GRAIN VALLEY, Mo. – Ace McCarthy would not be denied during Saturday’s POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League feature at Valley Speedway as he earned his first series victory.
Driving around his teammate Jake Neuman on the second circuit, McCarthy then fended off several attacks from young Holley Hollan as he held on for an impressive first triumph aboard the Jim Neuman Racing, Two-Eight Drilling, BOSS/SR-11 No. 28.
Sharing PAC Racing Springs High Point Men honors, the Jim Neuman Racing duo of Neuman and McCarthy brought the feature field to life as the green flag waved. Neuman, who won Friday’s feature, led the opening circuit aboard his Brandt, BOSS/SR-11 No. 3N by a nail-biting .008 of a second over McCarthy at the line.
Making his move on Neuman the next time by, McCarthy tossed a slider towards his teammate and received one right back at him in turn three. However, McCarthy was able to cross him up and dive down low to lead the second circuit and gain command of the top spot.
A pair of cautions bunched the field up and put a spotlight on Holley Hollan of Broken Arrow, Okla., as the 17-year old young woman maneuvered her Keith Kunz Motorsports No. 67 into the second spot from seventh. Restarting with eight laps down, Hollan snuck below McCarthy and made it a side-by-side affair at the stripe, but McCarthy’s momentum up top was too strong and he held on.
Coming by on lap 11, Hollan perfected the bottom side of turns three and four and was able to snag the lead as McCarthy’s No. 28 was reeled in by the cushion. However, her lead was short-lived, as the caution flew for a three-car pileup, reverting us back to the last completed lap and handing McCarthy control.
Going back to green on the final restart with 12 laps to go, McCarthy caught some breathing room as Hank Davis challenged Hollan for second and held her up. The two briefly exchanged positions before Hollan was able to regain command of the runner-up spot and reasserted her attention to tracking down McCarthy.
Switching to the low side of turns one and two, but remaining committed to the cushion on the opposite end, McCarthy was able to build his advantage in the closing stages as an all-out war for third between Davis, Andrew Felker, Zach Daum, Jake Neuman and Daison Pursley took center stage.
In the end, McCarthy was not to be denied, as the Tahlequah, Okla., native broke through to score his first POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League victory in the Thunder in the Valley finale at Valley Speedway.
Hollan followed him to the line with career-best finish. Felker rounded out the podium for the second night in a row. Daum and Davis completed the top-five.
1. 28-Ace McCarthy (2); 2. 67-Holley Hollan (9); 3. 44S-Andrew Felker (11); 4. 5D-Zach Daum (10); 5. 42-Hank Davis (4); 6. 32-Trey Marcham (5); 7. 3N-Jake Neuman (1); 8. 9-Daison Pursley (8); 9. 08-Cannon McIntosh (6); 10. 71-Jesse Colwell (12); 11. 7M-Chance Morton (14); 12. 3B-Shelby Bosie (21); 13. 7X-Blake Edwards (18); 14. 19S-Trey Gropp (19); 15. 2H-Luke Howard (16); 16. 17-Austin Brown (13); 17. 2-AJ Gilbert (23); 18. 3H-Wesley Smith (22); 19. 11-Daniel Robinson (15); 20. 77W-Joey Wirth (20); 21. 20G-Noah Gass (17); 22. 9X-Clinton Boyles (7); 23. 7U-Kyle Jones (3).