Justin Haley may be a full-time competitor in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. However, he had a little fun – and plenty of work – on Friday night during his ‘weekend off’ with the Dirt Cup Challenge at Lake View Motor Speedway (SC).
The Winimac, Indiana driver held off a hard-charging Andy Boahn to win the “Prelude to the Madness” Modified feature at Lake View, setting the stage for Saturday’s main event.
“It’s the hardest thing I’ve done in weeks right there,” said Haley in victory lane. “Dirt racing always keeps you on your toes. I’m happy to come out here and support the local divisions. It’s always fun for me.”
Haley’s strength was on the restarts in the 20-lap feature, maintaining his advantage by firing off well when four cautions slowed the race.
“We could clear them on the start, that was the biggest thing. I had really good drive off of four. I’m just happy to park it, that’s the big thing. Get a big check and a trophy, that’s pretty cool.“
He also faced plenty of pressure from Andy Boahn, a driver who is no stranger to victory lanes in the Carolinas with his UMP Modified.
“I know the 66 [of Boahn] was good as well,” said Haley. “He was giving me the bumper a couple of times, but that’s racing.”
When Boahn wasn’t challenging Haley, a slick racing surface gave the 20-year-old racer plenty to think about, testing his patience and car control.
“The track is so slick, you’ve got to go slow to go fast,” said Haley. “That was the biggest thing for me, just calming down and not letting it slide too much.”
While Friday’s race comes with a “big check and a trophy,” it also sets the stage for Saturday’s Dirt Cup Challenge main event, as the Modified racers will compete for 40 laps around the 4/10-mile oval in South Carolina.
“I’m happy we could put it in victory lane, but tomorrow’s the big show,” said Haley. “Tonight was a test-and-tune.”
Race fans who missed tonight’s race or want to watch tomorrow’s action at Lake View Motor Speedway, as one Premium Membership to the Speed51 Network grants them access to both the on-demand replay from Friday’s race as well as the ability to watch Saturday’s broadcast live. Click here to sign up today.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51.com photo