Caraway Speedway was once again Matt Craig’s playground on Sunday, as he won the Pro All Stars Series (PASS) South Super Late Model Tour event at the Sophia, North Carolina facility for the third consecutive year.
Craig’s first career PASS South win came at Caraway in 2016, en route to his first championship in the series. Craig also won at Caraway in 2017 during a six-win championship run before defending the race title in 2018.
“I love this place,” Matt Craig said in victory lane. “Every time I’ve come here, I’ve run good. I love this place.”
“I knew we had a car to win after practice,” said Craig. “I knew I had the car to beat and how hard to push the car. I’m glad it worked out and we ended up in victory lane.”
Craig’s only cause for concern came on lap 110, as the caution flag flew after Tate Fogleman suffered a flat right-front tire just as Craig was closing in to lap him. This allowed the field, including a hard-charging Brandon Setzer, to restart behind him.
Craig maintained the lead on the late restart, holding off Setzer and setting sail for the win.
“We didn’t really want a caution, but my team was giving me good information about lap times,” Craig said. “I had a good feeling. I wasn’t too worried, but anything can happen on a restart.”
Setzer was pleased with a second-place run, knowing he didn’t quite have enough to contend with Craig on this day.
“We got a little bit behind the eight-ball starting eighth,” Setzer told Speed51.com. “That was okay. The field got strung out, and we found a nice spot to ride. Craig got way out front in the middle of the race. We had to start picking them off.
“The harder I went, it burned the tires off of it. [Craig] had the track position and could just ride while I was trying to run him down.”
Setzer saw hope with the late caution, but ultimately could not capitalize.
“You never know what could happen on a restart,” said Setzer. “I was excited to get up there, and we’ve made the outside work at some tracks we weren’t supposed to. I just went down into turn one, got in the trash, and it didn’t turn.”
The PASS South tour will be back in action in two weeks with one of its marquee events, the Easter Bunny 150. The Easter weekend tradition at historic Hickory Motor Speedway will take place on March 31.
Pos # Driver
1 54 Matt Craig
2 6 Brandon Setzer
3 74 Ryan Moore
4 45 Kodie Conner
5 27 Lee Tissot
6 2 Gracie Trotter
7 98 Jody Measamer
8 4 Max McLaughlin
9 15 Roy Hayes III
10 71 Jimmy Doyle
11 24J JP Josiasse
12 21 Blaise Rutherford
13 14 Greg Burgess
14 49 Jeff Batten
15 8 Tate Fogleman
16 37 Charles Barnes
17 70 Fletcher Whaley