It sometimes pays to be good and it always pays to be good and fortunate.
That was the case on Saturday night in the CARS Tour Crystal Coast 125 at Carteret County Speedway when Bobby McCarty capitalized on an incident between a leading Layne Riggs and Josh Berry and won for the fourth time in seven starts.
The turning point of the race took place on Lap 102 when Berry got into the back of Riggs, who spun 360 degrees without losing the lead. Lap down Sarah Cornett-Ching passed both drivers on the outside but spun and collected Berry in the process.
Berry suffered terminal damaged as a result and the CARS Tour race control deemed him involved in the incident and was sent to the tail-end of the field.
That placed Bobby McCarty on the point and he led the remaining 23 laps.
“We got shuffled out from the outside on a restart there, and I thought about trying to catch them, but knew I would run out of time without a caution so I just started matching their pace,” McCarty said. “And then, I hate it for Layne. I’m friends with Layne. We talk occasionally. I felt like he had the better car today and I hate it for him.”
Due to an attrition-filled race, only eight cars were on the track at the time of the pivotal caution and Riggs was able to get back to second — not that it was much consolation.
“We won this race,” Riggs said. “We won this race. I don’t agree with the decision to send us to the back. We kept forward progress and didn’t lose the lead. That’s a Chris Ragle decision. He wanted a show. Well, he got a show.”
For his part, Berry accepted blame for what happened to Riggs but reserved his animosity for Cornett-Ching.
“I got into Layne,” Berry said. “I didn’t mean to. We were just racing hard. It was time to race here at the end and I got into him, he spun, we got it straight. We were all good and someone who shouldn’t have even been out there spun out on her own and collected us. I hate it. In the end, it was my fault. I started all of it. We’ve got a torn up car but we’ll fix it and be back next time.”
As McCarty said, it wasn’t easy as it looked since he got shuffled from second to sixth on a Lap 65 restart. He picked off Brandon Pierce on Lap 71. He passed championship rival Lee Pulliam for third on Lap 74. And then came the decisive crash in front of him.
“There’s always a concern that you’re going to use it up in that situation,” McCarty said. “I was in a race eight years ago, I was running fourth, pushing third. We caught second and second caught first. They got into it and we picked one off and they did it again in the next corner and we took the lead.
“So we don’t give up. You always stay positive. We didn’t have the car, but we’ll take it however we can get it.”
Of note, 2016 CARS champion Deac McCaskill DNF’d with an engine failure on Lap 57.
The complete results can be found below.
- Bobby McCarty
- Layne Riggs
- Brandon Pierce
- Tommy Lemons
- Ty Gibbs
- Lee Pulliam
- Bradley McCaskill
- Ronald Hill
- Josh Berry
- Sarah Cornett-Ching
- Deac McCaskill
- Craig Moore
- Cody Haskins
- Sam Mayer
- Trevor Ward
- Charlie Watson