James Civali and Brandon Ward had nothing to lose at Bowman Gray Stadium during Saturday's season-ending Carolina Farms Credit 150. That fact was evident as the two Modified drivers mixed it up with the championship contenders to settle the win between the two of them.
When the dust settled it was Brandon Ward winning the season finale for the third time over James Civali in dramatic fashion. Ward bumped his way by Civali in turns three and four on the final lap, with Civali trying to return the favor right before the checkered flag to no avail, sending him across the line backwards.
“It was a wild night, this final race of the year always is,” Ward told Speed51. “You’ve got guys battling for a win and a championship at the same time. These guys have worked hard all year, but especially the last few weeks. We have done some testing to get this Kevin Powell Motorsports ride going.”
“We were just going for the win,” Civali stated. “That’s all Brandon and I were doing. We didn’t really have a shot at the points unless something happened. He (Ward) didn’t wreck me, but he moved me and then we bumped and banged and it is what it is.”
Both drivers had tussles with eventual champion Burt Myers who finished third to win his 10th championship at "The Madhouse."
First, Ward and Myers were door-to-door off turn two before contact led to Myers catching a piece of the wall with sparks flying everywhere.
“To be honest, (Myers) got a run on the outside and I heard my spotter Casey yell outside and I felt him there. I had already committed to go to the outside and then I tried to get back down,” Ward said of the incident.
Myers was able to continue despite having scuffed off the white lettering on his right side tires.
For Civali, he took two tires during a late stretch of yellows and that allowed him to rocket to the front.
“We were tight and the we pitted late and that helped us,” he stated. “I knew we had to beat Burt by a lot so I wasn’t going to wreck him, but I did move him to get the lead. I thought if he gets bounced around then maybe we would get lucky.”
What may have looked wild on the track seemed more controlled after speaking to the key players in the finish.
“Burt and Civali are two of the funnest guys to race here,” Ward said. “They race really hard, but they race and that’s what I love to do.”
In the Other Divisions
Sportsman - The “Tiger” Tommy Neal picked up his fourth win of the season over Dylan Ward. Those two drivers won 10 of the 21 races this year. Justin Taylor had three wins and 17 top five finishes this year to win his first track title.
Street Stocks - David Creed captured the final race for his second win of the year as Billy Gregg came from third in the standings, 14 points down, to win the Street Stock title.
Stadium Stocks - Brandon Bendele won his fourth race of the year in the Stadium Stocks as Chuck Wall was able to secure his fourth track championship.
1 04 Brandon Ward
2 79 James Civali
3 1 Burt Myers
4 65 Danny Bohn
5 4 Jason Myers
6 18 Daniel Yates
7 75 Lee Jeffreys
8 77 Susan Harwell
9 34 George Brunnhoelzl III
10 41 Chris Williams
11 78 Jody Fritts
12 83 Tim Brown
13 24 Andrew Harrah
14 22 Jonathan Brown
15 16 Chris Fleming
16 69 John Holleman
17 8 Darin Redmon
18 5 Randy Butner
19 30 Steven Lane
20 2 Joseph Brown
21 53 John Smith
22 17 Zack Staley
23 81 Zack Clifton
24 51 Drew Moffitt
25 31 Zach Brewer
26 66 Ronnie Clifton
27 36 Cory Lovette
-By Elgin Traylor, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent – Twitter: @ElginTraylor
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com