After a wild finish to the inaugural South Carolina 250 Charlie Powell Memorial at Florence Motor Speedway, Janson Marchbanks celebrated the biggest win of his young career while several other drivers wondered what might have been.
Marchbanks took the lead from Michael Faulk on a green-white-checkered finish to win the 100-lap Limited Late Model feature. The Legends graduate moved up to Limited Late Models in 2020, and closed out the year with an intense and rewarding victory.
“It was intense,” Marchbanks said after the win. “I knew those last restarts were going to be wild. It couldn’t be any better than being in victory lane.
On the final restart, Marchbanks and Faulk battled door-to-door, making slight contact at times in the duel. After saving tires for most of the race to get to the finish, both competitors knew it was all on the line on the final restart.
“That was an intense race,” Marchbank stated. “There was a lot of saving going on. I hope he’s not mad at me, it was just door-to-door racing. It was the last lap. Congrats to him, man, it was a great run.”
“He got wheel-to-wheel with me and moved me up for the win,” Faulk said. “Nothing I wouldn’t have done to him, just good hard racing there at the end.”
Faulk was the leader going into the final restart, electing the outside line. However, a bizarre turn of events opened the door for Marchbanks to make his move for the win.
A truck towing a trailer with a golf cart crossed the racing surface in turn one just prior to the final restart, leading to a moment of hesitation from Faulk. That hesitation was all Marchbanks needed to capitalize.
Faulk was naturally disappointed by the turn of events, but handled the loss gracefully after a conversation with and apology from Florence Motor Speedway General Manager Steve Zacharias.
“First of all, thanks to Steve and everybody here at Florence for giving us a place to race,” Faulk said. “It’s hard times in short track racing. You hate to see tracks like Myrtle Beach close, and they’ve done a great job with this place.
“I don’t get to race much, a couple of times a year. We came here to have a good time, and we accomplished that goal. Unfortunately, on that last restart, our car was better on the top. We could get the run off of two, so I took the outside again. I know Janson is a clean driver and he wasn’t going to mess me up.
“We took the green, and I had a car length on him at the flagstand. We shifted, and I look up and there’s a cop dually with a golf cart on a trailer crossing the track into one.
“My spotter said ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa’ so I lifted. That let Janson get back inside of me. I was thinking a caution would come out for sure. It didn’t. Just an oversight. Steve and everybody apologized. There’s nothing they can do about it now.”
Faulk and Marchbanks found themselves on the front row for the final restart after the two front-runners collided just ahead of them with 10 laps to go.
Ryan Glenski led nearly every lap from the pole in the race, but Averitt Lucas worked his way into contention in the closing laps. The two drivers made contact several times while battling for the lead, ultimately spinning together in turn one as a result.
Glenski took blame for the final contact, but felt he had been crowded by Lucas at times in the closing laps.
“Lucas got a really good restart on the outside and got by me,” Glenski said. “A couple of laps later, I got a good run on the inside of him. We started touching out of four. I felt like I was getting crowded a little bit. I got loose into one and got into him a little bit. Both of us spun, and that was it for both of us.
“I hate it for us. I hate it for Lucas. We could have put on a hell of a show coming to the checkered. It was a good showing for us, and hopefully we’ll come back and do it again someday.”
An incredibly disappointed Lucas provided a dissenting opinion of the late-race battle.
“I just got dumped,” he said. “I gave him plenty of room and next thing I know, I’m spun out. He had hit me two or three times before that. It is what it is. That’s racing.
“Words can’t describe [the disappointment]. I wanted this one bad. The first Charlie Powell Memorial. I’ve been racing here my whole career, and I wanted to win to dedicate it to him. It just didn’t happen tonight. I was in the catbird’s seat and it ended up bad.”
Race fans who missed the South Carolina 250 can watch an on-demand replay of Speed51.TV’s broadcast by clicking here.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51 Content Supervisor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51 photo
South Carolina 250 Charlie Powell Memorial
- Janson Marchbanks
- Michael Faulk
- Chris Chapman
- Boo Boo Dalton
- Braden Rogers
- Matt Gould
- Ethan Johnson
- William Cox III
- Anthony Miller
- Eric Wallace
- Averitt Lucas
- Amber Slagle
- Archie Adams, Sr.
- Zack Miracle
- Mitch Walker
- Ryan Glenski
- Will Robusto
- Blair Addis
- Alex Fleming
- Kade Brown
- Nate Tretow
- Daryn Cockram
- Clay Thomas
- Casey Kelley
- Toni Breidinger
- JJ June
- Whitney Meggs
- Thad Moffitt
- Christian Rose
- Avery Moore