Troy, NC – Tommy Lemons, Jr. went into the championship weekend at Southern National Motorsports Park on September 12, 2014 with four wins and 12 podium finishes in the tracks previous 19 events. The impressive consistency of his season put him in position to walk away with the track championship barring no catastrophic events; but if you thought Lemons would play it safe this weekend to ensure his track title, you may have been the only one.
In Southern National’s last event on August 30th, Lemons openly discussed his displeasure with his third place finish exclaiming “this sucks” in his post-race interview. With Lemons there is only one goal, “we race to win, that’s it. I don’t look at the points, if we are winning races the points will work out.” Fortunately with Lemons’ standards set so high even when not winning or in his opinion, has a “bad” night, he is still finishing in the top three.
Championship weekend consisted of three Late Model Stock races: a 35-Lap Shootout on Friday night followed by Twin-75s on Saturday. Friday seemed to be shaping up well as Lemons was the fastest in practice but the “Shootout” didn’t follow normal racing procedures. Instead of lining up by qualifying or practice times, drivers lined up in the position of a random number they drew out of a hat. Lemons drew seventh and immediately knew he had his work cut out for him. The short 35 lap race proved to be slightly too short for Lemons to make up the ground from his mid-field starting position as he crossed the finish line seconddeclaring, “we needed a caution or a few more laps, the car was fast, we just ran out of time.”
Heavy rain in the area postponed Saturday’s scheduled races until Sunday. Lemons qualified third and went on to finish third in the first Twin-75 lap race. Although he was not happy with his finish, it padded his points total enough to be declared the 2014 Southern National Motorsports Park Late Model Stock Champion! In the second race Lemons led 50 of 75 laps but lost the lead after a late race caution, going on to finish second.
“It’s good to finally win a Track Championship, we’ve been close a few times and they always seem to slip away. That’s why I stopped looking at points years ago. We’ve had a pretty good season here at Southern National, four wins is ok but I want more!” When asked how he would celebrate his first career track championship Lemons said in true racer’s fashion, “Hopefully in victory lane in Martinsville! … I have the best crew and support a guy could ask for, were not slowing down yet! We’ll carry momentum from this to Motor Mile next weekend and then prep for Martinsville.”
Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, Virginia will host the final two races of the Dirty Dozen (DD) series on September 20th. Currently second in the DD points series, Lemons will strive to close the gap between himself and points leader Lee Pulliam. Then it’s on to the infamous Martinsville Speedway on October 5th in Martinsville, Virginia where he will be racing as then defending race winner of the Martinsville DuPont Credit Union 300.
-Lemons Motorsports Press Release. Photo Credit: FrameWorks Photography