OCALA, Fla. – The Crate Late Models opened their season up with a non-points race at Bubba Raceway Park Saturday evening.
Sanctioned by the NeSmith Weekly Racing Series, the crate late models put on an impressive feature. Carter Stokes, the outside pole sitter, led the first three laps before spinning on his own after Tyler Clem brought out a caution moments earlier.
Shan Smith inherited the lead but lost it as Jeff Mathews took the inside line straight to the front. After a restart for a Billy Holmes spin it was Mathews who made the mistake and let Bryan Bernhardt have the inside line and Bernhardt made the most of it as he led lap six.
Mathews took it back on lap seven but slipped up and gave it right back to Bernhardt on lap eight.
On lap 10 Mathews spun and Kenny Monohan made contact with him in turn four. Mathews made himself work and used the rebound trail to finish second in the feature because no one could catch Bryan Bernhardt. Bernhardt’s win meant that we had yet another first-time winner and a first-time points leader.
Mathews fought back to second with Kenny Monohan a strong third. Tyler Clem was an impressive fourth and Carter Stokes finished fifth.
Other feature winners at BRP Saturday included Hunter Gustafson (hobby stocks), Shane Nichols (e-mods) and Jerry Taylor (gladiators).