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Chris Ferguson collects $20,000 March Madness at Cherokee

The Cars and Stars of the Southern All Stars Super Late Model Series rolled into Gaffney, SC for the 20th Annual March Madness at the Cherokee Speedway. 29 SAS Super Late Models signed in to compete for the $20,000 top prize. The afternoon would start with qualifying, Michael Brown from Pageland, SC would set the quick time in group 1 with a 15.994 and the Winfield Warrior Mike Marlar was quickest in group 2 and overall quick qualifier with a 15.703. Michael Brown, Mike Marlar, Chris Madden, and Trent Ivey were the 4 heat race winners setting the 28 car field for 50 laps around the 3/8 mile red clay oval. Marlar and Brown would lead the 28 car field to green with Marlar grabbing the lead into 1, by lap 10 Marlar would close in on the back of the field when the caution flew on lap 12 for the P4 of John Price who had a flat tire. Marlar would lead the field back to green when the 55 of Benji Hicks slowed for a flat tire bringing out the caution on lap 13. Marlar would lead the back to green but Brown was not letting the 157 get away and would use the middle groove to mount a challenge on lap 19. Brown would get beside Marlar a couple of times in turn 3 but Marlar would defend each challenge. Lap 28 Chris Madden would make a challenge at the runner up spot but a caution on lap 29 for a slowing Josh Henry would end the challenge. Marlar would once again lead the field back to green but on lap 33 Jeff Smith slowed with a flat tire. Marlar led the field back to green but that would only last 1 lap when Ethan Dotson and Daulton Wilson got together in turn 4. On lap 35 Zack Mitchell slowed with a flat tire bringing out a caution. On the next restart Trent Ivey hit the turn 1 wall due to a flat right front tire. On the next restart Madden pushed up the track due to a flat RF tire which collected Brandon Overton. The two drivers would exit the race track and would have a heated discussion that led to some pushing and shoving. While under caution Mike Marlar would leave the racing surface with a flat tire while leading. On the next restart, race leader Michael Brown would slow with a flat tire handing the lead over to Chris Ferguson that would lead the field to turn 1. Ferguson was well on his way to victory when the caution flag flew on lap 47 when Cla Knight slowed with a flat tire. Ferguson would lead the field back to green and on lap 48 Logan Roberson and Daulton Wilson made hard contact with the turn 1 wall. Chris Ferguson would lead the field to green for the Green, White, Checkered and would go on to pick up the win and the $20,000 to win payday. Carson Ferguson, Caleb Gay, Dillon Brown and Ryan Gustin round out the top 5. (ZSK Photography)

Car Count: 29
Quick Time: Michael Brown 15.944 (group 1), Mike Marlar 15.703 (group 2 and Overall)
Heat Race Winners: Michael Brown, Mike Marlar, Chris Madden, Trent Ivey
Next Event: Mar 10th Southern Raceway $3,000 to Win, Mar 11th Southern Raceway $10,000 to win

  1. Caleb Gay 182
  2. Ross Bailes 178
  3. Trent Ivey 176
  4. John Henderson 158
  5. Billy Franklin 152

A Feature (50 Laps): 1. 22-Chris Ferguson[5]; 2. 93-Carson Ferguson[11]; 3. XJR-Caleb Gay[25]; 4. 6-Dillon Brown[14]; 5. 19R-Ryan Gustin[29]; 6. 8-Kyle Strickler[9]; 7. 89-Logan Roberson[6]; 8. 88-Trent Ivey[4]; 9. 57-Zack Mitchell[8]; 10. 2X-John Henderson[21]; 11. 79-Ross Bailes[18]; 12. 24D-Michael Brown[1]; 13. 20H-Bryson Harper[17]; 14. 17-Billy Franklin[22]; 15. 55-Benji Hicks[20]; 16. 18D-Daulton Wilson[24]; 17. 42-Cla Knight[12]; 18. 20-Jimmy Owens[16]; 19. 157-Mike Marlar[2]; 20. 44-Chris Madden[3]; 21. 76-Brandon Overton[7]; 22. 70-Jeff Smith[15]; 23. 174-Ethan Dotson[13]; 24. B00-Josh Henry[23]; 25. 2K-Austin Kirkpatrick[10]; 26. P4-John Price[28]; 27. 421-Anthony Sanders[19]; 28. 2-Dennis Franklin[27]

Heat 1 (10 Laps): 1. 24D-Michael Brown[1]; 2. 22-Chris Ferguson[2]; 3. 8-Kyle Strickler[3]; 4. 174-Ethan Dotson[6]; 5. 20H-Bryson Harper[5]; 6. 2X-John Henderson[4]; 7. XJR-Caleb Gay[8]; 8. 19R-Ryan Gustin[7]

Heat 2 (10 Laps): 1. 157-Mike Marlar[1]; 2. 89-Logan Roberson[3]; 3. 2K-Austin Kirkpatrick[4]; 4. 6-Dillon Brown[2]; 5. 79-Ross Bailes[5]; 6. 17-Billy Franklin[6]; 7. X75-Dan Cox[7]

Heat 3 (10 Laps): 1. 44-Chris Madden[2]; 2. 76-Brandon Overton[1]; 3. 93-Carson Ferguson[3]; 4. 70-Jeff Smith[4]; 5. 421-Anthony Sanders[5]; 6. B00-Josh Henry[6]; 7. 2-Dennis Franklin[7]

Heat 4 (10 Laps): 1. 88-Trent Ivey[2]; 2. 57-Zack Mitchell[1]; 3. 42-Cla Knight[4]; 4. 20-Jimmy Owens[3]; 5. 55-Benji Hicks[5]; 6. 18D-Daulton Wilson[6]; 7. P4-John Price[7]