In racing, often times it’s just as important to be lucky as it is to be good. That proved to be true for Nelson Motorsports this past weekend, as the team was bitten by bad luck despite bringing fast race cars to the richest race in Late Model Stock Car history.
The team brought a full force to the $30,000-to-win Old North State Nationals at Orange County Speedway. With drivers such as former NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series champion Timothy Peters, 2018 CARS Tour Late Model Stock Car champion Bobby McCarty, and young gun Ty Gibbs coming out of the stable, competitors knew that they would be tough to beat.
Fortunately for the competition, Lady Luck was not on the team’s side throughout the day in Rougemont, North Carolina.
“We had a great car,” Gibbs said. “Just going into turn one, the right front went down and we hit the wall and it killed the car. I thought we had a good car to contend for the win even though we were coming from the back. I’m just bummed out because my guys put a really good car together, but that’s racing. We will go get them next time.”
Timothy Peters was the next one to encounter a problem. In fact, it was the same issue his youthful teammate experienced. A right front tire went down and Peters made hard contact with the outside wall in turn 1, forcing him to settle for a 16th-place finish at the end of 200 laps.
“The right front just went down,” Peters said. “We were struggling with balance throughout the race. We made a good call and came down to get tires after the halfway mark and adjusted on it. I knew we were going to have to get some track position before the next competition caution, so that was our strategy. At the end of the day, we will take it with a grain of salt. Thanks to Castrol, Auto’s by Nelson and BRCC for all their support.”
Defending CARS Tour champion Bobby McCarty was also on his way to the front of the field before contact on a jumbled restart created problems for him and resulted in a 13th-place finish.
“I feel like we had three pretty good cars,” McCarty said. “Once everybody got single-filed out, everybody was running the same lap times so I knew track position was going to be important. Timothy and I rode around in the back and just tried to play the game. We played a strategy and took tires a little after halfway. The competition caution came out and we were sitting pretty good in third and fourth. I thought we were going to be good, but on that restart it all got jumbled and we came out with some pretty heavy front-end damage. It started overheating and pushing really bad. It just went from a decent day to downhill really fast and it’s a bummer because the guys worked really hard. I guess you win some and you lose some.”
Race fans can find on-demand updates, photos and more from Sunday’s Old North State Nationals by visiting Speed51’s Race Day Now coverage.
-Story by: Madison Mabry, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent
-Photo credit: Speed51.com