With 33 laps to go on Saturday night in the foothills of the North Carolina High Country, Bobby McCarty checked out with the lead and never looked back.
The current CARS Tour Late Model Stock championship leader extended his points lead with a dominant victory on Saturday night in the Cloer Construction 300 at Hickory Motor Speedway — his second such result this season.
Even though it was dominant by definition, McCarty actually didn’t take the lead until 35 laps to go. However, he was a constant inside the top-5 for a majority of the race, biding his time while other leaders burned up their tires racing for the lead.
At one point, near the halfway mark, Craig Moore and Austin McDaniel battled side-by-side for the lead for almost 10 laps. Calmly riding just behind them were Justin Carroll and McCarty, content to let them duke it out.
The 40 to go mark was when McCarty decided to go, quickly cutting through Carroll, Moore and McDaniel in a span of five laps. Once assuming the top spot, he never relented, and carried a multi-second lead over the final 33 laps.
In victory lane, he was mobbed by his triumphant Nelson Motorsports team, hugging it out before McCarty could conduct his winner’s interview.
“We’re family,” McCarty said. “The problem with this sport is that it’s become a business. This is personal to us. It’s not a business. We’re a family and we want to win as a family.”
For the second time in three races, Ty Gibbs started from the pole and built up a huge lead before falling through the field in the second half. Gibbs finished 11th.
Moore slowed soon after being passed by McCarty, coming to pit road with an apparent mechanical issue just 23 laps shy of the finish. At Orange County, Moore broke an axle and another issue bit his No. 1 team at Hickory.
Lee Pulliam qualified 17th, but started dead last after making adjustments in the impound lot. He even hit pit road again on Lap 74 because he wasn’t pleased with the handling of his Late Model Stock. He rebounded to finish fourth.
The end of the race proved the value of veteran experience as McCarty led a contingent of older guys in the form of Josh Berry, Tommy Lemons, Pulliam and Deac McCaskill.
The complete results can be found below.
- Bobby McCarty
- Josh Berry
- Tommy Lemons Jr.
- Lee Pulliam
- Deac McCaskill
- Ronald Hill
- Sam Mayer
- Justin Carroll
- Layne Riggs
- Cole Glasson
- Ty Gibbs
- Grayson Cullather
- Trevor Ward
- Charlie Watson
- Dexter Canipe Jr.
- Austin McDaniel
- Brandon Pierce
- Jacob Heafner
- Bradley McCaskill
- Ryan Millington
- Will Burns
- Craig Moore
- Chris Denny
- Ryan Repko
- Cody Haskins
Read more Short Track Scene:
- Watch: Stephen Nasse punches Donnie Wilson inside his car after a crash at Pensacola
- Stephen Nasse and Donnie Wilson react to their Five Flags crash
- Kody Swanson earns retribution with Silver Crown Toledo victory