Ross Bailes led all 40 laps of the Ronnie Brookshire Memorial ULTIMATE Super Late Model Series feature at Laurens County Speedway (SC). It did not come without tribulation.
Between a very quick Casey Roberts knocking on the doorstep and plenty of lapped traffic around the 3/8-mile “Darlington of Dirt,” Bailes had his hands full en route to a win in his home state.
“It’s never easy here when you have to deal with that lapped traffic,” Bailes told Speed51. “You get in lapped traffic in ten laps. It makes it difficult.”
Bailes had a close shave with disaster with 15 laps to go, as Will Harris spun in turn two directly in front of the leaders. Bailes narrowly avoided contact with Harris and maintained his lead.
“I dodged the right way,” Bailes said. “The first time I got in lapped traffic, it was pretty bad, I got underneath that car and he couldn’t get out of the way.”
Bailes also faced pressure throughout the race from one of the best drivers in ULTIMATE history, three-time series champion Casey Roberts.
“Casey had a really good car,” said Bailes. “I never could pull away from him. I was just trying to stay right around the bottom. If he was going to pass me, it had to be on the outside.”
Roberts felt he had the car to compete for his 21st career ULTIMATE win, but ultimately falling just shy of Bailes in qualifying was the deciding factor.
“We weren’t too bad,” said Roberts. “Just should have been a little better qualifying. Getting to choose where to start was real key there.
“Congratulations to Ross and Barry and those guys,” Roberts added. “We had a really good car, just missed it a bit in qualifying and that’s where the race was lost for us.”
Brett Hamm finished third to round out the podium, feeling that lapped traffic gave him chances to close in on the top duo but his car wasn’t quite able to keep pace with Bailes and Roberts.
“I feel like we had a good car,” said Hamm. “We had a few chances in lapped traffic to get close. We just didn’t have quite enough forward drive off the corners. It’s really slick here compared to normal.”
The ULTIMATE Super Late Model Series will waste little time in getting back to action, racing Saturday at Dixie Speedway (GA). Speed51 will be there with Race Day Now coverage, as well as video coverage as the Official Video Home of the ULTIMATE Super Late Model Series.
Race fans who missed the action Friday night at Laurens County can click here to watch highlights from the Ronnie Brookshire Memorial, or click here to visit our Race Day Now Coverage.
Ronnie Brookshire Memorial – ULTIMATE Super Late Model Series
Laurens County Speedway – Laurens, South Carolina
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51.com photo