Louis White Bounces Back And Dominates At East Carolina
Robersonville, NC – Louis White found himself back in victory lane this past Saturday night at East Carolina Motor Speedway! Matter of fact, we meet with Louis on two occasions, as he was the victor in both of the 50-lap features. White would officially lead wire to wire through both races that were filled with controversy throughout the entire pack!
Everything got rolling, so to speak, earlier in the afternoon with time trial qualifying to get the starting grid for the first of two 50-lap main events. A little side note, Bradley McCaskill was a full member of both afternoon practice sessions, however, was not able to get the car right after last week’s wreck. He and the crew had been up to the early hours of that morning working on the car. Was told to avoid damaging anything else on the car or even causing a wreck, he was just going to take her back to the shop. Shelton McNair would show up in the nick of time to keep the field at ten, not to mention his championship hopes alive.
Posting the fastest time in qualifying with a 15.599 (86.544 MPH), Louis White (2014 Limited Late Model Champ) would have the honor of starting race number one from the point. A luxury that would prove to be very useful as things got a little hairy in the middle of the pack. Jeff Shiflett, your 2014 LMSC track champion would cross the line .001 second behind Louis to earn the second starting position. Kind of ironic that these two would start side by side don’t you think? Greg Edwards (2014 Langley Speedway track champ – so it was a mini race of champions?), making his first start at the track since the mid 90’s was able to pilot the Jackson Motorsports ride to a third on the starting grid. Rusty Daniels and Thomas Burbage able to grab the reaming to spots in the top five.
As racing got underway in the first twin, Louis hit the go fast pedal hard… and deep! Top three – White, Shiflett, and Edwards – got in line pretty quickly leaving Burbage to deal with the hungry field! Not to worry though, Burbage with a bit of a home field advantage and was able to mount a charge around Edwards as well as put some distance on him early. Had a challenge early on in the race from Shiflett for the lead, was able to take a few peaks down low but couldn’t make it happen.
With the help of a few caution flags the race wasn’t a complete run away for White. However, regrouping the field proved to be a little bit too much for some. On what was the second restart Burbage got yet another great jump and dove her to the inside of Shiflett, leaving Shiflett outside and opening the door up for McNair and a whole bunch of carnage! The two would bounce of each other and the outside wall and almost go head first into the inside wall. Both cars were able to save it but sporting heavy cosmetic damage. On the ensuing restart Haley Moody was a little slow to get back to the gas – not real sure if it was because of the cars in front of her – but this cause Shiflett and McNair to tangle again! This time the 01 practically ramping the M3. McNair pulled his car into the pits and called it quits for that race. White would easily cruise to victory while Kenneth Mercer sneaked through at the end to finish second. Edwards, Shiflett, and Burbage rounded out the top five.
With no invert at East Carolina and by the virtue of his win in race one, Louis White would have the honors of starting race number two on the pole as well. He would go on to win the race leading wire to wire practically uncontested, but not without some talk rumbling up and down pit road on the tactics pulled on restarts. Two cars that I want to point out that had major turn around the 67 of Edwards who battled hard for a while in P2 and Rusty Daniels who came back from hitting the wall in race one.
To make a long story short race two on the night was all about Rusty Daniels moving through the field and the restart “games.” More than three times restarts were waved off due to the second place car “jumping” the starts and on the restarts that were “good” White almost got ran over from the third place car because he just didn’t go. We actually caught up with Greg after the race hoping to get an idea on what he saw, “It’s the first time we had JT’s car and its been shoot almost 20 years since I have ran here so all in all it wasn’t to bad,” Edwards said about the race. “I don’t know what was going on up front really, it was like the leaders were jamming on the brakes there. He was lucky it wasn’t some young kid behind him and running him over. I just feel you should maintain speed all the way through the corner.”
Bad starts or not when it came down to it White was able to hold off Daniels for the lead even after a little love tap out of two near lap 40. That was all that machine had left in it because he gradually started falling back allowing White to cruise to victory. Wesley Johnson was able to get around Edwards for third there at the end, with Thomas Burbage rounding out the top five.
Talking with Louis after the race he told me he felt Rusty was just trying to get all he could, “You know the leader as the option long as I start between those lines,” White explained. “ I don’t know maybe he was just trying to jump me and hoping the flagman would let it go but the leaders got the option on the restarts and that’s what I was doing.” With two wins on the night it certainly helped White’s case for a bid at a second championship, we had to ask with the birth of his grand daughter what the future held, of course we were please with his answer. “We are gonna try to win this points deal one more time before I hang it up.”
- P1 #7 Louis White
- P2 #24 Kenneth Mercer
- P3 #67 Greg Edwards
- P4 #01 Jeff Shiflett
- P5 #9 Thomas Burbage
- P6 #50 Haley Moody
- P7 #72 Jeremy Bohne
- P8 #12 Wesley Johnson
- P9 #3 Shelton McNair
- P10 #16 Rusty Daniels
- P1 #7 Louis White
- P2 #16 Rusty Daniels
- P3 #12 Wesley Johnson
- P4 #67 Greg Edwards
- P5 #9 Thomas Burbage
- P6 #01 Jeff Shiflett
- P7 #24 Kenneth Mercer
- P8 #3 Shelton McNair
- P9 #50 Haley Moody
- P10 #72 Jeremy Bohne