Tyler Carpenter scored his third win of the 2019 ULTIMATE season Saturday night at Richmond Raceway (KY), but this was more than just any win. It was the richest race in the history of the ULTIMATE Super Late Model Series, and the biggest win of Carpenter’s career.
Carpenter took the checkered flag in the 32nd Annual Paul “Butterball” Wooldridge Memorial Saturday, collecting the $20,059 payday.
“The Kamikaze Kid” took the lead from Tanner English on lap 18 of the 59-lap feature, survived a rash of restarts and pulled away for the win, which unofficially gives him the points lead in the ULTIMATE Mid-Ohio Valley Series after Ryan Montgomery’s mechanical issues on Friday prevented him from competing.
Carpenter could barely contain his excitement in victory lane after the monumental triumph.
“What the heck do I say?,” asked a jubilant Carpenter to Speed51. “We are bad to the bone. Not me, Kryptonite Race Cars is bad to the bone. We come here, I was so nervous, it was unreal. Sick to my stomach, second-guessing myself.”
Despite setting overall fast time in Friday’s qualifying sessions and winning his heat race, Carpenter started on the outside of the front row by virtue of being in Group B of qualifying. Carpenter bided his time, waiting for the chance to pass English in traffic for the race-deciding move.
“We started off great,” said Carpenter. “You couldn’t ask for a better car. I started outside front row. I didn’t want to start outside, but that’s the spot I earned. I knew the bottom line was what I needed, and Tanner ain’t no slouch. To be able to run with them guys and make a move on Tanner in lapped traffic, these cars speak for themselves.
“I just had to get calm,” added Carpenter. “$20,000 will get anybody antsy. You want to lead now, you want to win now. To be able to stay calm and follow Tanner until the time was right to make a move and take the lead. I wanted nothing but the checkered flag.”
English finished second to Carpenter, pleased with a strong run but knowing his team has to improve to find the speed the victor boasted throughout the weekend.
“I’m pretty happy,” said English. “We’re a little disappointed after leading however many laps we did, 20 or so. Tyler was pretty good. He could pull away, he could run wherever he wanted to. Hats off to him, he did a really good job. We’ve just got to get better. With tracks like this, we struggle a bit, so we’ve got some work to do.”
Zack Dohm finished third after entering the weekend as one of the favorites. Dohm previously won last season’s FASTRAK Damn Yankees 50 and this summer’s Butch Shay Memorial at Richmond.
Despite the strong run, Dohm felt a tinge of disappoint after not continuing that winning streak at the Kentucky bullring.
“It’s good,” said Dohm. “The car ain’t too torn up. I think it’s $5,000 for third, that’s a pretty decent pay day. We come to win. I want to win, I feel like the car was good enough to win, just things didn’t work out.
“It’s not a bad weekend,” added Dohm. “I think we had a car capable of winning. I wish things played out different, but they didn’t.”
Race fans who missed Saturday’s Butterball Memorial can watch an on-demand replay of Speed51’s pay-per-view broadcast of the event by clicking here. Stay tuned to the Speed51 Network for more post-race coverage of the race.
Paul “Butterball” Wooldridge Memorial
|25||44||Dave Hess, Jr.|
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51.com photo