Robersonville, VA – Every driver dreams of that one moment in their career when they can finally get that monkey off their back and get in victory lane. What better way to do that than to set the car on the pole and lead every lap – that is exactly what Queen did tonight at East Carolina Motor Speedway. Making just his second start here in his Late Model career – a fourth place finish in the Ronnie Barnett Memorial back in 2015 – snatched the pole away from Thomas Burbage earlier in the afternoon running a 15.302 (88.224 MPH).
“I couldn’t write it any better,” Queen said after the race and after the family celebration. “Sit on the pole and lead every lap in dominating fashion I guess you can say. This is the best feeling in the world by far; I can finally tell everyone I am a late model winner. No feeling in the world even comes close to what I am feeling right now.”
It wasn’t just a walk in the park for the young driver from Chesapeake, Virginia, as he had the likes of Thomas Burbage to deal with on his outside. Burbage, who has run here at East Carolina Motor Speedway long before the NASCAR sanction, gave “Butterbean” a run for his money. “Yea, it was about lap nine my crew chief Phil [7 time Langley Speedway LMSC Champ – 2 time Martinsville winner] told me to keep doing what I was doing and his [Burbage] rotors were already red. I was conserving a little bit there, not trying to go all out yet,” Queen told us. “The longer we ran the farther back he got and eventually we had about a straight away lead and was able to back the pace back a little bit.”
There’s an old saying in racing goes that cautions breed cautions and that was no more true here tonight in, well, just about every division. We were well past half way in this one before we saw our first yellow of the night – debris on the speedway in turn three. “We were prepared to run all 75 laps green,” Queen said. “I felt like we saved enough there though incase we got the yellow but I was really hoping it was going to stay green after we got a straightaway lead so we can just cruise and work the lap traffic.” Queen also made mention of being just a little bit nervous on the restarts there not knowing how much everyone had saved. However, after a lap he was able to pull away from the rest of the field.
Queen leaves here not only with his first career Late Model victory but as the points leader at East Carolina. After a few very solid finishes at South Boston, we asked the young driver to give us an idea on what to expect from him in 2016.
“I’m hoping for a lot in 2016,” Queen expressed. “Hoping for a lot more wins, more than just here. I hope we can go win some of the bigger races and even with some of the bigger names in Late Models. As of right now, with Langley not being open, it looks like we will be running the season here at East Carolina, At this rate if we can keep up with the solid finishes and this momentum and keep going after wins. That’s what it’s going to take to get us new sponsors and even to the next level.”
East Carolina Motor Speedway will be back in action next weekend, April 23rd for week number two of the 2016 campaign. Can Brenden make it two-for-two in Carolina or will Tyler Matthews – 2015 North Carolina Rookie of the Year – make the right adjustments to find himself in victory lane. Follow along with us this week, as well as www.ecspeedway.com to keep up with everything leading up to next weekend.