For the second time in his career, Ty Gibbs ran a lap quick enough to place him on the Hedgecock Pole Position following the late model stock car version of Fivestar Bodies Knockout Qualifying. The teenage grandson of NASCAR owner and Super Bowl winning football coach Joe Gibbs led the opening 40 laps of the event until former track champion Austin McDaniel took the point on lap 41.
McDaniel paced the midportion of the event through an assortment of minor cautions for spins and similar issues. Soon after a restart on lap 73, Craig Moore motored to the front of the field and paced the pack for the next 38 laps.
Moore fended off challengeds from McDaniel, Josh Berry, Tommy Lemons and others through restarts on lap 81, 86 and lap 95 before the final green flag of the night flew on lap 117.
While Moore was racing for the lead, point leader Bobby McCarty quietly carved his way through the top five and restarted fourth with just over 30 laps to go. Soon after the restart, he passed last August’s Hickory winner Justin Carroll and set his sights on McDaniel and Moore as they raced side by side for the race lead. McCarty made his maneuver look easy, gluing his Toyota to the yellow line on the bottom of the track and bypassing both drivers within just a few corners to take control of the race on lap 118.
McCarty withstood challenges from Josh Berry, Tommy Lemons, Lee Pulliam and Deac McCaskill to claim his second win of the season by nearly two seconds over and extended his advantage in the CARS Response Energy Tour points.
“That was tough,” McCarty said while leaning drenched in sweat in Edelbrock Victory Lane. “Those last 30 laps I gave it all I had, I didn’t have nothing left. I was driving away but the 88 (Josh Berry) was coming, and I definitely wanted to make sure I was out ahead of him so that in case he got to second I could go ahead and get gone.
“I really have to thank all my guys at Nelson Motorsports,” he continued. “We’re family. This isn’t a business. This is personal. We want to win races and we want to do it together and we want to succeed as a team. I think that’s what makes our team so good is that it’s personal.”
The CARS Tour resumes action at Bristol Motor Speedway as part of the US Short Track Nationals on May 18-20, 2018. Following a visit to Bristol, the tour’s respective divisions visit Anderson Motor Speedway (SLM) and Ace Speedway (LMSC) on June 9.
For more information on the CARS Tour, visit their website at www.carsracingtour.com. Fresh content and updates can also be found on the series Facebook page (@carstour), Twitter (@carstour), Instagram (@cars_tour), Snapchat (@carstour) and Youtube channel (/carstour). The series Roku app is also available for installation to see live and on-demand events by following the instructions available at www.carstour.tv.
-CARS Tour Press Release
-Photo credit: Speed51.com