COCHRAN, Ga. — Home state hero Brandon Overton won Friday night’s World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series feature at Cochran Motor Speedway.
It was his second victory of the season.
Brandon Sheppard owned the first half of the night’s events, picking up the PFC Brakes Fast Time Award, winning Drydene Heat No. 1 and redrawing the pole. Early on in the Morton Buildings Feature, it was looking as though Sheppard was going to have his eighth win in 13 races, but Junghans and Overton had other plans.
Sheppard caught the rear of the field on lap 14 with Junghans right on his tail. Junghans, who started behind Overton, had been closing the gap for several laps and drove the car deep into turn one. He stayed with the low line out of turn two while Sheppard hit the cushion, and they both drag raced down the backstretch.
Using the O1 car of Travis Pennington as a pick, Junghans was able to slide under Sheppard for the lead. For the next 14 laps, Junghans held a strong lead, until he caught lapped traffic himself with Overton (who passed Sheppard on lap 18) within a single car length behind.
Overton pulled up alongside Junghans going into turn one and held the bottom line, while Junghans followed Clint Smith on the top. Casey Roberts came out of turn two on the low side but slid up into the middle groove going down the backstretch, which prompted Junghans to try and thread the needle into turn three between Overton and Roberts. His attempt was unsuccessful, and Overton got the best of both cars, holding the low line through the corner to take the lead.
“I knew if I could beat [Junghans] to the brown [part of the track] and just get stuck, I could probably get ahead of him,” Overton said. “It was tight racing but neither one of us wrecked each other. I just got the position and stayed as close to the brown as I could, got a good run and just tried not to overrun the corners after that.”
That move proved to be the one that won the race, as “Big Sexy” led the final 21 laps to pick up the fifth Morton Buildings Feature win of his career.
“I finally feel excited to be back racing,” he said. “Everyone’s getting along really good right now. It just took us a little while to figure out what everybody wanted, what Harold [Holly, Rum Runner Racing crew chief] wants to see. I’m just really happy about the whole deal, it’s finally coming together.”
After Overton made the move for the lead, Junghans was able to hold onto second for his fifth top-five of the season. After starting off 2019 with four top-5s in the first seven races, he did not post another until Friday night. Junghans credits he and the crew’s hard work and resilience to get things right with the setup.
“We’re definitely going in the right direction with our car,” he said. “We’ve been struggling lately. We changed a bunch of stuff the last couple weeks and have been working hard on it, and it’s definitely showing.”
Junghans said he knew the adjustments were working when he saw he was gaining on Sheppard early on.
“[Sheppard’s] car’s been really good this year,” he said. “When we fired and I was keeping up with him, I was thinking ‘oh, we’ve got something now.’”
Headingley, Manitoba’s Ricky Weiss had a strong night inside the top 5, scoring his second straight finish on the podium at a track he had previously not seen.
“Our car’s in one piece, it was a great points night, and they say we were catching [the top two] at the end, so that’s always a plus,” Weiss said.
Morton Buildings Feature (50 Laps) – 1. 2-Brandon Overton [$10,000]; 2. 18-Chase Junghans [$5,000]; 3. 7-Ricky Weiss [$3,000]; 4. 1-Brandon Sheppard [$2,500]; 5. 29-Darrell Lanigan [$2,000]; 6. 28-Dennis Erb [$1,700]; 7. 25-Shane Clanton [$1,400]; 8. 87-Ross Bailes [$1,300]; 9. 12-Ashton Winger [$1,200]; 10. 44-Chris Madden [$1,100]; 11. 97-Cade Dillard [$1,050]; 12. 42-Cla Knight [$1,000]; 13. 44s-Clint Smith [$950]; 14. B1-Brent Larson [$900]; 15. 99B-Boom Briggs [$850]; 16. 33-Jeff Mathews [$800]; 17. 27-Larry Harrod [$770]; 18. 101-Casey Roberts [$750]; 19. 6-Blake Spencer [$730]; 20. O1-Travis Pennington [$700]; 21. 10-Joseph Joiner [$700]; 22. 91-Steven Roberts [$700]; Hard Charger: 44-Chris Madden[+12]