“The wheel has come full circle”

William Shakespeare

We always take time to consider all things when we make our schedules. But, as our regular readers know, things have a way of coming full circle for us, even when we have no control over it. It’s proof to us that there is a plan by the master creator, as for us, sometimes things happen in a way we can’t deny Him. We originally scheduled this event as it was originally entered before the season began, not even realizing at the time what the date of this event truly was. You see, last year on May 29th, we started our season, our first, with the Carolina Pro Late Model Series at Hickory. And now, we end our first full year of coverage on May 28th, with the Carolina Pro Late Model Series. So, we have indeed come full circle. And as a bonus, we end our first full year at a new track for us at Short Track Report at Motor Mile Speedway.

We headed out on the two hour trip to Motor Mile with excitement and anticipation as we’ve heard a great deal about the track, and we were eager to get our first look. The trip seemed quick, mainly because of the beautiful scenery we were met with as we entered the mountains of Virginia and took in the amazing view along the way. And when we arrived, we weren’t disappointed. What an amazing track. High banks, and wonderful facilities are what we were met with when we arrived, and knowing the Carolina Pro Late Model Series as we do, we knew when we took a good look that the racing this Saturday was going to be nothing short of amazing. So let’s get down to it. The touching Memorial weekend invocation has been spoken and the National Anthem played. The crowd is ready and so are we, so, Let’s Go Racin’!

SUPER STREET FEATURE ONE

The # 87 of Bryce Blake will start up front for the first of two Super Street features alongside the # 71D of Dewey Smith. Rounding out the top five will be the # 71 of Ray Sowers starting third, # 0 Hank Turman in fourth, and the # 21 of Paul Jean starts fifth. The flagman looks them over, likes the formation, and we’re racing at Motor Mile! Blake clears early as Sowers takes the second spot from Smith. Jean follows Sowers through as he gets by Turman and Smith as well, slotting in third. Smith continues to fall as the # 26 of Joe White enters the mix, getting by Smith with Turman following, dropping Smith to sixth. As the shuffling continues, Sowers powers by Blake and tries to pull away early. But there’s trouble as White spins out of turn two. Taking advantage of the choose rule is the # 16 of Scooter Hollandsworth as he moves up to second place alongside Sowers for the restart. Blake will line up third with the # 27 of Taylor Ransom also taking advantage to restart fourth, and Jean will round out the top five. The green flies and Smith immediately takes fifth away from Jean as Sowers and Hollandsworth are side by side for the lead. Hollandsworth eventually clears but Sowers will have none of it and gets right back by Hollandsworth as Jean retakes fifth from Smith. But there’s more trouble as Jean spins out of turn four.

After the choose, it’ll be Sowers, Hollandsworth, Blake, Ransom, and Joe White out of nowhere as the top five as Sowers gets a great restart and is able to pull away and pick up the victory in the first feature followed by Hollandsworth, Blake, Ransom, and White your top five.

SUPER STREET FEATURE TWO

Starting up front for feature two will be the # 02 of Ben Deplazes followed by # 3 Chucky Williams, # 0 Hank Turman, # 26 Joe White, and the # 27 of Taylor Ransom. The flagman looks them over, likes what he sees, and we’re green! Deplazes gets a fantastic start as Turman immediately powers by Williams for second. Williams struggles to recover from the lost momentum and is then passed by White for third. Back up front, Turman is breathing down Deplazes’ neck as Turman seems to have a much better car for race two. Behind them, it’s race one winner # 71 Ray Sowers getting by Ransom for fifth, already making quick work of the back half of the field. With ease, he powers by Williams for fourth with Ransom following him through for fifth. But back up front, there’s problems with Deplazes! Deplazes slows, allowing Turman to take the lead. But now it’s White all over Turman for the lead with Sowers closing in. White looks inside, but Turman is just too good on the outside, making for a phenomenal battle for the lead position. But here comes Sowers! He’s by Turman as a caution comes out for the # 6 of Rickey Beaver who’s spun in between turns one and two. It’ll be a dash to the finish with White starting up front, Turman taking advantage of the choose rule to start second, Sowers third, Ransom fourth, and Williams fifth.

Turman gets a bad start on the outside, allowing Sowers to retake second as White tries to pull away. Behind them, Williams’ car seems to be coming back to life as he gets by Ransom for fourth. Back up front, Sowers is just too strong as he’s able to get by White. But here comes Turman as he makes it a three way dance for the lead! Turman tries to use up Sowers, but it’s not enough as Sowers makes it a clean sweep, winning both Super Street features. Turman would come second, White third, Williams fourth, and Ransom rounding out the top five.

CAROLINA CRATE MODIFIED SERIES FEATURE

Son of Modified veteran Brian Loftin, the # 23 of Carson Loftin qualifies fastest with a time of 16.580 seconds. But he draws an invert of two, putting the # 33 of Tanner Young on pole with Loftin starting alongside. The # 01 of Brian Weber starts third, # 9 Dan Speeney fourth, and # 63 Dean Lowder fifth. Carolina Pro Late Model Series driver Kyle Campbell looks over the field as he will flag this race, likes what he sees, and we’re green for the inaugural Carolina Crate Modified Series race at Motor Mile! Young clears early as the field single files out early to learn this new track. Loftin seems to have mastered the track early as he’s running the perfect line and takes the lead away from Young. Behind them, points leader # 12 Cody Norman is moving up through the field after starting in the rear due to not putting up a qualifying time. As Loftin and Young catch lap traffic, Loftin is able to squeak by without issue. It’s not as easy for Young however as he has to go three wide into turn one, nearly losing his car in the process. He somehow saves it but gives up valuable time to Loftin, allowing him to build his lead even more.

After multiple laps of stalking Weber, Speeney is finally able to get by for third as Loftin is a straightaway ahead of Young. But there’s major trouble in the middle of the field as Lowder gets loose out of turn two and spins into Norman, sending Norman into the outside wall. Caution flies as both Lowder and Norman are done for the night. Lining up for the restart, it’ll be Loftin, Young, Speeney, the # 21 of Wes Sammon, and Weber, who’s car seems to be going away in the late stages of this one. Campbell looks over the field, gives the thumbs up, and we’re back green. Loftin gets a phenomenal restart as Weber gets back by Sammon to reclaim the fourth spot. Speeney looks on Young for second, but just can’t get it done as Loftin looks to gap the field yet again. But caution flies again as there’s debris in between turns three and four. It’ll be Loftin, Young, Speeney, Weber, and Sammon the top five for the restart. Campbell looks over the field, likes the formation, and we’re green once again.

Young gets a much better restart this time around and challenges Loftin for the lead. They’re side by side for a few laps before Loftin finally clears and sets sail yet again. Young puts together some great laps, but it’s not enough as Carson Loftin gets his first career win in his first career start in dominant fashion. Young comes home second, Speeney third, Weber fourth, and Sammon rounds out the top five.

CAROLINA PRO LATE MODEL SERIES FEATURE

The # 35 of Caden Kvapil qualifies fastest with a time of 16.013 seconds. But he’ll have to start in the rear as he stopped in his pit before going to post-qualifying technical inspection. The # 21 of Ryan Mathews would get the same penalty. Also starting at the tail for working on their cars after qualifying are the # 1R of David Thomas and the # 27 of Lee Tissot. After the invert, the # 77 of Ruben Caceres will start on the pole with the # 10 of E.J. Tamayo starting alongside. # 03 Kyle Campbell starts third, # 5 Jasec Holladay starts fourth, and the # 51 of Mason Maggio will round out the top five. The flagman looks over the great field of Pro Late Models, likes what he sees, and we’re green for the inaugural Carolina Pro Late Model Series race at Motor Mile!

Caceres clears early as Holladay has a problem on the start, stacking up the field a bit. Caceres is able to pull away early as the rest of the field is in a big pack fighting for every spot they can. As the field gets closer and closer, the inevitable happens as the # 7 of Justin Crider jumps over Campbell’s right rear tire and slams the turn four outside wall with vicious force. The red flag will fly as Crider is fortunately okay after the crash. For the restart, it’ll be Caceres, Tamayo, Holladay moving up in third, Campbell, and Maggio. The flagman looks them over, likes the view, and we’re back green. Tamayo stumbles on the start, stacking up the field yet again allowing Holladay and Maggio by for second and third. But there’s more trouble in the back as Tissot makes contact with Campbell, sending Campbell around and collecting the # 63 of points leader Josh Lowder. Kvapil also sustains damage along with Thomas. After another lengthy clean up, it’ll be Caceres, Holladay, # 1X Tyler Church, and Tamayo the top five. The flagman looks the field over, likes what he sees, and we’re back green.

Caceres clears again as Holladay gets another bad start, allowing Maggio to secure second. Maggio then turns up the wick and takes the lead away from Caceres, bringing Holladay along as Caceres is stuck on the outside. Church is also able to get by as the # 37 of Mike Speeney gets by Tamayo for fifth as Tamayo starts to fade. Caceres just can’t get into a rhythm as Speeney now clears, dropping Caceres back to fifth. And just when it seems that the bleeding has stopped for Caceres, he’s passed yet again, this time by Mathews as he enters the top five. But up front it’s all Maggio and Holladay, putting on a show for their E33 Motorsports teams. As Maggio and Holladay continue to pull away, the caution flies as Church goes up in smoke on the race track. For the restart, it’ll be Maggio, Holladay, Speeney, Mathews, and Caceres the top five. The flagman looks over the dwindling field, likes the view, and we’re back green.

Maggio gets a great start and leaves Holladay in the dust as the field single files out quickly to log some laps. But right when it seems that things have calmed down, Speeney dives to the inside of Holladay, taking second away with Mathews following through, dropping Holladay to fourth. But Holladay isn’t content and gets back by Mathews, now setting his sights on Speeney. And it doesn’t take long as Holladay is able to power underneath Speeney and takes the second spot back with ease as Maggio starts to pull away. But behind, Speeney slows with a mechanical issue and brings his # 37 machine to pit road! The night is unfortunately over for Speeney as Holladay once again tries to reel in his teammate. Behind the leaders, Caceres and Tamayo have caught up to Mathews in third and all three drivers engage in an epic battle for the final podium spot. But Maggio and Holladay have pulled out such an enormous lead that the third place battle is close to becoming lap traffic.

Mathews still hangs on, but Caceres and Tamayo won’t yield as Maggio is right there to disrupt the battle. But the lap traffic is allowing Holladay to catch back up as the white flag flies on the field. Maggio is right in the middle of the third place battle as Holladay is all over his back bumper. Holladay dives into three and they’re side by side out of turn four! Holladay tries to find some grip on the outside but it’s not enough as Maggio defeats his teammate by mere feet at the line. Caceres pulls out a third in the mayhem, Tamayo gets an incredible fourth, and Mathews drops to fifth in a crazy finish.

MY TAKE

They say patience is a virtue, and if tonight’s racing was any indication we know that to be true. But cooler heads did prevail in the end. Carson Loftin ran his first Carolina Crate Modified race like a veteran, and as cars were eliminated in the attrition, he never faltered. The same was true of Mason Maggio in the Pros as while everyone was going to battle to try and get to him, he sat in the trenches as calm as you can imagine as the war raged around him. Both were flawless in their execution as they sat above the fray, running perfect laps on a challenging track. In the end it paid off big time as both celebrated impressive wins in victory lane. But one driver on the night went there twice, and the second time against the odds. But again, as the battles waged, he bid his time and made his moves when it counted, and at the end of the night, Ray Sowers found himself a two time winner on the same night. The Motor Mile Super Street driver was more than impressive this Saturday night, with performances so great, we couldn’t help but give him our Blue Collar Racer Of The Week nod this week. Congratulations to Sowers and his team on two super impressive wins.

What a night! We came to Motor Mile with expectations and we left with those expectations met, and the knowledge that we have to get out to this track much more often in the future. It truly is an amazing facility made for great racing and fan comfort, and we can’t thank them more for the great hospitality. It was an excellent way to end our first season, and so I can’t go any further without thanking each and every one of you for your great support. We have some exciting news coming very shortly, so stay tuned, and as always, See You At The Track!

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