ROBERSONVILLE, N.C. :: Louis White scored a popular and emotional victory Saturday night, taking the checkered flag in the second twin-35 lap Late Model Stock feature at East Carolina Motor Speedway.
After finishing second in the first twin of the evening, White won an early battle with Matt Bowling and held off a hard-charging Michael Fose to come home victorious in the nightcap.
“Michael [Fose] had the winning car,” White said in victory lane after the second feature. “He had a better car than I did. When I looked on the scoreboard and had seen he had moved into second, I glanced back and seen him coming. I knew he was going to be hard to hold off. He raced me clean. If it weren’t for that, he’d have won the race.”
A picture of Bradley McCaskill, who suffered burns in a massive crash last week at East Carolina, adorned the hood of White’s machine this week. After arriving in victory lane, the team removed the hood of the car so “Bradley” could celebrate in victory lane with the team.
“My buddy, one of my best friends, he’s laid up there in the hospital in Chapel Hill,” White said. “He’s drove these cars some. As a matter of fact, the car I run into last week, that he was in, that was my last year’s car.”
“I think a lot of Bradley,” White continued. “He’s got them two young kids, and another one on the way. We just all hope he gets well in a hurry.”
Fose stalked White and Bowling throughout the second race of the evening, passing Bowling in the closing laps. Fose maneuvered frantically hoping to pass White for the win, but ultimately came home second.
“I felt like we had a real good shot,” Fose said. “Kinda blew it all there on the last laps. Burned the tires up, tried one good time and the tires just wouldn’t hold up after that.”
White is one of the most successful drivers in the history of East Carolina Motor Speedway. While it’s hardly a surprise when he scores a victory at the 0.375-mile facility, it has proven more challenging in 2016. White entered the evening third in the track championship, behind Brenden Queen and Thomas Burbage.
“We expect to win,” White confessed. “But this year, it’s been some good cars here. It’s been some good competition. And that’s good, because it makes us all step our game up. I’m glad when everybody comes and makes a good field of cars, gives the fans something to look at.”
After last week’s misfortunes, it was somewhat of a surprise that he was so competitive just one week after a late-race crash ended with his car parked on top of McCaskill’s, leading to McCaskill’s burns.
“After last Saturday night, I would have never thought we’d get the car back good enough to start on the pole,” White said after the second-place finish in the first twin-35. “There’s some strong cars here tonight.”