Chris Dilbeck rolled into Hickory Motor Speedway with less horsepower but he wasn’t short on willpower, winning the Super Late Model portion of the CARS Tour Cloer Construction 300 on Saturday night.
Dilbeck entered the race with his No. 9 Pro Late Model, replete with a 604 crate engine, but dominated the field anyway.
Dilbeck, the sales manager for PFC Brakes, was able to pass pole-sitter Brandon Setzer five laps into the race and held serve until a late caution with eight laps to go. At that point, Raphael Lessard nudged Dilbeck out of the way and Setzer followed him through the hole.
Setzer nudged around Lessard on the white flag lap, but the French-Canadian got back to him in Turns 3 and 4 and sent the second-generation racer around. CARS Tour officials penalized Lessard for aggressive driving and that placed Chandler Smith and Chris Dilbeck on the front row for a green-white-checkered restart.
Smith emerged with the lead coming out of Turn 2 bit Dilbeck shoved him out of the way on the white flag lap. Smith then pushed Dilbeck up the track to get side-by-side with him in Turns 3 and 4, but Dilbeck won the drag race to the checkered flag when Anthony Cataldi got Smith loose from behind.
“That’s the hardest 10 laps I have ever driven,” Dilbeck said in Victory Lane. “We had the best car. When I lost the lead, my guys calmed me down and told me it would come back to me and it did.
“Everyone up there wanted to fight for this win, so we fought.”
The first half of the race was largely uneventful, the leaders conserving their tires for the deciding moments of the race.
The race was decided by a pair of on-track incidents:
- With 10 laps to go, Jake Crum tagged Tate Fogleman in Turns 3 and 4 in apparent retribution for a series of previous incidents over the course of the race and season.
- With eight to go, Matthew Crag and Molly Helmuth were involved in a hard crash in Turns 3 and 4. Craig got out of the car and immediately threw his gear back into his car out of frustration. Setzer would then lead over Lessard.
That restart led to the late theatrics. Setzer charged through the pit area to confront Lessard but was intercepted by Kyle Busch Motorsports crew members, including crew chief Cody Glick. Sheriff deputies then pinned Setzer down and took him back to his own hauler. Short Track Scene reached out to both Lessard and Setzer for comment but neither have responded as of press time.
“AND THERE’S A FIGHT!” pic.twitter.com/Y0BTF3dZ8b
— Andy Marquis (@amarquis32) May 6, 2018
The complete results can be found below.
- Chris Dilbeck
- Chandler Smith
- Jared Fryar
- Anthony Cataldi
- Tate Fogleman
- Jeff Batten
- Tyler Church
- Corey Heim
- Taylor Stricklin
- Wayne Jefferson
- Brandon Setzer
- Raphael Lessard
- Blaise Rutherford
- Molly Helmuth
- Matt Craig
- Jake Crum
- Darrell Gilchrist
- Bradley Riethmeyer
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