Dillon Bassett Masters Caraway

Dillon Bassett celebrates after winning Sunday's UARA-STARS Late Model Series feature at North Carolina's Caraway Speedway. (Drew Hierwarter Photo)
Dillon Bassett celebrates after winning Sunday’s UARA-STARS Late Model Series feature at North Carolina’s Caraway Speedway. (Drew Hierwarter Photo)

SOPHIA, N.C. – Dillon Bassett started in third position and dominated the UARA-STARS 150-lap event at Caraway Speedway on Sunday afternoon.

“Spark Plug” took the lead on lap three and never looked back, despite an incident late in the race, winning his first trophy of 2013. Point leader Garrett Campbell finished second with Joey Mucciacciaro third, Brandon Jones fourth, and Kaz Grala, who started last, rounded out the top five.

Travis Swaim claimed yet another Sunoco Pole in qualifying on Sunday afternoon, but the former track champion at Caraway quickly faded from the start of the event, eventually dropping out of the top five by the end of the day. The first car to pass Swaim was Dillon Bassett, who pulled away to a lead that no one was able to overcome, despite mid-race cautions that typically result in fierce battles for the top spot.

The 150-lap event ran green up until lap 48 when Dylan Hall spun while racing Kaz Grala for position. Hall pinched his car down in turn one, spun, and made no contact until he turned the car around to rejoin the field and caught the turn two wall. Hall eventually retired after 91 laps, finishing last in the final rundown, earning the ARBodies Hard Luck Award in the process.

Current Caraway Speedway weekly racing point leader Ryan Wilson experienced a mishap on lap 104 in turn two as well, bringing out the second caution of the afternoon and the only real challenge to Dillon Bassett’s lead. On the restart, Bassett’s older brother, Ronnie Jr., restarted alongside of him. Dillon didn’t get up to speed right away and it allowed Ronnie to pull slightly ahead entering turn one. The two drivers made contact and the No. 04 of Ronnie Bassett, Jr., spun into the outside wall, ending his chance at victory and putting him out of the race on lap 109. The move on the restart, despite the outcome, earned Ronnie Jr. the Pigwire Electrifying Move of the Race Award.

“I missed a shift on the restart and it allowed him to get up beside me, and I think he thought he was clear,” said Dillon Bassett of the incident immediately after the race. “But it was for the lead, so we both were going hard. We don’t race each other [dirty] like that, and really don’t race anyone like that. But, like I said, it was for the top spot, we both went for it, and it ended up in a wreck.”

The field resumed green flag racing after the cleanup on lap 118 and no one had anything for Dillon Bassett. Bassett stretched his lead over Garrett Campbell to nearly two seconds and held it until the checkered flag to pick up his first win of the season and the third of his career. He is the fourth different winner in the last four UARA-STARS races.