In two trips to Lancaster Speedway (SC) this year, Ross Bailes has two runner-up finishes. Bailes returns to Lancaster Saturday with the ULTIMATE Super Late Model Series, looking to improve by one spot and go to victory lane.
Bailes likes his chances entering the weekend following his strong runs at Lancaster earlier this season with the Carolina Clash Super Late Model Series and the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Models.
“I feel pretty good about it,” Bailes told Speed51. “We’ve been there twice this year and run second both times. We like going down there. We usually seem to run good there, but there will be a lot of competition.”
While June’s runner-up finish against the World of Outlaws came against series regular Brandon Sheppard, Bailes noted the local and regional competition held its own against the Outlaw stars.
The rest of the top-five consisted of fellow South Carolina natives like Bailes – Michael Brown, Johnny Pursley and defending ULTIMATE champion Zack Mitchell – with North Carolinian and ULTIMATE Rookie of the Year leader Daulton Wilson finishing sixth.
As such, he expects plenty of stiff competition in the ULTIMATE event, as many of those same competitors will be at Lancaster Saturday. Mitchell is the current ULTIMATE points leader in his title defense, with Wilson second.
“When the World of Outlaws came in, a lot of the local guys and regional guys were running in the top five,” said Bailes. “It’s still going to be hard to get up front. The main thing will be qualifying good and starting up front.”
Bailes enjoys racing at the South Carolina half-mile, with its long straightaways and sharp corners that can catch competitors off guard.
“It’s pretty fun,” said Bailes. “You don’t feel like you’re going that fast down the straightaways, but then you get to that sharp corner and you feel like you’re flying. It will sneak up on you. You’ll see a lot of guys, they’ll get into the turn three wall because it comes up on you so quick.”
Bailes says the key to success will be qualifying well and being aggressive, not letting the high speeds intimidate you.
“Lancaster is a place where you’ve got to really be up on the wheel,” explained Bailes. “You can’t be scared of it. You’ve got to go after it in qualifying. That’s the main thing.”
Speed51, the Official Video Home of the ULTIMATE Super Late Model Series, will be at Lancaster Speedway Saturday and provide a video recap, highlights and live coverage of the event.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51.com photo