Carson Hocevar cut a right front tire with just 18 to go after having dominated the Super Late Model portion of the Lucas Oil Show Me State Showdown. While it appeared that the Michigan driver’s chances of winning were over, he had other plans.
The 17-year-old blasted his way back through the field in the final race run, passing Stephen Nasse on the final lap to complete the comeback and win his first-career ARCA/CRA Super Series race at Lebanon I-44 Speedway (MO), climbing out of his car to a roaring crowd for his efforts.
After finding himself with an opportunity to steal the win in the final laps, he was not going to be denied.
“It’s not the way I wanted to do it, I wanted to stink up the show and drive away like we were doing,” Hocevar told Speed51. “I did a boneheaded move off of two, I just misjudged it getting back in line and got into Davidson and had a feeling we cut a right front because it was bottoming out more and more but I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to jinx it.
“I owe it to these guys to fix mistakes and try to rebound. My spotter and crew chief were saying we hope for a top-five and an opportunity presented itself with two to go. I was sure as hell not going to let that get away.”
Hocevar hadn’t processed his charge through the field until after taking the checkered flag. Normally not known for his vast celebrations after race wins, Saturday night was an exception.
“I didn’t even process anything until I crossed the start-finish line. I was too pumped up; I was laser focused on hitting my marks and I knew every second counted. First-ever burnout, I was going to ask but I didn’t want to, it’s a new car. I sure think we put on a show there and I definitely felt like I deserved that one.”
It was Hocevar’s first win since a JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour race at Auto City Speedway in 2018. In a time period that saw Hocevar struggle at times in Late Model competition, Saturday night’s win came with extra meaning.
“This win does everything. I was really down on myself, the lowest point in my career, as short as it’s been, was last year. I’d never gone winless in my life and to be able to do the first time out in this Super, I’m so glad I can make up for my mistake and end up in victory lane.”
Nasse was the recipient of good fortune after Hocevar’s cut tire, taking the lead with less than 20 to go. He fended off challenges from Kyle Crump and Travis Braden during the run to the checkered. Hocevar was ultimately too much for Nasse to keep at bay, crossing under the checkered flag in second.
“It was good, hard racing you know. I definitely got used up there by the No. 14 but it’s expected in short track racing,” Nasse said of the final laps. “He had a fast car, I do believe he had a better car at the end of the race. He was just able to get a new right front, a new right front means so much at this track and it was shown by how he came back through the field. Good job to them, we just came up short once again.”
Crump, Braden, and Michigan racer Michael Simko rounded out the top five.
Click here to watch a replay of the Lucas Oil Show Me State Showdown from Lebanon I-44 Speedway on Speed51.
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51 National Correspondent – Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo credit: Speed51 Photo
ARCA/CRA Super Series Show Me State Showdown Results:
- Carson Hocevar
- Stephen Nasse
- Kyle Crump
- Travis Braden
- Michael Simko
- Chris Davidson
- Josh Brock
- Hunter Jack
- Boris Jurkovic
- Sammy Smith
- Cody Dempster
- John DeAngelis Jr
- Logan Runyon
- Mike Wallace
- Mark Neff
- Jack Dossey III
- Jaren Crabtree
- Bubba Pollard
- Jake Garcia
- Greg Van Alst
- Augie Grill
- Cody Coughlin
- Austin Kunert
- Michael House
- Brian Campbell