Bobby McCarty proved patience is a virtue at South Boston Speedway Saturday night, biding his time until the moment was right to pounce for the victory in the Late Model Stock 100-lap feature at the historic Virginia short track.
McCarty started second in the race, qualifying just behind track championship leader Peyton Sellers. Sellers led the first half of the race, but fought an ill-handling race car throughout.
“I had a loose car from lap one,” Sellers told Speed51.com Powered by JEGS. “Hats off to those guys, but we’ve got to get a little better. We’re not bad, but we’ve got to get a little better.”
“They’ve been ragging me since the last race, saying I was too aggressive too early,” McCarty said in victory lane. “I saw Peyton take off as fast as he did, and I saw he was getting loose. I just had to wait and save tires.”
When the yellow flag flew on lap 53, that gave McCarty the chance to claim the lead and exert his dominance on Sellers. Sellers claimed the inside line on the restart, allowing McCarty to shoot past on the outside, never looking back.
“Once [Sellers] took the inside on that restart, I knew it was going to be a done deal,” McCarty said about the lap 58 restart. “He was too sideways to be on the inside. Once we got clear, we just checked out.”
“I think Bobby is a pretty smart racer, and he laid back in the first half,” said Sellers. “When the door opened, he took it.”
Behind McCarty, Sellers and Austin Thaxton waged an exciting battle for the second spot. Ultimately, Sellers held off Thaxton for the runner-up spot.
“We were just very fortunate Thaxton raced us as cleanly as he did,” Sellers said about the battle. “He could have put the bumper to us and taken second any time he wanted to.”
“That’s what short track racing is all about,” Sellers continued. “I promise I would have been just as respectful to him if I were on the inside. He’s caught a hard break the last couple of weeks and taken some heat from crashing some cars, and he showed tonight he can run with us.”
“I really wanted to pass him,” Thaxton said. “Just to give these guys a thank you for working on this car so hard the past two weeks. We got hung up behind a lapped car. We probably could have forced the issue, but I tore up a car last week and spent more than 100 hours on it last week, so I didn’t want to work on it this week.”
McCarty was another driver bouncing back from a hectic night at South Boston two weeks ago. That made the victory even sweeter for him and his team.
“The front clip got knocked off the car in the last race,” McCarty said. “We didn’t get the car back until Tuesday. We’ve spent the last three days rebuilding it. To come down here and have the race like we had, I can’t be prouder of these guys. They’ve worked so hard and given 150-percent in everything they do.”
South Boston Speedway will return to action on June 17 in the last race before their July 1 200-lap extravaganza for the Late Model Stock cars. The program in two weeks includes twin-75 lappers for the Late Model Stock competitors, as well as features for the Limited Sportsman, Pure Stock, and Hornets divisions.
Race fans can find Trackside Now coverage of Saturday's 100-lap race by clicking here.
-By Zach Evans, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent - Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51.com
Late Model Stock 100 - Unofficial Results
South Boston Speedway (VA) - June 3, 2017
|4||23||Danny Willis, Jr.|
|6||50||Raymond Pittman, III|