PELETIER, NC – William Sawalich was dominant on Saturday evening, picking up his first career Pro Late Model Series victory in the Carolina Pro Late Model Series race at Carteret County Speedway.
After falling to fourth in the opening lap, a result of being stuck on the outside line at the start of the race, it took Swalich just 35 laps to close in and make the pass on Josh Lowder for the lead. That pass would end up being for the win as the race went largely without incident until the closing laps when Nick Loden and Sarah Cornett-Ching tangled.
“It means so much to win and I can’t thank my team enough for all the hard work they do,” Sawalich said in victory lane. “Thanks to CPLMS for putting this show on. It was a blast. I’m so excited. We’re going to party all night.”
Lowder settled for a runner-up finish after leading laps early in the race.
“This is a brand new car we got, this is our third race on it,” Lowder said. “We’re still figuring it out, getting better every weekend with it. It was good. We were good, Sawalich was real good. Congratulations to that team. I know they’ve earned it. They’ve been working hard for it.”
Leland Honeyman, who was the fastest qualifier, raced his way up to third after starting a little farther back in the field after an invert. Mike Speeney and Tovia Grynewicz rounded out the top-five.
Kevin Orlando ended up taking the win in the Carolina Crate Modified Series feature, taking the lead from Jeremy Gerstner just nine laps into the race. The win was Orlando’s third of the season on the tour.
“We struggled all day yesterday trying to get the car exactly where I wanted it,” Orlando said. “These guys nailed it today. The car couldn’t have been any better. It was a lot of fun. I love racing with Jeremy and these guys. They race hard. I didn’t think we were going to have it but we ended up with it. I can’t thank these guys enough.”
Orlando said after the race he would probably end up running the SMART Modified Tour race at Carteret County Speedway in September – something runner-up Jeremy Gerstner plans to do as well.
“We were just way too tight,” Gerstner said. “I knew Kevin Orlando, he’s a hell of a driver, and he gets up on the wheel and I knew I was going to be looser. These cars have less horsepower than the tour car we’ll run later this year. You’re going to see a hell of a show later this year.”
Rob Schultz was able to race his way to third after making a pass up the outside line on Cody Norman in the closing laps.
“This place has an outside,” Schultz said. “I’ve said it all day. It was a lot of fun.”
Dean Lowder settled for fourth while Cody Norman finished fifth.
The next race for the Carolina Pro Late Model Series and Carolina Crate Modified Series will take place at Franklin County Speedway on July 10th.
Other winners: Mike Cooper (Street Stock), Shane Irving (Legends), Steve Sullivan (U-CAR), Ricky Heigl, Sr. (Bomber), and Adam Mattice (Jr. Mini Cup).
CAROLINA PRO LATE MODEL SERIES
- William Sawalich
- Josh Lowder
- Leland Honeyman
- Mike Speeney
- Tovia Grynewicz
- Nick Loden
- Josh Van Winkle
- Penn Crim
- Sarah Cornett-Ching
- Jerick Johnson
- Jake Courage
- J. Tamayo
- Michael Gaier
CAROLINA CRATE MODIFIED SERIES
- Kevin Orlando
- Jeremy Gerstner
- Rob Schultz
- Dean Lowder
- Cody Norman
- Dan Speeney
- Richard Kilmarchuk