It’s An Odum Family Photo Finish At Carteret

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Carmen Odum (17x) beats Morgan Odum to the finish line to win the Jr. Mini Cup feature at Bobby Watson's Carteret County Speedway Saturday night.
Carmen Odum (17x) beats Morgan Odum to the finish line to win the Jr. Mini Cup feature at Bobby Watson's Carteret County Speedway Saturday night.

PELETIER, N.C. – Summer Speedweeks at Bobby Watson’s Carteret County Speedway kicked off in spectacular fashion on Saturday night with a photo finish between siblings Carmen and Morgan Odum in the first feature of the Firecracker Clash presented by Solid Rock Carriers.

Carmen Odum, 13, started on the pole in the Jr. Mini Cup portion of Saturday night’s Firecracker Clash and led through the duration of the early laps. However, she was slowed up when trying to pass Steven Ferrell to put him a lap down, which allowed older sister Morgan Odum, 14, to slip by in the midway stage of the race.  Carmen came roaring back in the final laps, retaking the lead and holding Morgan off in one of the closest finishes in Carteret County Speedway history.

“I knew I was a little bit faster than her,” the younger Odum sister said in victory lane.  “That 13 car did slow me down.  I didn’t expect to go all the way up that high, but I did, and then I just went underneath of him.  It feels good to win again here.  It’s been so long and I’m so excited.  It was hard trying to get back around her because, I was trying, and I just got underneath of her.  My little extra speed helped.  I’m excited and glad to be back here in my home track.”

After the race, Morgan Odum said her car just was not quick enough to hold her younger sister off.

“I really wanted to win but I just know that she had the faster car,” the older Odum sister stated.  “She was going to get back around me whether I blocked her or not.  It was really fun, and I had a great car, but it just wasn’t fast enough.  I gave it my hardest and tried to beat her, but it wasn’t enough.”

Caleb Braswell finished in the third position while Scotty Benford and Alexis Steffan rounded out the top-five.

Dylan Newsome celebrated his 21st birthday in style, in victory lane after edging Travis Truett in a photo finish to close out the Firecracker Clash.

Newsome, who turned 21 on Friday, started in the second position but faded in the early laps of the Charger feature.  In the final laps, Newsome raced his way into contention.  When a late race caution set up a five lap dash to the finish, Newsome propelled himself up to second and battled with Travis Truett in the closing laps – making the move on the last lap and completing the pass for the win as the two came to the checkered flag.

“I slipped in turn one and door-slammed the crap out of him,” Newsome explained.  “I didn’t mean to.  We both came off turn two sliding and came off turn four sliding.  This is a great time.  It’s awesome being down here and going home with one piece.  This win means a whole lot.”

While Truett led the most laps in the race, he was ultimately forced to settle for a heartbreaking runner-up result.  Truett was disappointed in himself for allowing Newsome the opportunity to get by him on the final lap of the race.

“Can’t mess up on the last lap of the race,” Truett said.  “We worked hard all day.  We were junk when we got here, never been here before.  Got a late restart and it falls on my shoulder, I screwed up.  One to go, I got in too hard getting into turn one and he got under me.  Point the finger on me.  I’ve got to take the blame on that one.”

Chris Burns finished third while J.R. Goode and Jonny Szewezuk finished fourth and fifth respectively.

Brandon Clements dominated in the 75 lap Limited Late Model feature to pick up his second consecutive victory over T.J. Barron, Boo Boo Dalton, Tyler Horne, and Stacy Puryear.

Canadian driver Cory Hall led wire-to-wire in Legends to score the win over a frantic four-car battle for second which ultimately went to Jordan Lamothe.  Brian Sullivan finished third while Brenton Irving and Emily Day rounded out the top-five.

Justin Thompson picked up the win over his father, B.J. Thompson, in a photofinish in the Champ Kart feature.  Andrew Jackson picked up his third victory of the season in U-CAR competition over Steve Sullivan and Zac Reimer.  Travis Miller dominated in the Sportsman’s Wholesale Mini-Stock feature, prevailing over Kris Hetu and Stephen Sanders, while Justin Hall was victorious in the Mini Cup race over Chase Singletary and Charles Pudenz.