HICKORY, N.C. -- It was like déjà vu on Saturday night at Hickory Motor Speedway for Mason Ludwig.
Last year in his first race of the season at Hickory Motor Speedway Ludwig earned a fifth-place finish and he followed it up with his first limited late model victory at the historic North Carolina track.
On Saturday night at Hickory Ludwig, who made his season debut at Hickory July 13 with a fifth-place finish, earned his first limited late model triumph of the season aboard the No. 12 entry for Leicht Motorsports Driver Development.
The 16-year-old Michigan native qualified third for the 35-lap feature and quickly went to work moving forward. He moved into second on the 13th circuit before settings his sights on race leader and polesitter Cody Demarmels.
Ludwig spent the next 14 laps closing the gap to Demarmels and by lap 27 he was on his bumper and looking for a way around. On lap 29 Ludwig made his move, diving to the inside of
Demarmels down the backstretch and pulling clear of him coming out of turn four to take the lead.
Once out front Ludwig inched away, beating Demarmels to the checkered flag to earn his first victory of the season.
“It’s always good when you end the night in victory lane,” said Ludwig. “I had to work hard for that one, but that makes it that much better. Cody drove away there at the start, but I reeled him in and was able to get under him and make the pass.
“Thanks to the Leicht family for allowing me to drive these great race cars. Thanks to my family, my great partners Sparrow Ranch on the Island, McCallister Precision Marketing, Dietrich's Collision, Wiley X and Shoot and Reel. Hopefully this is the first of a few wins this year.”
Team co-owner Eugene Leicht had high marks for Ludwig’s drive on Saturday night.
“Mason made that look easy,” Leicht said. “He was patient, chased down the leader and made his move. You couldn’t ask for a better result. I’m proud to have this young man in one of our cars and I’m confident this is the first of several victories this season.”
-MPM Marketing Press Release
-Photo credit: Sherri Stearns