Even in short track racing there are days when a driver gets the perfect race car and looks like he’s out for a Sunday drive. That’s exactly how it went on Sunday at Southern National Motorsports (NC) Park for Quin Houff. He faced some challenges throughout the race, mainly from the defending CARS Tour Super Late Model champion Cole Timm, but he was able to fend those off with ease en route to the victory.
“Cole Timm is a pretty respectful race car driver,” said Houff. “I’m pretty proud of myself that I kept up with him, especially on those restarts.”
The only time in which it seemed Timm or anybody had anything for Houff was within the first few laps after a restart. In fact, Timm actually passed Houff for the lead on a restart with 40 laps to go, but his lead was short-lived.
Houff came fighting back, dove to Timm’s inside in turn three and took the lead back from Timm just two laps after the final restart.
“For a second I got worried,” Houff said about when Timm got by him. “But I just figured I’d try to keep up with him. Then he had trouble getting off the corner. But he’s a great race car driver and won the race here last year, so it means a lot to me to race around guys like that.”
Timm said as the run went on he lost his ability to drive off the corner, and he believes that’s why Houff was able to get back by him.
“I knew he was going to be tough,” Timm said. “I thought we could have (held him off), but he just had a little bit better drive off and turnability right in the center.”
After Houff got by he jumped out to about a 10 car-length lead over Timm, and then Timm faced some pressure from behind for the second position from Zane Smith.
Smith was all over the back of Timm for about five laps, but his bid for the runner-up spot came to an end when he slowed off turn two with a flat right-front tire with under 10 laps to go.
As much as Smith slowed it seemed as if a caution was guaranteed, but that wasn’t the case. Houff held on to score his second career CARS Tour victory.
Perhaps what was most impressive for Houff was how he was able to fend off the defending champion all race long. He said that is something that will give him a lot of confidence for the remaining nine races as the season goes on.
“We’re coming here to run as strong as we can and win races, and if we do that the points will take care of themselves,” Houff said. “As long as we continue to run with respectful people like Cole Timm then we’ll be fine.”
Raphael Lessard, Trevor Noles and Matt Craig completed the top five behind Houff and Timm.
For an on-demand replay of Sunday’s Trackside Now coverage presented by Centroid Machines, click here.
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com
Southern National Motorsports Park, Lucama, North Carolina