Short track racing is about outdoing a lot of people at a lot of things. Out racing your fellow competitor, out thinking your fellow competitor and sometimes, outlasting your competitor’s fuel tank. That was the story of the Southeast Limited Late Model Series finale at Myrtle Beach Speedway (SC). 42 cars tried to tame the flat half-mile track only to see an epic battle come down to a few drops of fuel.
When the 100-lap race ended with a caution and checkered flag finish on Saturday night, Dylan Hall was the winner for the second consecutive year at Myrtle Beach.
“I don’t know where to start,” said Hall. “It was a crazy night and it was so hard to get green flag laps in there at the end. I think we were pretty close on fuel. We started saving about lap 70 to make sure we got to the end.”
Hall almost went unchallenged on the final green-white-checkered finish that saw him pull away for the win. His nearest competitor, Terry Evans, was in the pits after being black-flagged for fueling on the track under red on lap 97.
“Basically we got black flagged for trying to add fuel on a hot race track,” said a dejected Evans after speaking with officials. “We didn’t start racing yesterday. We were told we could add fuel. We went out and attempted and we got black-flagged.
“One minute we were counting cautions and then we weren’t. I pulled down to talk to the official and said we ether need to add fuel to all cars or throw the checkered flag now. He turned around and pointed to one of my crew guys who was already told he could come out.”
A somewhat heated discussion took place after the race with crew members and series officials. The Evans team filed a protest in which official results were not released at the track.
The event was slowed by 21 cautions flags prior to the one on the final lap which led to some drivers stretching their fuel to the limit. Caution laps were counted starting on lap 76 until 95 as the last five laps of the race had to be run under green.
For the leader, the red flag with three laps to go was the breaking point when a crew member went to the track to fuel the car.
After officials stopped the Evans team, the entire pit road was filled with crews looking to do the same. However, only Evans car took gas and he was therefore black flagged.
“It’s very frustrating,” said Evans. I don’t do this for a living. I am out there racing kids who do it for a living. All of this stinks as we only have friends and family working on this thing. ”
“It’s a shame we couldn’t finish the race we had going,” added Hall. “We were really having a good race there. It was clean other than one time I got into him a little bit in the first turn.”
Lost in all the craziness was Mack Little who set fast time earlier in the day and looked to be a contender for the win. He got turned around in the middle of the pack and was able to recover to win the Southeast Limited Late Model Championship.
“The car hopped the whole race after we bent the left rear shock,” said Little in victory lane. “We worked hard and I can’t thank my guys enough to salvage a top 10 finish and to be able to win this championship.”
Little’s season might not be over as he’ll look to run some independent shows over the next few weeks.
For an on-demand recap of tonight’s Trackside Now coverage, click here: http://speed51.com/trackside-now-myrtle-beach-400-limiteds-and-trucks/
Myrtle Beach 400 Quick Notes
– 49 Cars Took time for the Southeast Limited Late Model race on Saturday
– James Weatherford posted a fourth-place finish to go along with his third last year
– Cole Glasson won the 100-lap Super Truck race to go along with his 50-lap Challenger win on Friday
– The 400 continues next week with the Late Model Stocks and KOMA Modifieds.
-By Elgin Traylor, Speed51.com Contributor – Twitter: @ElginTraylor
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com