Elizabeth City, NC (June 3, 2022) Having been rained out and disappointed on a couple of occasions already this season, a massive standing room only crowd packed into Red Swaim’s 3/8ths mile clay oval with great anticipation, as the stars and cars of the Steel Block Bandits Dirt Late Model Challenge convened on Dixieland Speedway. Twenty four of the east coast’s best were signed in on a picture perfect Friday evening in the northeastern corner of the Tarheel state.
HGR’s Truck & Trailer Sales, Inc. qualifying kicked off round five of the #deuceswild tour as two cars took the track at a time for qualifying. Michael Rouse would set fast time followed by Russell Erwin, Derrick Quade Racing #74 and Derrick Rankin Racing #72. Rouse collects the $200 from Bryan Sullivan for fast time.
Three eight lap heat races would set the starting lineup for the 40 lap feature. In the Scott Service Company heat number 1, Rouse would grab his first heat win of the season over Team Michael Batten Motorsports and Derrick Rankin. The Hardison Suspension Technologies Heat number was drama packed as Erwin and Dustin Mitchell D8 led the field to green. Erwin dove to the bottom as Mitchell took the high line into one . The point leader would make heavy contact with the outside wall leaving his Longhorn Chassis battered on thr right rear quarter panel. Mitchell has to retire from the heat as Erwin wins, followed by Robbie Emory and Willie Milliken. Derrick Quade wins the Mega Plumbing Heat number 3 over Hunter Bailey and Tyler Bare.
The field was set for the $5000 to win feature presented by the Chad Howery Real Estate Group as 24 drivers from five different states lined up behind Michael Batten as he carried the Stars and Stripes in honor of his uncle Mark Batten who we lost one year ago yesterday. On the start , Rouse dug deep into the heart of his Rouse Racing engine and sprinted in front of Erwin into turn one. On lap four , two Arizona Sport Shirts rookies, Jesse Rockett and Cody Wright Racing #11 tangled of turn four bringing out the first caution. Brian Strickland was in one of Mason Price’s cars but his night would end on lap 19 with a mechanical problem. Mitchell would start shot gun on the field but the Pine Level native rallies for a 10th place finish.
As the laps wound down , Quade slips in turn one allowing Batten to drive by, giving the Outlaw his second straight podium. Rouse is dominant enroute to his second Bandit win, Erwin is second followed by Batten, Quade and Bare. “We were fortunate to get out front tonight and just hold our line, the track was pretty locked down.” said Rouse. “A few of the lapped cars gave me a fit and I was like oh no, here we go again” , Rouse’s night last year was ruined by a lapped car here at Dixieland.”We’ve had a great year so far and we plan on keeping it going, we don’t make a lot of noise, we just cash checks.” Rouse plans to join the posse in round 6 at Natural Bridge Speedway on June 25th.
* Tyler Bare stays red hot and scores another top 5 run and gains points on Mitchell as the tour heads to his home track next.
* Great Bandit debut for Hunter Bailey who comes home 6th.
* Brad Rigdon posts the highest finish of the hometown drivers with an 11th place in s 604 crate.
* The Racing Evangelist Clint Hodges 83H starts 21st and comes home 12th as this team builds off their win on Monday night.
*Rankin grabs another top 10 and continues to climb the Point standings.
* Great job by the C&R Motorsports / Team 32 as they totally rebuilt the rear end of Mitchell’s car just time to make the call for the feature.
* Dan Breuer bounces back from a bad night at Carolina to score a 9th place finish.
June 25th- Natural Bridge Speedway $10,000 to win.
EP/ Bandit PR
Steel Block Bandits Dirt Late Model Challenge
Dixieland Speedway (Elizabeth City, N.C.)
- Michael Rouse
- Russell Erwin
- Michael Batten
- Derick Quade
- Tyler Bare
- Hunter Bailey
- Derrick Rankin
- Robbie Emory
- Dan Breuer
- Dustin Mitchell
- Brad Rigdon
- Clint Hodges
- Willie Milliken
- Sherman Underwood
- Cody Wright
- Lance Brasington
- D.J. Garrett
- Michael Alderman
- Brian Strickland
- Ray Miller
- Carl Vaughan
- Matt Glanden
- Jesse Rockett
Car count: 24
Heat race winners: Michael Rouse, Russell Erwin, Derick Quade