Saturday night’s CARS Late Model Stock Tour race at Orange County Speedway came down to the wire in a thrilling battle between the two series points leaders. When the checkered flag waved, it was Tommy Lemons, Jr. back in victory lane.
Lemons passed Stefan Parsons to take the lead on lap 59 and led the final 41 laps in the 100 lap race. McCaskill, who entered the race as the points leader, closed up to the rear bumper of Lemons with two laps to go but Lemons was able to hold him off to score the victory.
“I knew, once I got to the lead, I had to get away as much as I could,” Lemons said. “My car was a little bit too loose. I felt like, the longer we ran, the worse it would get and it felt like Deac would get back to us and he did. All year long, it felt like we ran 100 qualifying laps around this place. This place beats on you pretty good.
“We worked our butts off yesterday, just never really were happy with it. Made some adjustments overnight. It was the right way to go. Just needed to be a little better.”
Lemons will now set his sights to Concord Speedway on August 27th as he continues to chase Deac McCaskill in the championship.
“You can’t ever let your guard down when you come to these events,” Lemons remarked. “We’ll work just as hard going into Concord.”
The win is a boost for Lemons. With Josh Berry not running in the event because he was racing in a NASCAR XFINITY Series race in Iowa, the championship is now down to Lemons and McCaskill.
Concord is next up on the schedule, a track that both drivers ran well at last year. Following Concord, the series makes it second of two visits to Southern National Motorsports Park where both drivers have won championships.
Christian Eckes finished third in Saturday night’s race while Orange County Speedway regulars Layne Riggs and Craig Moore finished fourth and fifth respectively.
The most exciting moment of the race, other than the thrilling finish, came on lap 42 when Ryan Wilson spun and crashed after contact with Chase Purdy. Following the incident, Wilson walked up to Purdy’s car as Purdy drove by him under caution, pulled the window net down and punched Purdy four times.
- Tommy Lemons, Jr.
- Deac McCaskill
- Christian Eckes
- Layne Riggs
- Craig Moore
- Austin McDaniel
- Chase Purdy
- Scott Bishop
- Chris Davis
- Chris Hudspeth
- Thomas Beane
- Ronald Hill
- R.D. Smith
- Justin Crider
- Stefan Parsons
- Ryan Wilson
- Craig Stallard
- Chris Denny