Jensen Ford experienced the ultimate thrill last Friday night.
That’s when the Johnson City driver took the Ultimate Super Late Model Series victory at Natural Bridge (Va.) Speedway, fending off off-road racing star Brandon Overton at the finish.
Ford, the 2021 Valvoline Iron Late Model Series champion, qualified quickly on the 3/8 mile dirt oval, then backed it up with victory in the 40-lap 5,000 event $ to win.
This was certainly no accident, as Ford and his Elizabethton-based team have proven to be strong contenders time and time again.
After leaving the Crate Late Model ranks, Ford won the Southern All-Star Dirt Series last year at Smoky Mountain Speedway in Maryville.
He followed that up with a win at Wartburg Speedway in the Iron-Man Series, which propelled him to the championship. This year the team showed some speed early on, but Ford got caught in a wreck at the Karl Kustoms Bristol Dirt Nationals – which was a temporary setback.
Since then, Ford and his team have come back stronger than ever.
On the first night of racing at the Colossal 100 on the Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Ford finished 10th. It featured the best drivers in the country, with Bristol XR Series champion Chris Madden coming out on top and Mooresburg legend Scott Bloomquist runner up.
Drivers who finished in both positions ahead of Ford were defending NASCAR champion Kyle Larson and four-time Lucas Oil Series national champion Jimmy Owens of Newport. Coincidentally, Overton finished one position behind Ford in that race.
Larson took the win the following night. Fast forward to last Friday and Larson further proved his status as the world’s most versatile oval track racer by leading the 40 laps of the World of Outlaws Sprint Car race in Attica, Ohio.
Meanwhile, Ford qualified for the A-Main on two other race nights in Charlotte.
Ford carries on a proud family tradition. His parents, Tony and Teresa, own TNT Race Cars and Ford grew up working in the workshop. His uncle, Randy, is a former track champion at Volunteer Speedway.
THE INCREDIBLE BUTS
Speaking of a family tradition on dirt tracks, the Mays family doubled down over the weekend in the classic car division.
Marcus Mays, the son of veteran racer Jeff Mays of Johnson City, won Friday night’s classic race at I-75 Raceway. He started third before taking the lead and ultimately the second win of the season on the 3/8 mile dirt road near Sweetwater.
On Saturday night, his uncle Bobby Mays of Jonesborough took third in the classic race at 411 Motor Speedway in Seymour. Bobby Mays battled his way forward and won the race, while Marcus posted a sixth-place finish after a broken shock.