SALISBURY, N.C. – Tom Hubert converted a lap-six pass of Brent Crews into his first Millbridge Speedway victory of the year on Wednesday night at the sixth-mile dirt oval.
Trevor Cline (Intermediate), Ryan Zima (Box Stock) and Colt Johnson (Beginner Box Stock) also took down feature wins in their respective divisions during the track’s third week of competition. The track has had 12 different winners in the first 12 races of the season.
Hubert, who started on the pole, lost out to Crews on the initial start of the race but was able to stay with Crews’ No. 11x thanks to a sequence of three early caution flags that bunched the field back up.
Following a restart with three laps complete, Hubert stalked Crews for a half-mile before making his move in the first and second corners on lap six, using a textbook slider to wrest the top spot away.
Once Hubert was out in front, he never looked back, despite a pair of yellows inside the final three laps which erased a 1.3-second lead for the Mike’s Body Shop No. 30 kart.
Undeterred, Hubert gapped Nick O’Dell on a green-white-checkered finish to win by 1.144 seconds.
Despite the victory for Hubert, he was apologetic in victory lane, after contact between he and Carson Kvapil while racing for second in turns three and four resulted in Kvapil spinning out and triggering a multi-car incident.
“We’ve been working on this thing pretty hard, getting it better and better, but I want to apologize for getting into (Carson) Kvapil there,” said Hubert in victory lane. “I know they’re mad, but it was my fault. I didn’t mean to dispense him; it just got in there and took off on me.
“I’m glad we have a win on the board now, but I hate that happened the way it did.”
Behind Hubert and O’Dell, Max McLaughlin rallied from two spins in the first six laps to complete the podium. Crews faded to fourth in the closing laps and Gray Leadbetter finished fifth.
Cline picked up his first victory in the Intermediate class and his first Millbridge checkered flag of any kind since 2017 when he wired the 20-lap main event from the outside pole.
The driver of the Haas Automation No. 55 got the measure of polesitter Laci Ferno on the third attempt at the initial start, after a jumped green and a three-kart crash in turn two, and led the entire distance.
Cline had to sweat out a restart with three laps left, however, before he could celebrate, after a skirmish between Ferno, Ethan Burdett and Landon Rapp in turns three and four drew the final yellow flag.
After the race, the young driver breathed a big sigh of relief, thankful to be back in victory lane at last.
“It’s been a while,” Cline smiled. “After a year in this kart … it feels good to be standing here. It’s taken a while for me to figure out how to drive one of these things, but it was sure fast tonight.”
Despite a broken side panel on his top wing, Matt Francis came home second ahead of Sam Corry, Kennedy Elledge and Eli Adams.
Zima topped the Box Stock class in the closest finish in track history, edging out Tyler Conover at the finish line by less than a thousandth of a second for the victory in the 20-lap main event.
The photo finish came across electronic timing and scoring as a dead heat, with the official margin of victory as .000 of a second.
“I honestly didn’t know I had won,” Zima said. “It was so close. This is still a shock.”
Landon Totherow finished third ahead of Aiden Price and Coen McDaniel.
Colt Currie and Landon Sartain were running first and second coming through the final two corners, but Sartain got into Currie on the exit of the corner and both karts crashed, opening the door for Zima.
Sartain was credited with 14th, while Currie ended up 15th in the final rundown.
One week after winning the Beginner Box Stock B-Feature, Johnson made his way into “big victory lane” for the first time with a wire-to-wire win from the pole in the class’ 15-lap A-Feature.
Week two winner Caleb Scarborough charged from the last row of the grid to finish second, with Jaxon Merrifield, Aiden Garcia and Max Reaves completing the top five.
Brody Snyder passed Brayden Montieth with two to go to win the 12-lap Beginner Box Stock B-Feature.
To view complete race results, advance to the next page.