03/11/19

LUCAMA, NC (March 10, 2019) - Brandon Pierce and Bubba Pollard claimed the victories in the opening round of the CARS Tour on Saturday at Southern National Motorsports Park. For Pierce, it was his first series win while Pollard emerged on top after only his second start at the facility.

LATE MODEL STOCK RECAP

Brandon Pierce started the afternoon in the best shape of anyone after capturing the Hedgecock Racing Pole Position following two rounds of Fivestar Bodies Knockout Qualifying. He led the opening seven circuits until JR Motorsports driver Josh Berry drove by in turn three to take command of the event. Pierce eventually slid back a handful of positions in the running order as the race progressed.

Berry was trailed closely by Deac McCaskill and Chad McCumbee for most of the race until the final handful of restarts. Though Pierce fell back early, he gradually began to make his way forward inside of 40 laps to go, passing competitors hastily and occasionally using the bumper to assist slower machines out of his path.

A spin by Mini Tyrrell tightened the field just outside of 30 laps remaining, and Pierce continued to play chess with Berry in the closing stages. After conserving even further, Pierce began to mount a challenge as Berry diced through traffic until a caution for Ronald Hill's stalled machine slowed the field with ten laps to go.

Berry rocketed to a ten car length lead before Pierce's car began to come in just a handful of laps later. With three laps to go, Pierce turned Berry 45-degrees sideways in turn four but allowed the No. 88 to gather it back in before resuming his assault. On the white flag lap, he nudged Berry out of the groove in turn two to pull alongside before driving ahead in turn three. Berry attempted to return the favor but was unsuccessful, allowing Pierce to capture the biggest win of his late model stock career and first in the CARS Late Model Stock Tour. Berry, Deac McCaskill, Bobby McCarty and Riley Herbst rounded out the top five.

"I've worked at this so hard and this has been coming for a long time," Pierce said while fighting back emotions in Edelbrock Victory Lane. "I took the off-season pretty personally and went to work on myself really hard, and these guys thrashed, and I really reset my whole focus this off-season and knew it was time to hit the reset button and try to see what I was missing to be more determined to win these races. I had been in cars that I could get the job done and hadn't. There was no stopping us today. I owe it all to that man right there (Lee Pulliam) and these guys. When you've got a four time national champion in you're hear, if you just listen to him, you're probably going to win. That's what I did, and here we are.

"I'll be honest, when the caution came out I was pretty pissed," he continued when asked about his run to the front and the final caution which set up a late-race restart. "I had used it up pretty good trying to run Josh down. With lapped traffic you really didn't know, it changed lap to lap, even coming up on the same cars again. I knew I had to get a really good start and hold it tight. If I could get down and get behind him, I felt like I had enough left where I could get by him. He was getting really tight, and I was getting really free. I just shoved him off the bottom there a little bit and got the job done."


SUPER LATE MODEL RECAP

Bubba Pollard solidified himself as the man to beat early by capturing the Mahle Pole Position during his two rounds of Fivestar Bodies Knockout Qualifying prior to racing. The Georgia driver led the opening fifth of the race before Matt Wallace outdrove him on a restart and cleared the No. 26 car, taking the lead on lap 34.

Wallace set the pace until Nolan Pope and Mike Speeney tangled in turn one for the fifth caution of the race. Pollard got the holeshot through the KRC Power Steering Restart Zone and once again controlled the race on lap 57.

Pollard remained unchallenged for the top spot until the final 40 laps, when Preston Peltier ascended from his 17th starting position to challenge for the point and successfully obtained it on lap 113. Just five laps later, on a restart, Pollard was able to bypass Peltier for the lead once again.

With 26 laps to go, Mason Diaz and Peltier both began to give intense chase to Pollard. Diaz looked inside several times on the No. 26 car and occasionally made slight contact with his rear bumper challenging for the $10,000 top prize. With seven laps to go, Diaz's upset bid fell short when he got loose in turn three and spun off the front bumper of Preston Peltier exiting turn four on lap 143.

Peltier hounded Pollard for the final seven laps but was unable to find a path around the superstar before the checkered flag waved, awarding Pollard another CARS Super Late Model win. Peltier, Brandon Setzer, Jared Fryar and Stephen Nasse rounded out the top five.

"It's tough to save enough at the beginning because you just get strung out and start riding," Pollard admitted in Edelbrock Victory Lane. "We had way too much motor, just way too much motor tonight, and it cost us late in the race. The big motor made me free in, and it's hard to win races when you're free in because you get tight in the center. So, I had to be more conservative and start driving defensively, driving straight in on the bottom and things like that. It was a good race at the end, but that's what it's all about. Everyone rides around at the beginning of the race and that's what makes it good at the end."

Pollard immediately turned his focus to his next CARS Tour event, the $30,000-to-win Old North State Nationals presented by Visit Orange County at Orange County Speedway on April 5-7, where he will be racing a late model stock car for only the second time in his career.

"Late model stocks are a lot different, but we can take a lot we learn from this thing and apply to it," said Pollard. "Jamie Yelton and Fat Head Racing are getting it ready and hopefully we have a good run. It's a lot of fun running that deal, so we'll do the best we can and see how it goes."


The CARS Tour resumes action in less than two weeks when both divisions visit Hickory Motor Speedway for the MTP Tire 300 on March 23. Following the Hickory visit, the short track world's attention will turn to the tour's event at Orange County Speedway paying $30,000 to win, the richest late model stock race in history of the discipline, paying even more than the prestigious event at Martinsville Speedway, also one of the single biggest paying late model events of any kind in the United States.

For more information on the CARS Tour, visit their website at www.carsracingtour.com. Fresh content and updates can also be found on the series Facebook page (@carstour), Twitter (@carstour), Instagram (@cars_tour), Snapchat (@carstour) and Youtube channel (/carstour). The series Roku app is also available for installation to see live and on-demand events by following the instructions found at www.carstour.tv.




THE FINISHES:

CARS Late Model Stock Tour                
Solid Rock Carriers 300 presented by SRI Performance                
Southern National Motorsports Park - March 9, 2019                
                
POS    NUM    DRIVER    LAPS    REASON OUT
1.    2    Brandon Pierce    150    
2.    88    Josh Berry    150    
3.    08    Deac McCaskill    150    
4.    22    Bobby McCarty    150    
5.    18    Riley Herbst    150    
6.    99    Layne Riggs    150    
7.    54    Drew Dollar    150    
8.    17P    Stacy Puryear    150    
9.    2S    Myatt Snider    150    
10.    57    Justin Carroll    150    
11.    27    Tommy Lemons, Jr.    150    
12.    07    Bradley McCaskill    150    
13.    17    Taylor Gray    150    
14.    16    Chad McCumbee    149    
15.    63    Tyler Matthews    149    
16.    25    Zack St. Onge    148    
17.    19    Cameron Bowen    148    
18.    77    Trevor Ward    148    
19.    81    Mini Tyrrell    148    
20.    51    Matt Cox    148    
21.    01    Camden Gullie    146    
22.    23    Terry Brooks, Jr.    144    
23.    74    Ronald Hill    138    Out Of Fuel
24.    4    Jonathan Findley    121    Mechanical
25.    1    Craig Moore    93    Engine
26.    12    Ryan Wilson    85    Handling
27.    1P    Brody Pope    27    Accident
28.    98    Adam Lemke    1    Mechanical                
    4H    Leland Honeyman, Jr.        DNQ
    18    Jason York        DNQ



CARS Super Late Model Tour                
Solid Rock Carriers 300 presented by SRI Performance                
Southern National Motorsports Park - March 9, 2019                
                
POS    NUM    DRIVER    LAPS    REASON OUT
1.    26P    Bubba Pollard    150    
2.    33    Preston Peltier    150    
3.    6    Brandon Setzer    150    
4.    14    Jared Fryar    150    
5.    51    Stephen Nasse    150    
6.    17    Mike Speeney    150    
7.    7    Justin Crider    150    
8.    54    Matt Craig    150    
9.    2    Trevor Noles    150    
10.    97    Brandon Lynn    150    
11.    45    Kodie Conner    150    
12.    8    Tate Fogleman    150    
13.    24D    Mason Diaz    150    
14.    37    Dan Speeney    150    
15.    2T    Gracie Trotter    150    
16.    27    Tyler Church    150    
17.    16    Molly Helmuth    150    
18.    34    Nolan Pope    150    
19.    24    Colin Garrett    149    
20.    21    Trey Bayne    148    
21.    22    Tim Hollis    144    
22.    61    Gabriel Fogg    137    
23.    98    Jody Measamer    123    Mechanical
24.    6W    Matt Wallace    121    DNF
25.    66W    Steve Wallace    60    Engine
26.    49    Jeff Batten    35    Accident
27.    00    Anthony Cataldi    35    Accident


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