SOPHIA, NC -- Matt Craig edged out rookie Tanner Thorson Friday night to score his third Pro All Stars Series (PASS) South Super Late Model win of the season in the Caraway 125. Craig’s second straight PASS South win at Caraway Speedway lengthens his point lead as he seeks to become the first driver to ever win back-to-back titles in the series’ 12 year history.
“We had to run hard the whole race, Tate [Fogleman] was really good, the 55 [Thorson] was really good, but none of these races are ever easy to win,” said Craig, driving the family-owned C&C Boilers Chevrolet #54. “I can’t thank the guys enough for all the time they take to work on these cars, taking time off from work and family to be here at the track every weekend. I don’t know how far that horseshoe is up in my butt right now, but I like it.”
In qualifying, Thorson just beat out Fogleman by three, one thousandths of a second for his first quick qualifying time in PASS with a lap of 16.620 seconds (98.556 MPH). After the top 10 qualifiers redraw, Thorson and the other fast qualifiers would move to the bottom half of the top 10 on the grid, while 2014 PASS South champion, Tyler Church, and rookie Roy Hayes would move to the front row for the start.
At the drop of the green flag, Church would move to the point, while Craig, Thorson, and Fogleman diced their way up through the field. Meanwhile, Kodie Conner was dropping back, falling to the rear of the field by lap seven. Church would continue to lead over Craig and Jordan McCallum until the caution waved for the first time for a spin by Jimmy Doyle in turn one on lap 33.
On the restart, Craig was able to get the advantage over Church heading down the back straightaway to take the lead. Fogleman and Thorson quickly followed suit as the trio tried to separate themselves from the rest of the field. By lap 74, Church had fallen back to fifth and was trying to hold off Hayes to stay in the top five. Hayes made contact with Church in turn two to move by and take the position. But, the two would again make contact entering turn three with Hayes going around to bring out the second caution of the night.
Back under green, Craig continued to lead, but was being closely pursued by Fogleman and Thorson. On several occasions the two would get close to Craig, but not quite enough to challenge for the lead. Fogleman’s bid for the win would end five laps shy of the finish due to a motor problem while running second.
On the final restart, Craig took the advantage, but Thorson would apply heavy pressure, along with Conner who had rebounded to third. Despite some contact over the final laps, Craig held on to take the win over Thorson, Conner, Dave Farrington, Jr., and Jody Measamer. Rounding out the top ten were Church, Sarah Cornett-Ching, JP Josiasse, Hayes, and Fogleman.
The PASS South Super Late Models will be in action again for a big Memorial Day weekend kickoff at Concord Speedway on Friday night, May 26. Entry forms are currently available at ProAllStarsSeries.com. Be sure to “Like” the Pro All Stars Series on Facebook or follow us on Twitter at @PASSSLM14.
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-Pro All Stars Series Press Release
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com