TN
10.Mike Head (# 54) of Ellenwood GA
11.Bobby Turner (# 31) of Canton GA
12.Shane Tankersly (# T31) of Morganton GA
13.Billy Ogle Jr. (# 201) of Knoxville TN
14.Paul Tims (# 84) of Georgetown TN
15.Patrick Duggan (# 15) of Lenior City TN
16.Danny Peoples (# 11) of Talladega AL
17.Bear Patterson (# D7) of Ellijay GA
18.Tim Dohm (#6T) of Charleston WV
19.Jeff Walker (# 49) of McMinnville TN
20.Mark Mears (# 19) of Decatur AL
21.Chris Beavers (# 03) of Cleveland TN
22.John Owenby (# J32) of Cleveland TN
23.Jay Brinkley (# 10) of Shelbyville TN
24.Chris Twiggs (# 44) of Murphy NC
Other Racing Action:
Claimer Late Models: Winner – Brian Burke (# B39) of Dalton GA
2.Glen Seaton III (# 92), 3.Bobby Doss (# 28), 4.Kenneth Sweatt (# 5), 5.Chad Anderson (# 17)
Hobby: Winner – Doug Works (# 35) of Cleveland TN
2.David Rogers (# 5), 3.Dewayne Powell (# P17), 4.Jon Woodward (# 37), 5.Chris Stewart (# 68)
Pony Stock: Winner – Josh Doss (# B28) of Cleveland TN
2.Mark Bishop (# 93), 3.Ronnie Thaxton (# 6), 4.Travis Winters (# T20), 5.Jeremy Palmer (# 17)
Street: Winner – Donald Forgey (# 71) of Cleveland TN
2.Roy Nichols (# 00), 3.Jason Seaton (# 92), 4.Anthony Hawkins (# 3), 5.Herbert Chambers (# 31)