Miller Leads INEX Legends Asphalt Nationals Champs

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2019 INEX Legends Asphalt Nationals champions (from left) William Cox, Auston Thompson, Zach Miller, Doug Stevens. (Andy Marquis Photo)
2019 INEX Legends Asphalt Nationals champions (from left) William Cox, Auston Thompson, Zach Miller, Doug Stevens. (Andy Marquis Photo)

PELETIER, N.C. – Zach Miller muscled his way past Carson Ferguson with five laps remaining to score the INEX Legends Asphalt Nationals Pro Legends championship at Carteret County Speedway on Saturday evening.

Ferguson had started on the pole and dominated the 35-lap Pro Legends feature.  However, Miller, who entered the Nationals with three regular-season wins at Carteret already this season, was able to get to his inside on a restart with five laps remaining and drove away from Ferguson to take the lead and the win.

“The restarts were crazy,” Miller said after the race.  “You’ve got everyone from 10th on forward just shoving you.  My rear end’s coming off the ground, spinning tires and everything.  The last one, the most important one, finally got a good launch, was able to get to him.  I know he’s going to be mad at me.  I love racing with Carson.  We raced hard a couple of times at the Shootout this year, but it’s the Nationals, got to go for it.”

Miller said the victory on Saturday was the biggest of his career.

“This tops everything in my whole racing career,” Miller remarked.  “Summer Shootout, quarter midgets, everything.  This is some of the best in the country right here and somehow we beat them all.”

Ferguson went on to finish second while Daniel Silvestri, Cody Hall, and Nick Ledson rounded out the top-five.

The Masters division saw a dominant performance from Doug Stevens, who led wire-to-wire to pick up that division’s Asphalt Legends championship.

“I’ve been doing this a long time, and this is actually the first National I’ve won,” Stevens said.  “I’ve led a lot of laps, came in second quite a few times, been taken out a lot of them.  This is pretty special to me to finally win one, even though it is the Masters class.”

Justin Austin finished second over Scott Moseley, Shaun Buffington, and Darrell Lee Stewart.

Austin Thompson scored the championship in the Semi-Pro portion of the Nationals after prevailing in an intense battle that lasted throughout much of the first half of the race.  Thompson was able to make the pass entering turn one with 18 laps to go.

“I’ve raced since I was five years old.  I’ve raced Super Late Models, Pro Late Models, Modifieds.  I’ve never wanted a win a race so bad in my life.  I’ve got a mom who’s got breast cancer and she couldn’t make it this weekend.  I work 60 hours a week and then come work on this thing by myself 40 hours a week.  I always wanted to win one of these.  I always push myself to go as hard as we can.”

Alder went on to finish second over DJ Canipe, Braden Rogers, and Ryan Demartini.

William Cox was victorious in the Young Lions division over Lucas Ruark and Landon Rapp.

“This is awesome,” Cox remarked.  “I started in June.  Came so far.  I can’t thank the Lord enough, my family, my friends, the team, all my sponsors, it’s been awesome.”

The four feature races followed three B-Main races, which were won by Gage Roberts (Pro), Daniel Carter (Semi-Pro), and Graham Campbell (Young Lions).

In all, more than 115 cars competed in races at the INEX Legends Asphalt Nationals on Saturday – the largest field on record at Bobby Watson’s Carteret County Speedway.  A total of 128 cars competed throughout the three-day event.