Matt Long kicked off the 2019 FASTRAK Racing Series season in dominant fashion, taking the 38 Special at Toccoa Raceway (GA) and paying tribute to his father in the process.
'Hillbilly Deluxe' led the lion’s share of the 38-lap feature at the “Fastest 1,650 Feet of Dirt in Georgia,” moving to the lead from his second-place starting spot after a heat race win.
“First off, I’ve got to say I love this place,” said Long. “The way it races, I love the fans, a lot of energy. I love coming here.”
Long was also happy to take his throwback design honoring his father to victory lane in its first appearance.
I couldn’t be happier,” said Long. “To run this paint scheme this year, honor my family and all the racing we did when I was younger. This is a great night.
"Those guys race good. The 4 car [of Matthew Nance], Jensen [Ford], they race clean, they race good. When we rub it’s just racing. I know we led every lap, but it had to be a pretty good show behind me. I’m not in race-shape yet, I’m huffing and puffing.”
Payton Freeman finished second, taking the runner-up spot from 2018 FASTRAK Racing Series champion Matthew Nance on restart with 10 laps to go after Nicholas Dietz had stalled on the racetrack.
Nance opted for the outside line on the restart to take a shot at Long for the win. However, this opened the door for Freeman, who capitalized on his shot in the lower line to move into second.
“The top wasn’t really there at the start, but we kept trying to clean it off,” said Freeman. “That last restart, I decided to try something different, I wish I had gone there sooner.”
“We could have run second easily if we had just chosen the inside,” said Nance about the late-race decision. “It’s hard on that choice to leave the outside open, because you can’t ever tell. We had to take the outside and take our chances.”
2018 FASTRAK East Coast Rumble winner Carson Ferguson finished fourth, while Drew Collins rounded out the top five.
Race fans who missed Saturday’s FASTRAK season opener can relive the action on Speed51 with our on-demand of our live broadcast from Toccoa Raceway. Click here to watch the replay of the race, available to Speed51 Network Premium Members.
Fans can also click here to see our Race Day Now updates from Toccoa Raceway, as well as the ULTIMATE Southeast Super Late Model Series event at Friendship Motor Speedway. Stay tuned to Speed51 for highlights from Saturday’s feature races from both events.
The FASTRAK Racing Series returns to action April 20 for their $3,000-to-win feature at the “King of the Commonwealth.” That event will also include the ULTIMATE Southeast Super Late Model Series competing for a $20,000 payday.
Unofficial Results - FASTRAK Racing Series
Toccoa Raceway - Toccoa, Georgia
-Story by Zach Evans, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51.com photo