Pollard, McCarty Muscle Into CARS Tour Victory Lane at Motor Mile

RADFORD, VA – The Heritage Truck Centers 250 was the first time the CARS Tour visited Motor Mile Speedway since 2015, and Saturday night’s action made up for the long hiatus when Bubba Pollard and Bobby McCarty muscled their way to Edelbrock Victory Lane. For Pollard, it was his third tour win this season and the first for McCarty in nearly a year.

Matt Craig claimed the Mahle Pistons Pole Award and led the field to the green flag in the opening race of the night. Second place starter Bubba Pollard nosed ahead of Craig to lead lap one before the Kannapolis, N.C, retook the top spot on lap two and held it for over a third of the race.

Pollard began to show his speed on lap 47 when he bypassed Craig for the top spot, but Craig found a way back around on lap 59. The pair continued to trade blows, moving each other out of the way multiple times before Pollard ultimately took the lead for the final time on lap 78 after a caution for Mike Speeney’s problems in turn three.

Despite Pollard’s late-race dominance, Craig threw everything at the No. 26 Ford when he attempted to outduel Pollard on a lap 114 restart. Having none of it, race control thwarted his work when the restart was called back as a jumped restart and reattempted with Pollard on the inside lane where he motored away after the green flag.

Pollard extended his lead to a .686-second advantage at the checkered flag, beating Craig, Stephen Nasse, Tate Fogleman and Kodie Conner to the line.

“When you drive good stuff, got good people behind you, they make it easy on you,” said Pollard in Edelbrock Victory Lane when asked about how he has pulled off three wins so far this season.

“When you drive me dirty, I’m going to drive you back dirty, and that’s all there is to it,” he continued when prompted about the battle with Matt Craig. “When you run me up the racetrack, I’m going to let you know it. It could have been a lot cleaner than what it was, and it wasn’t. It’s part of racing if he wants to drive like that. You’re looking at a new Bubba Pollard. I’ve kinda been easy on people, kind of just rolled with the flow, but I ain’t taking no [expletive] off nobody no more. If you touch that 26 car, you’re gonna be ready for it.”

Four years ago, Josh Berry picked up his first CARS Tour win at Motor Mile Speedway and picked up where he left off by rocketing to the Hedgecock Racing Pole Position during qualifying. As expected, he shot to the lead early over second place starter Deac McCaskill.

The opening two-thirds of the race was exceptionally clean, with two caution flags on laps 40 and 80 thrown by rule according to the series’ competition caution policy. After lap 80, however, things got crazy when Taylor Gray lost control exiting turn four which started a massive chain reaction melee that collected at least ten cars in one fashion or another. Multiple drivers were eliminated from the race afterward.

Bobby McCarty, who had moved to second during the opening two stints, challenged Josh Berry on the restart but was unable to steal to the top spot despite a quick outside lane at Motor Mile. A slew of late-race accidents including four cautions in the final scheduled 25 laps, gave McCarty multiple opportunities to bypass Berry but none of them yielded any results.

Josh Berry took the white flag after 124 laps and appeared to be en route to his 16th career when Brandon Pierce sent Ryan Repko for a spin in turn two, forcing officials to throw the yellow before the leader had taken the checkered flag, prompting a green-white-checkered restart.

On the initial attempt, Berry bypassed McCarty in turn three, but washed up the track allowing McCarty to drive to his inside in turn one. The two made contact, and Berry went spinning up the track, handing McCarty the race lead and relegating Berry to the tail.

The second attempt at a finish saw McCarty choose the high line for his restart lane, while Justin Carroll started underneath. The pair leaned on each other while others pushed and shoved behind them. They took the white flag in a near dead heat and made the final circuit door-to-door before racing off turn four to the checkered flag where Bobby McCarty edged out Carroll in a photo finish of .029 seconds. Sammy Smith, Brandon Pierce, and Tommy Lemons, Jr., rounded out the top five.

“I really hate that with the 88, I really do, he knows I don’t race that way,” McCarty said after thanking his crew in Edelbrock Victory Lane. “He was trying to pinch me, and I was trying to run him up a little bit, and we hit wheels. It yanked the wheel right out of my hand. I’ve never wrecked nobody for a win, I never have and I never will, that was just a racing incident. Hopefully he and I can talk about it and come to an agreement. But, like I said, a big thank you to everyone at Nelson Motorsports. My wife and son are here, and it’s he first time they’ve come in a long time, so this is a really cool moment for me.

“When that [lap 124] caution came out, I was worried, because they can cause a lot of problems,” he continued when asked about the setup for the finish. “You never know how these restarts are going to play out. Josh didn’t get to the throttle really good coming out of four, and I was able to pull the crossover and we got position on him and that was unfortunate and I really hate that happened. I didn’t know whether to take the inside or the outside on the last restart because I was losing forward drive and that’s where the 88 was killing us. I felt like if someone was on our outside, I wasn’t going to be able to get the throttle down. We took the outside, Justin’s a really hard racer, he races hard but he races clean, and I hope the fans enjoyed that show.”

The next event for the CARS Racing Tour will take place June 8 at Langley Speedway, the Who’s Your Driver 125, a standalone event for the late model stock cars with support from three local divisions at a highly-competitive .395-mile layout on the east coast of Virginia.

For more information on the CARS Tour, visit their website at CARSRacingTour.com, or follow them on Facebook (@CARSTour), Twitter (@CARSTour), Instagram (@cars_tour), and Snapchat (@carstour). The series also has its own YouTube channel, Roku channel (available through its TV website), and a new publicly available Amazon FireTV app released this week.

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THE FINISHES

CARS Super Late Model Tour
Heritage Truck Centers 250
Motor Mile Speedway – May 18, 2019

POS NUM DRIVER LAPS REASON OUT
1. 26P Bubba Pollard 125
2. 54 Matt Craig 125
3. 51 Stephen Nasse 125
4. 8 Tate Fogleman 125
5. 45 Kodie Conner 125
6. 17B Josh Brock 125
7. 49 Jeff Batten 125
8. 24 Colin Garrett 125
9. 14 Jared Fryar 125
10. 6S Brandon Setzer 125
11. 37 Dan Speeney 125
12. 74 Ryan Moore 125
13. 34 Nolan Pope 125
14. 51B Amber Balcaen 125
15. 21 Toni Breidinger 124
16. 6 Matt Wallace 123
17. 16 Molly Helmuth 114 Accident
18. 50 Jett Noland 113 Brakes
19. 17 Mike Speeney 77 Accident
20. 96 Josh Reeves 52 Mechanical
21. 21J Trey Jarrell 46 Mechanical
22. 33 Preston Peltier 45 Mechanical
23. 2 Jared Irvan 40 Brakes
24. 7 Justin Crider 0 DNS
25. 40 Tovia Grynewicz 0 DNS
26. 00 Anthony Cataldi 0 DNS
27. 5 Spencer Wauters 0 Withdrew

CARS Late Model Stock Tour
Heritage Truck Centers 250
Motor Mile Speedway – May 18, 2019

POS NUM DRIVER LAPS REASON OUT
1. 22 Bobby McCarty 127
2. 57 Justin Carroll 127
3. 12 Sammy Smith 127
4. 2 Brandon Pierce 127
5. 27 Tommy Lemons, Jr. 127
6. 16 Chad McCumbee 127
7. 08 Deac McCaskill 12
8. 81 Mini Tyrrell 127
9. 63 Tyler Matthews 127
10. 74 Ronald Hill 127
11. 1 Craig Moore 127
12. 17 Taylor Gray 127
13. 17P Stacy Puryear 127
14. 88 Josh Berry 127
15. 14 Ryan Repko 127
16. 77 Trevor Ward 126
17. 19C Jessica Cann 124
18. 51 Matt Cox 121
19. 98 Adam Lemke 108 Accident
20. 99 Layne Riggs 100 Accident
21. 54 Drew Dollar 81 Accident
22. 23 Terrry Brooks, Jr. 81 Accident
23. 25 Zack St. Onge 81 Accident
24. 22K Derek Kale 81 Accident
25. 4 Jonathan Findley 80 Accident
26. 07 Camden Gullie 80 Accident
27. 19 Cameron Bowen 37 Mechanical
28. 1P Brody Pope 33 Mechanical

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