Louis White Makes Championship Battle Interesting with a win at East Carolina
Robersonvile, NC – With just a handful of races left on the schedule, the margin for error is very thin at East Carolina Motor Speedway. Electing to run twin features the remainder of the year where you finish in the 40-lap dash has major effects on not just your national/state standings but the individual track championships as well. Veteran Late Model driver Luis White made sure he remained in the hunt for what could possibly be his final track championship with a third place finish in race one and a victory in race number two this past weekend at East Carolina Motor Speedway.
Because of the method put in place for qualifying – the drivers fastest lap sets the field for race one while the slowest lap set the field for race two – White would be forced to start the second race from the fifth position with a time of 15.81 seconds. “I just don’t like how they do the qualifying here for these races,” White said in victory lane. “On top of that the clock wasn’t working when we went out and they did them by stopwatches. You go out in the first race and put a straightaway and a half on some of these guys and they put them back in front of you for the second race. Either way I guess it worked out for me in the long run.”
His run from fifth to first was no easy task, having to battle door to door with some of the best drivers in the state of North Carolina. At times even going three wide to make passes around the high-bank 3/8th mile tri-oval that is ECMS. A man on a mission White found a way to to come out ahead of the three way battle setting his sites on the 54 of Michael Fose for position. The two would touch just a little to much through turns three and four sending Fose around to bring out the first caution of the race. Got to give it to Fose for not only keeping it off the wall but avoiding contact with other cars through that very tight portion of race track.
First restart of the race got a little hairy when Louis White saw his opportunity to advance his position and capitalized by taking Justin Carroll and Tyler Matthews three wide going into one. Carroll and Matthews thought better of it as it was still early in the race and rolled off the throttle handing over the third place position. The battle for the lead start to heat up just as we got to the other side of the halfway point in the race. The veteran, Louis White, applying tons of pressure to the the bumper of Queen, sometimes even giving him some shots. Queen, however, took them like a champ and the two raced on. That is until the field was slowed for the second caution period of the race, just after Louis took over the lead on lap twenty-four, this time out of turn two. Rookie Maddy Ryan found herself tangled with the #77 of Wes Burton outside of turn two.
Credit Louis White with a great restart as he was able to hold off Queen who tried to make the top groove work for his Atlantic Plumbing number 03. From there on it was pretty much smooth sailing for Plmouth, North Caolina native, locking up a much needed win to keep the track championship battle within just two points with just four races left on the schedule.
Justin Carroll continues to have good luck during his trips to East Carolina. Scoring two top five finishes on the night as he tries to keep his spot in the top 40 drivers in the nation. A fifth place finish in the first race along with a thrilling third place finish in race number two after doing a great job holding off defending track champion in the Late Models Jeff Shifflet who recorded one of his best finishes of the year. Thomas Burbage, who told us after the race he just made the wrong gamble on the set-up for race two, would finish in the fifth position.
“We had to make right many adjustments on the car for the first race and several for the second race,” White said in victory lane after the race. “Brenden is a good competitor. He’s an 18 year old kid. I’ve got about 40 years of racing on him but as far as I am concerned that was some good clean racing. Rubbing is racing. I am not going to take him out, even though there was a couple laps there we probably could have taken each other out. He’s probably beating on me a little more than I was on him because I was sideways a couple times but its all good, I’m old school.”
Louis will enter this weekends Visit Martin County 150 just two points behind Brenden Queen for the track championship and only nine points behind Queen in the state. Both drivers will have two 40-lap features this weekend, as they will run along with the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour, to earn as many points as they can. Louis told us the key to winning the championship is to just focus on what they need to do and win races.
Race #2 Results:
1.#7 Louis White; 40
2. #03 Brenden Queen; 40
3. #91 Justin Carroll; 40
4. #01 Jeff Shiflett; 40
5. #9 Thomas Burbage; 40
6. #63 Tyler Matthews; 40
7. #29 Melvin Langley; 40
8. #33 Ryan Haddock; 40
9. #10 Maddy Mulligan; 39
10. #29 Paul Williamson; 35
11. #12 Wesley Johnson; 27
12. #77 Wes Burton; 25
13. #54 Michael Fose; 9
14. #90 Terry Carroll; 3
15. #55 Gerald Benton; 2
16. #03 Landon Abbott; 2
17. #12 Dean Shiflett; DNF