George Gorham, Jr. has enjoyed plenty of success during his racing career, but on Saturday night at Showtime Speedway, he claimed the biggest victory of them all. The Lakeland, Florida driver pulled away from hometown favorite Stephen Nasse to win the second leg of the Super Late Model Triple Crown, a victory worth a whopping $10,000.
Gorham pulled the number-one pill in the post-qualifying redraw and started the 100-lap race from the pole position. After setting fast time in qualifying, Nasse drew the number-two pill and lined up to Gorham’s outside.
Gorham showed the way at the front of the field for the first 65 laps of the race until a caution bunched the field up with 35 laps to go. Nasse took advantage of the opportunity and powered to the lead from the outside groove on Lap 66. However, a quick caution one lap later would give Gorham a chance to reclaim the lead. And he capitalized.
With Nasse electing to restart from the outside, Gorham used the inside lane to reclaim the lead on Lap 70. From there, he never looked back on his way to capturing the checkered flag.
“Most definitely, man. Nasse is hard to beat wherever we go; he’s an amazing race car driver. I’m just glad to outrun him,” Gorham said on the Speed51.TV broadcast. “He got a better start on me and passed me and I was really nervous. He pinched me down and took the lead. There’s nothing I could do about that; that’s part of racing. I wasn’t going to be happy with second, but I was going to settle for second. The next restart he picked the outside and I was like, ‘Man, I’m glad he gave me the outside because that gives me the bottom.’ All I did was just try my best to keep up with him. He maybe spun his tires or whatever he did, but you can’t take anything away from Stephen Nasse.”
Gorham dedicated his victory to Rusty Crews, a race official that died in February during the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at New Smyrna Speedway. Gorham carried Crews’ name on the front windshield of his No. 03 Super Late Model on Saturday night.
“Put all of this aside, this damn race is for Rusty Crews. He lost his life at Speedweeks and this win is dedicated to him.”
For the third straight race at Showtime Speedway, Nasse finished second at the end of 100 laps. His runner-up finish on Saturday night followed similar results during the first round of the SLM Triple Crown and Florida Fest in January.
“A lot plays into a race and it’s definitely not easy,” Nasse said after the race. “George had a great car tonight and he’s a great driver. I did my best, I slipped up a little bit there on that restart. It’s tough out there, it got hot really quick and everyone was slipping and sliding. I was honestly afraid me and George may have burned our tires up a little bit pulling away from everybody like that. All in all, it was a good race. I hate to come up short for Jett Motorsports, but it’s not for a lack of effort.”
Nick Neri completed the podium on Saturday night and Jared Irvan finished fourth one week after winning at Citrus County Speedway. Steve Dorer, the winner of Florida Fest, completed the top five.
The third and final round of the Super Late Model Triple Crown at Showtime Speedway will take place next Saturday, March 6. That race will be broadcast live on Speed51.TV.
-Story by: Brandon Paul, Speed51 Director of Content – Twitter: @Brandon_Paul51
-Photo credit: Speed51 / Allick Jorgensen
Super Late Model Triple Crown #2 Unofficial Results
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