Kyle Plott can finally call himself a Southern Super Series presented by Sunoco winner.
Making his 26th career start with the series on Saturday night at Watermelon Capital Speedway (GA), Plott rode the ups and downs of a full moon night to score his first career series victory.
“It feels good. I’ve been close to a few of these now,” Plott said after the race. “It’s been a long time coming and to just get one now is a pretty big deal. I wish Bubba (Pollard) would have been here because I really compare myself to him a lot, and he’s obviously the top of the class right now. I wish he would’ve been out there but I feel good about it. I feel like we may have something for Bubba at the next race.”
Starting from the outside of the front row, Plott quickly jumped out to the early advantage over polesitter Anthony Sergi. The Marietta, Georgia driver dominated the first 100 laps and remained out in front through a rash of early cautions.
While riding around the race track during a caution on lap 100, the bad luck that Plott had experienced throughout the 2018 season returned when he ran out of fuel on the frontstretch. After being pushed to pit road, Plott fueled up, changed tires and made adjustments to prepare for a charge through the field.
Charge is exactly what he did. Plott quickly raced from the back to the front in just seven laps, taking the lead back from Casey Roderick on lap 107. From there, Plott survived additional late-race restarts to break into Southern Super Series victory lane for the first time.
“It actually felt like the same problem we had at Pensacola and Montgomery. I was really freaking out after we literally changed everything electrically on the car,” he explained. “I was freaking out and they said we ran out of fuel so we got that figured out. That first run we were a little tight and I didn’t know if we really had it in the bag yet. We made a few adjustments once we got fuel and tires on it, and it was a rocket after that. It was really good. I was just trying to keep my head cool and come up through the field.
“I was pretty heated to be honest with you. I was mad but somehow I kept it together. I looked calm on the outside of the car but I was freaking out on the inside.”
Throughout the race, Plott was forced to fend off challenges from the likes of fast qualifier Chris Dilbeck and current series points leader Casey Roderick. Many of those challenges came on restarts following the 23 caution periods that slowed the race.
“It always crosses your mind. I knew I had to hit my shifts right and not screw up,” Plott said. “I kept it all together. They’re both good on restarts, especially Dilbeck, me and him have raced together for a while. It’s good to race with him again. Overall it was a good clean race between everyone up front, I just wish we wouldn’t have had so many cautions.”
Scotty Ellis and Dylan Bigley turned in impressive performances late in the race to round out the podium Saturday night.
Roderick, who led the field for the handful of laps that Plott didn’t lead, charged back to finish fourth after running out of fuel shortly after Plott reclaimed the lead. Kyle Bryant completed the top five.
Dilbeck, who set fast time in qualifying, was in contention for the victory before he also ran out of fuel just past the lap 100 mark. He ultimately finished 19th after being collected in some of the carnage while attempting to make his way through the field.
“We had a really good car. We ran out of fuel because of the cautions falling the way they did,” Dilbeck explained. “We came in and just got stuck back there in the mess. We had a top three car in that race and we were the class of the field in the Pro (Late Model) race.”
With the monkey now off of his back, Plott will look to continue to build on his momentum when the Southern Super Series visits Five Flags Speedway (FL) on Saturday, September 22.
“We’ll just keep on going, keep on improving and maybe win a (Snowball) Derby or something if luck is on our side.”
For more information on the Southern Super Series presented by Sunoco, visit www.southernsuperseries.com.
-Story by Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor
-Photo credit: Speed51.com / Melissa Strahley