SALISBURY, N.C. – Chase Majdic didn’t go into Tuesday night’s Cookout Showdown at Millbridge Speedway thinking he would end up in victory lane, but he came away $1,000 richer thanks to a last-lap pass.
Majdic drove around race-long leader Caden Kvapil coming off turn two on the final circuit of the 25-lap Open division main event, charging home to the checkered flag in a photo finish with NASCAR star Kyle Larson as the younger Kvapil spun in turn three behind them.
Tuesday’s victory was the first of Majdic’s career at the one-sixth mile dirt oval.
“I could tell that he (Kvapil) was getting worn out. I was getting tired, too, so I was just trying to hang on,” Majdic said in victory lane. “He kind of bobbled down there; I don’t know exactly what happened. I just knew that was my shot, and we went for it.
“This feels really good,” added Majdic. “I hadn’t been in the car for a while, so to come out here and get a win with these guys feels amazing.”
The preliminary feature to the sixth-annual QRC Speed51 Open presented by HMS Motorsport was contested with special rules compared to a traditional weekly feature at Millbridge.
A competition caution with 10 laps to go saw all drivers outside the top 10 eliminated from competition, with Delaware double-file restarts and choose cone procedures utilized the rest of the way home.
Two early incidents set up a pair of restarts that allowed the frontrunners – Kvapil, Larson and Majdic – to figure out where they needed to be, and the second time around, Majdic’s choice of the bottom lane proved to be the move that ultimately paid off after he was able to pass Larson for second.
“I didn’t know what these restarts were. It was my first time ever doing it,” Majdic noted. “The first time, I chose the wrong line. I knew if we could get on that second row we’d have a chance. I just needed another restart to get a shot at it and we got it. I just had to be patient and pounce after that.”
Larson came through the dust to finish second by a bumper after avoiding the younger Kvapil on the final lap.
He actually passed Kvapil for the race lead twice – on laps 12 and 16 – but both times, the caution flag waved and negated the move, relegating Larson back to second and eventually into Majdic’s clutches late in the race.
“I felt really good in that feature. I just didn’t do a good job on restarts,” noted Larson. “I’d spin my tires and eventually it allowed Chase to get to my inside, and that was kind of the race after that. It was fun throwing sliders and racing like that, though. The track was really good and I thought it cleaned off well … so hopefully it’s like that tomorrow and we can put on another good show.”
Nick Hoffman completed the podium, followed by Californians Max Mittry and Chase Johnson.
Kvapil was relegated to ninth after his spin, as he stalled in turn four and didn’t take the checkered flag.
“I saw him (Majdic) peek the nose under me, so I knew he was going to try and throw a big slider,” explained Kvapil, who led the first 24 laps from the pole. “I just drove it real deep, but ended up getting loose and he took advantage of it.
“When I tried to get back to him, I just hooked his nerf bar and spun out. It’s a bummer.”
Tom Hubert completed the top 10 in the finishing order.
To view complete race results, advance to the next page.