Heady Holds Off Labonte In Florence Modified Scrap

0
812
Caleb Heady in victory lane Saturday at Florence Motor Speedway.
Caleb Heady in victory lane Saturday at Florence Motor Speedway.

TIMMONSVILLE, S.C. – Sixteen-year-old Caleb Heady held off a late-race charge by NASCAR Hall Of Famer Bobby Labonte to score his first SMART Modified Tour victory Saturday afternoon at Florence Motor Speedway.

Heady was the quick qualifier with a lap of 85.684 mph, but would start seventh after the series redraw. Jeremy Gerstner and Jason Myers moved to the front row with Gerstner taking the lead at the drop of the green flag. By lap 27, Heady had picked his way through the field to take the lead. The first caution of the afternoon waved on lap 42 for a spin by Dennis Holdren in turn four.

Heady and most of the leaders elected to make pit stops at this time, while Gary Putnam and Burt Myers opted to stay out.  Myers took the lead from Putnam on lap 53, but Heady moved back by Myers for the lead three laps later.  After a caution with 12 laps to go for a spin by John Smith in turn four, Myers and Putnam would make their pit stops.  On the ensuing restart, Brody Jones made hard contact with the outside wall as Myers was making his way back through the field.

In the final laps, Heady continued to lead but his advantage was steadily being chopped down by Labonte.  At the finish, Heady took the checkered flag just a car length ahead of Labonte, followed by Brian Loftin, Putnam, and Myers.

Matt Cox outlasted polesitter Zack Miracle to claim his second straight NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series Late Model Stock win. Rounding out the top-five were Ryan Millington, Janson Marchbanks and Casey Kelley.

Shae Lane bested polesitter Archie Adams Jr. to take the win in the 40-lap main event for the Chargers. Veteran Strom Altman bypassed polesitter Cody Kelley on lap 13 and led the rest of the way to claim his second SuperTruck win of the year.  After a couple of near-misses, A.J. Sanders led every lap for the Mini Stock win.

The finish: