ROSSBURG – Lightning flashed in the distance during the closing laps of the 26th Dirt Late Model Dream on Saturday night. Even Mother Nature wanted to celebrate the shocking feat Georgia driver Brandon Overton was about to accomplish.
Overton, who won the 27th Dirt Late Model Dream at Eldora Speedway on Thursday, struck again two days later.
With Mother Nature providing her show, Overton put on one of his own to win the 26th running for a Dream sweep. Add in a pair of $10,000 preliminary feature wins on Wednesday and Friday and Overton banked $273,000 in four days.
Last year’s Dream was postponed because of coronavirus restrictions. Eldora ran them together this season with the 2021 event on Wednesday and Thursday, and the 2020 rescheduled show on Friday and Saturday.
Entering the four-day event Overton, 30, said he would have been happy leaving Eldora winning just one of those twin 25-lap preliminary races on Wednesday or Friday. Instead he won two heat races, two prelims and both 100-lap Dreams at Tony Stewart’s half-mile dirt oval.
“This is the coolest thing I’ve ever done and probably the coolest thing I’ll ever do,” said Overton, who joined Scott Bloomquist (2017-18) as the only back-to-back winners. “I used to be happy just to make the feature. Now we’re contending for wins.”
On Saturday, Overton battled South Carolina’s Chris Madden in the final 20 laps. Madden led laps 75, 80, 82 and 85 before Overton rocketed into first for good. With 14 laps to go Madden was running the high line with Overton below him. Madden slid up the track just enough for Overton’s momentum to put him in the lead.
The Wells Motorsports driver pulled away to win by 3.423 seconds and claim the $126,000 payout.
“If I can just keep pace with him and keep pressuring him, he was going to have to chop me off or run me into the wall if he was going to get down (the track),” Overton said. “I waited on him to slide out of the rubber … and got it back from him.
“My car, I don’t know why but it’s so damn good right now. I got the lead and was biding my time.”
Gossip around Eldora suggested Overton’s car was using an illegal traction control system. The top three cars in the Dream were impounded by Eldora Speedway and DIRTcar officials to undergo an extensive post-race inspection.
“For people to run around and say that, all it does is fuel me up,” said Overton, who welcomed the inspections. “… I think it’s awesome me and my boys can build a race car that comes out there and kicks their (butt) and they think it’s cheating. That’s cool.”
Madden finished second, Chris Ferguson third, Jonathan Davenport fourth and Darrell Lanigan fifth. NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Larson finished sixth.
On Friday, Overton worked past Illinois’ Brandon Sheppard to lead the final 40 laps and $127,000. Tim McCreadie, Kyle Bronson, Dale McDowell and Brandon Sheppard rounded out the top five. Larson finished 13th.
Friday’s car count was 76 and Saturday’s show 74.
“We’re building a house right now so I can use every dime of it,” Overton said. “… The money’s awesome, but to grow up as a kid watching all these guys at Eldora. This place is so special to the late model world and the racing world. Just to get it done, I don’t know if I’ll ever top this.”