ROUGEMONT, N.C. :: Stefan Parsons contended for the win during the first half of the Championship Auto Racing Series (CARS) Late Model Stock Tour 100-lap feature at Orange County Speedway. However, a mechanical failure dashed Parsons’ hopes of claiming victory.
Parsons qualified second for the 100 lap feature, shortened from 125 laps after rain and several red flags pushed the Super Late Model feature late into the evening. Parsons quickly assumed the lead from pole-sitter Chris Denny, leading the first ten laps of the race.
Parsons lost the lead to Deac McCaskill on a lap ten restart, but reclaimed the top spot using the outside line on a restart 14 laps later.
Parsons maintained that lead until lap 59, when Tommy Lemons moved to the front. Parsons quickly faded through the field before retiring with alternator issues.
“It was a fun race, no doubt,” Parsons said. “I thought we had a good car. I think we had the winning car. The alternator just gave out. We lost power, and it kept getting worse and worse, so we had to pull it in.”
“Brian Keselowski, Christian PaHud, they did a great job getting this car dialed in,” Parsons said. “I can’t thank them enough. I just hate we’re not in victory lane.”
Unfortunately, this marks the third time mechanical failures have slowed Parsons on the CARS Tour in 2016. The 18-year-old from Cornelius, North Carolina showed speed during the opening round of the season at Southern National Motorsports Park and the CARS Tour’s last trip to Orange County Speedway, but failed to finish either race.
Parsons also impressed at Tri-County Motor Speedway, claiming a fifth place finish after starting third. It appeared Parsons would improve on that run Saturday night before the mechanical issue.
“I really thought we had that race won,” Parsons said. “It’s tough. It’s bad luck. It’s out of our control. There’s nothing we can do about it, no use crying about it. Just come back prepared for the next race.”