Joey Coulter led wire-to-wire in the Skyler Trull Memorial at Carolina Speedway (NC), the third race of the 2018 season for the Carolina Clash Super Late Model Series. It was anything but smooth sailing at the finish.
Coulter held off Carolina Clash Super Late Model Series points leader Michael Brown on a one-lap shootout to take the victory.
Coulter dominated the 40-lap feature after starting on the pole, the only driver to break into the 14-second bracket in qualifying. However, Brown charged at the end, looking to take the victory from Coulter.
At one point, Brown appeared destined to take the win, powering off the cushion on the final lap to move into the top spot. Unfortunately for Brown, the caution flew for Doug Sanders’ stopped car in turn four, erasing the winning move.
On the ensuing restart with one lap to decide the race, Coulter held off Brown, securing the victory.
“I just knew I had to make it work one more time,” Coulter told Speed51.com about the final restart. “I somehow managed to put 39 other laps together and stay in front. I just knew I had to put one more together.
“I drove down into one as far as I could,” Coulter added. “I felt like if I could get through one and two in the lead, I’d have it. I gave it everything I had going into turn one and hoped for the best.”
Several other contenders fell by the wayside over the course of the race. G.R. Smith and Ross Bailes won their respective heat races, but were involved in the same incident on lap 20. Kyle Hardy was making a charge of his own in the late stages of the race, but collided with Ben Watkins attempting a pass for second.
Brown fell to fourth on the final restart, with Watkins taking the second position. Dennis Franklin finished third ahead of Brown, with Jeff Smith rounding out the top five.
Smith was the clear-cut winner of the Speed51.com Hard Charger award. Smith started 23rd out of 24 cars in the field, but raced his way to a top-five finish and the $51 prize for gaining the most positions in the feature race.
The Carolina Clash Super Late Model Series returns to action next week, going “South of the Border” to Modoc, South Carolina. Modoc Speedway plays host to the Jack Starrette Memorial next Saturday.
Speed51.com will have more from the Skyler Trull Memorial including race highlights and a video recap still to come.
-By Zach Evans, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @ZTEvans
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com
Carolina Clash Skyler Trull Memorial
Carolina Speedway, Gastonia, North Carolina
Pos # Driver
1 2C Joey Coulter
2 16 Ben Watkins
3 2 Dennis Franklin
4 24B Michael Brown
5 00 Jeff Smith
6 3V Kyle Hardy
7 57 Adam Yarbrough
8 29 Larry Grube
9 65 Brandon O’Neil
10 42 Doug Sanders
11 55H Benji Hicks
12 357 David Todd
13 03 David Yandle
14 7 Josh Langley
15 22* GR Smith
16 87 Ross Bailes
17 57M Zack Mitchell
18 07 Brian Ledbetter
19 09 Johnny Pursley
20 421 Anthony Sanders
21 72 Robbie Bailey
22 55 Dean Bowen
23 10 Dylan Davis
24 5 Jason Womack