CONCORD, N.C. – The sons of two former NASCAR winners waged a torrid battle for supremacy Friday night at Concord Speedway, with Matt Wallace besting Harrison Burton to earn his first Pro All Stars Series South super late model victory in the Old Glory 125.
Wallace, the son of former NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race winner Mike Wallace, was able to fend off Burton after getting the lead during a restart with 23 laps left.
Burton, the son of former Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series star Jeff Burton, started the night on the right foot by setting a track record during qualifying for the 125-lap race with a 15.703-second lap around the half-mile asphalt tri-oval.
Following a redraw for the top-10 starting positions, Preston Peltier started the race from the pole with Lucas Jones lining up second with Wallace in third and Burton back in eighth. Peltier would lead the first 23 laps, but on lap 24 Wallace took over the lead for the first time.
The first caution of the night waved on lap 40 for the slow car of Wes Burton on the frontstretch. During the ensuing restart Jones was able to take the lead from Wallace, but Wallace got the lead back seven laps later.
Burton, meanwhile, was slowly working his way up through the pack from his eighth starting spot. On lap 68 he moved around Jones to move into second and began to chase down Wallace.
The chase was made easier on lap 75 when Peltier went for a lazy spin out of turn three onto the frontstretch, setting up a restart with Wallace ahead of Burton. Burton made quick work of Wallace during the restart as defending series champion Matt Craig moved up to second with Wallace back in third.
Wallace remained determined, moving back around Craig on lap 86 to regain second as Burton continued to lead. Burton’s lead was erased with 24 laps left when Corey Heim crashed in the backstretch dogleg. His car caught fire and the race was briefly red flagged while safety officials put out the fire. Heim was uninjured.
Burton would hold serve on the ensuing restart against Wallace, but the caution flag waved after just one lap for an incident involving Roy Hayes III. That set up another restart with Burton on the bottom and Wallace lining up alongside him on the top.
The second time was the charm for Wallace, who managed to get a better restart than Burton and pull clear of him after a lap to regain the lead. Burton stayed right with Wallace for the next 20 laps, even pulling alongside him a few times to try and regain the lead, but each time Wallace held him off and maintained his advantage.
Wallace managed to build a small lead with a few laps left, eventually getting to the finish line .225 of a second ahead of Burton to earn his first series victory.
“I just drove it down the topside there (on the restart) against Harrison Burton and it stuck,” Wallace said. “We got by him, got him freed up a little bit. We just raced side-by-side until one of us surpassed each other. We kind of battled back and forth and we came out on top today.
“Harrison Burton is one of the best short track racers in the world right now and them guys are on it. It’s crazy to beat them,” Wallace added.
Burton said PASS South rules required him to take the bottom on the last restart. He said had he started on the top he might have been able to hang onto the lead.
“Normally I get lane choice and I get the advantage of starting the restart first. Here we both go on the rag, the green flag. I just got beat on the restart,” Burton said. “Had I had the choice I would have picked the top. The bottom was just hard to get rolling, especially going up the hill out of (turn) one and into the dog leg.
“It was a fun race for sure, just disappointed.”
Ryan Moore, a former PASS South winner at Concord Speedway, finished third ahead of Jared Irvan and Jeff Fultz.
Brandon Ward won the companion 75-lap Southern Modified Racing Series event.
Matt Wallace, Harrison Burton, Ryan Moore, Jared Irvan, Jeff Fultz, Kodie Conner, Bronson Butcher, Lucas Jones, Dustin Dunn, Roy Hayes III, Gracie Trotter, Matt Craig, Joe Graf Jr., J.P. Josiasse, Corey Heim, Preston Peltier, Dan Speeney, Wes Burton.