Two of the biggest names in the Southern Modified Racing Series battled for the win late in Sunday’s season opener at North Carolina’s Caraway Speedway, but neither one found victory lane. Instead, it was John Smith who weaved his way through the late-race madness and into the winner’s circle.
Jason Myers and Bobby Measmer Jr. restarted together on the front row with about 10 laps to go. Measmer appeared to overdrive turn one and washed up in the center of the corner almost into Smith. Myers dove to the bottom and was able to drive by Measmer in the next corner.
The incident gave second-place to Smith for the restart who capitalized on the opportunity.
Smith drove by Measmer into turn one on the restart with about five laps to go and drove away to take the win.
“It feels pretty good any time you can win, but especially winning the first one,” said Smith. “We weren’t even planning on coming to this race. But me and my guys thrashed on this thing all week. We worked night and day to get it done.”
Smith said he didn’t expect to be in a position to take the checkered flag and trophy home until he saw Myers get spun while in the lead.
“All of those cautions played in our favor and I think I had more tire left than the rest of them did,” Smith said.
Myers was able to rebound to finish sixth, but was displeased with Measmer’s driving at the end of the race.
“The 14 over drove the restart and I passed him clean,” Myers told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “As soon as I cleared him he drove in about three or four car lengths deeper than he should have and just wiped me out. He hit me in the left-rear nerf bar with his front bumper straight on. He never turned the steering wheel until he hit my race car. I mean, it’s just a pretty s—– thing to do. He just showed what kind of person he really is today.”
Measmer explained in his post-race interview that he attempted a “cross-over move and I failed,” and got into Myers. He also said that he had some help from behind to further along the incident with Myers.
“I was on the brakes, but I was getting pushed from behind,” said Measmer. “I was trying to let him catch it. He was racing me clean on the inside there and I just tried to get back underneath him. I was on the brakes trying and they were piling onto me and I just couldn’t get off of him.”
Myers didn’t seem to buy Measmer’s take on the incident.
“When he hit me the first time there was nobody even close to him,” said Myers. “When he turned me sideways and then got into me again he probably had a little bit of help by then. He probably had a little bit of help when he finished me off, but that isn’t what I’m mad at. Driving into the corner two car lengths deep to clean me out is what I’m mad at. He can say what he wants to. He doesn’t even have to watch the video. The kid knows what happened.”
Meanwhile, Jeremy Gerstner completed the podium behind Smith and Measmer with Chris Pasteryak and Brandon Ward rounding out the top five.
For an on-demand replay of Sunday’s Trackside Now coverage presented by JRi Shocks, click here.
Speed51.com will have more from Sunday’s Southern Modified Racing Series feature, including race highlights and interviews still to come on the Speed51 Network powered by JEGS.
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com
Southern Modified Racing Series 125
Caraway Speedway, Sophia, North Carolina
|2||14||Bobby Measmer, Jr.|
|10||5||Tom Buzze, Jr.|