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Chris Ferguson Rallies to Richest Victory of His Career at Cherokee Speedway

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The difficult decision to go with harder compound tires by crew chief Bryan Conard paid off in the end.
The difficult decision to go with harder compound tires by crew chief Bryan Conard paid off in the end.
Racing, just as life, continues to happen along its own course while we're busy making other plans. Although we may be paying attention over here, something always seems to go amuck over there. The ability therefore to bob-and-weave in the face of unanticipated circumstances and return the bubble between the lines, or regain balance if you will, is an indispensable success skill in both venues.
Fergy was all smiles after the richest and most emotional win of his young career at Cherokee Speedway.
Fergy was all smiles after the richest and most emotional win of his young career at Cherokee Speedway.


"It feels great to finally get a big win under our belt. Actually, it felt rather relieving to get one after all the bad luck we have had," reflected Chris Ferguson. "Considering the circumstances, I don't think we could have picked a better time to win a big race. Our car owner passed away just two weeks before, and everybody had heavy hearts, but we pulled through like he would want us to, and we came home with a victory."
Ferguson accepted his $10,000 check, but he donated the trophy to the family of the late Hall of Fame inductee Mike Butler.
Ferguson accepted his $10,000 check, but he donated the trophy to the family of the late Hall of Fame inductee Mike Butler.


The Southern Allstars East Series recently gathered at Cherokee Speedway in Gaffney, South Carolina, for the 4th Annual Hall of Fame 60, the winner of the race walking away with a very sweet $10,000 reward. Ferguson says the Hall of Fame night has always been special for the dirt late model team 22; this time around it carried a good deal of extra significance.

Proudly representing team owner Jack Starrette's tribute paint scheme, the number 22 unloaded very fast at Cherokee, earning a solid fifth place qualifying effort, positioning "Fergy" on the front row of his second heat race. With a powerful winning performance the K&N sponsored driver dominated his heat race.

Clearly, Ferguson set the tone for the A-Main, which had him starting on the front row once again. Ferguson and his team were hoping that some pre-race decisions regarding tires would make the difference. It was only last year that the team lost in the game of tire roulette at Cherokee. Crew chief Bryan Conard made a gutsy call, deciding to go with a harder tire then everyone else.

At the drop of the green flag it was evident that Ferguson was feeling the harder tires, as he settled into a third place spot for first 20 laps. With ten laps to go though Ferguson and his tires started to turn up the heat.

Then, a close call with another driver, ironically experiencing tire failure, nearly ended Ferguson's rally to the front of the field. Nevertheless, as though ordained, the 22 car pulled through the close call to take the lead and bring home the victory. The win marked the richest, and one of the most emotional, victories in young Ferguson's career.

"This win means so much to me and my team right now, we have been through a lot, and have a lot of people to thank and dedicate this win to," remarked Ferguson. "I just tired to remember to be careful with my tires, because we went harder than everyone else. I didn't want to blister them before they actually took to the track. My crew chief made the right call, even if it was different then everyone else's, but it paid off in the end when everyone else used up their tires, and we had plenty of rubber left."

Ferguson collected his $10,000 winning prize, but he donated his trophy to the Butler family. Ferguson was very close with Hall of Fame inductee, the late Mike Butler.

"I knew right when I pulled in victory lane that I wanted to do that," said Ferguson." Mike Butler had been the photographer in victory lane that had taken my pictures many times before, and I knew it would be special to do that for the family. They were down there cheering me on and that's the least I could have done. We really like doing special things like that for people who lose someone special."

The Chris Ferguson Motorsports team will take next weekend off to regroup, and then next on their target is Virginia Motor Speedway, for the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series event.

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