Tommy Lemons, Jr. rocketed past Chad McCumbee to take the lead on a restart with nine laps to go and checked out to score his first career CARS Tour victory in Saturday night’s Leftturns and Sunburns 200 at Greenville-Pickens Speedway.
Lemons made the race winning move by passing McCumbee on the outside lane – a move the veteran racer and two time Martinsville 300 winner has made many times in his career.
“Just wanted it,” Lemons said of his race winning move in victory lane. “We gave one away at Tri-County a few weeks ago. Just felt like we had to go get it today.”
Lemons, who entered the race third in CARS Late Model Stock Tour points, gained ground on both points leader Deac McCaskill, who finished sixth, and Josh Berry, who finished fourth. Despite now being in contention for the championship, Lemons’ outlook hasn’t changed. He wants to win races.
“It doesn’t really change what we come to the racetrack for,” Lemons remarked. “We come for the trophies. As long as we get those, we’ll contend for the championship.”
Runner-up finisher Chad McCumbee led much of the race, taking the lead from pole sitter Deac McCaskill on lap 29 before Lemons got by him. Despite his dominance, McCumbee knew he could be in trouble if Lemons had a shot at him.
“He did what he was supposed to do,” McCumbee explained. “He timed it just perfect and I knew that, if he could get just close enough to me to make me race, I knew I was in trouble because we were really free. Out front, I could manage it and run my own pace and I thought we were in good shape out front. Hanging on there at the end, I knew I didn’t have enough to keep up.”
Despite coming up short, McCumbee was proud of the performance and satisfied with being able to lead laps and run with the CARS Tour regulars.
Greenville-Pickens Speedway regular Dylan Hall finished in third while Josh Berry and Chase Purdy rounded out the top-five.
Purdy rebounded from a late race tire problem to race his way back into the top-five.
Tempers flared late in the race when Will Burns tossed his HANS device at Justin Crider after the lap 91 incident that set up the nine lap dash. Craig Stallard, Lemons’ teammate, also had a strong run cut short when he was taken out in a lap 78 incident with Christian Eckes.
The race at Greenville-Pickens Speedway was the first race at the famed half-mile track for the CARS Tour.
Short Track Scene’s Matt Weaver contributed to this report.
- Tommy Lemons, Jr.
- Chad McCumbee
- Dylan Hall
- Josh Berry
- Chase Purdy
- Deac McCaskill
- Austin McDaniel
- Jeremy Burns
- Colby Howard
- Christian Eckes
- Chris Davis
- Stefan Parsons
- Justin Crider
- Thomas Beane
- Chris Hudspeth
- Ronald Hill
- Will Burns
- Craig Stallard
- Justin Carroll
- Robert Tyler