KENLY, N.C. – Defending Pro All Stars Series South super late model champion Matt Craig took the lead from Spencer Davis on lap 16 and never looked back en route to victory in the Dogwood 150 Saturday afternoon at Southern National Motorsports Park.
Following his win, Craig laid down a challenge amidst a furious chassis builder battle going on in the South’s oldest super late model
“This was just an awesome car and I can’t thank my crew enough for all the hard work they put in to it,” said Craig. “Everybody thinks the Furys are the best, but they just got waxed by a brand new Hamke. We struggled a bit at Dillon, but we’ve got it figured out. He [Trevor Noles] got us on a restart, but I laid the hammer down off two and cruised from there.”
In qualifying, Craig just missed out on the track record to claim his first career PASS quick qualifying time with a speed of 97.853 mph. Following the top 10 qualifiers redraw, Craig would start third, while Davis and Tanner Thorson moved to the front row.
Davis jumped to the lead over Craig when the green flag waved while Thorson and Noles struggled in the outside groove. The car on the move in the early going was the PASS South points leader, Bradley McCaskill. After starting 10th, McCaskill moved by Jeff Batten for fifth just five laps into the race. On lap 16 Craig was able to make the move on a faltering Davis for the lead. By lap 34, Davis would pull into the pits with distributor problems, losing many laps in the process.
The first caution flag of the race would not wave until lap 97 when Dave Farrington Jr. appeared to drop fluid on the track causing Batten and Preston Peltier to spin in turn one. Just five laps later, Batten’s day would come to an end after serious contact with J.P. Josiasse sent both cars hard into the outside wall in turn one.
During the restart Noles would take the lead from Craig entering turn one, but before the lap was complete, Craig had retaken the lead down the back straightaway. At this pointa furious battle was taking place between McCaskill, Thorson and Sarah Cornett-Ching for fifth. Cornett-Ching made an aggressive move around both drivers with 17 laps to go to take fifth. McCaskill would spin from contention seven laps later.
Craig led the rest of the way to take the win over Peltier, Noles, Tate Fogleman, and Thorson. With her sixth place finish, Cornett-Ching equals Tayla Orleans and Kenzie Ruston as the highest finishing female driver in PASS history.
Lee Pulliam survived a furious race, taking the lead when Tommy Lemons Jr. was sidelined with a mechanical problem late in the going, to take the win in the 150 lapper for the NASCAR Late Model Stocks. Mason Diaz finished second, over Justin Johnson, Tyler Hughes, and Rusty Daniels.
Matt Craig, Preston Peltier, Trevor Noles, Tate Fogleman, Tanner Thorson, Sarah Cornett-Ching, Kodie Conner, Tyler Church, Eddie Fatscher, Bradley McCaskill, Roy Hayes Jr., John Batten, Dave Farrington Jr., J.P. Josiasse, Spencer Davis, Jeff Batten, Kyle Desouza.