Justin Carroll outdueled Austin McDaniel and Anthony Alfredo to bring short track legend Dick Trickle’s colors to victory lane at Hickory Motor Speedway in the CARS Tour Late Model Stock Throwback 276.
“Dick Trickle has won over 1,000 short track races,” Carroll told Speed51.com Powered by JEGS in victory lane. “To have him on the car to honor him and get to victory lane for the first time in the CARS Tour, it can’t be any better than that. It was really cool, really special.”
Carroll, sporting car No. 90 painted in a scheme resembling Trickle’s Junie Donlavey-prepared machine on the 1998 Winston Cup circuit, battled three-wide with McDaniel and Alfredo following a lap 112 restart in the 138-lap feature. Ultimately, it was Carroll prevailing, passing McDaniel on lap 134 for the win.
“I about lost it for myself on the restart with 20 or 30 to go,” said Carroll. “I missed a shift and McDaniel was really good on top. Fortunately, we got back to him with five or six laps to go. I just drove it for all I had.”
McDaniel, a two-time track champion at Hickory Motor Speedway, finished third after brushing the wall in the closing laps. McDaniel battled with Alfredo in the decisive moments, but settled for the final step on the podium.
“We got down to five to go, and we were still up front. The 90 just got a really good run off the bottom and drove up to my door. From there, he kind of put me in the wall on the backstretch. He got by me, and the 8 car [of Alfredo] got by me also.
“I tried to get the 8 back, tried to move him out of the way,” McDaniel added. “Ended up coming home third. It was good to lead some laps. The 90 was just a little bit better than we were, I don’t think we had anything for him.”
McDaniel led the field to the final restart on lap 112, with the caution flying after Ronald Hill suffered a flat tire. McDaniel’s Bobby Allison-inspired machine had been strong before the caution, but quickly fell under fire from Carroll and Alfredo on the restart.
“We were able to take the lead from [Carroll] with about 20 or 30 to go," McDaniel said. "I got the lead, our car was really good up top. The 90 was a little better than we were, and I knew that. I was really just biding my time."
For Alfredo, the runner-up finish was a strong showing in an up-and-down night.
“It was pretty wild. I think if we had five more laps at it, we could have won,” Alfredo sad. “I was kind of letting them settle things. I ran them down, and a couple of times they were all over the place, so I tried to get by them while I could.
“A couple of times we were three-wide, and we stayed three-wide for a couple of laps at one point,” Alfredo said about the late battles up front. “We were able to get that one position at the end to finish second. I wish we could have been one spot better. I think we were capable of it.”
There was plenty of short-track action throughout the Late Model Stock feature. Unlike the Super Late Model race, which went caution free, the Late Model Stock event was slowed nine times by cautions, including two red flag periods. The longest stoppage of the night came on lap 27, as Ty Gibbs’ engine expired and triggered a multi-car incident.
The CARS Tour returns to action on August 26 at Concord Speedway (NC). The Race to Remember 250 will feature 125-lap features for the Late Model Stock and Super Late Model tours at the half-mile triangle. The event will also be the penultimate round of the CARS Tour season, setting up the season finale on October 14 at South Boston Speedway.
For an on-demand replay of Saturday's Trackside Now coverage presented by AR Bodies, click here.
Speed51.com will have more from Saturday's Throwback 276 including video interviews from both the Late Model Stock and Super Late Model races still to come on the Speed51 Video Network.
-By Zach Evans, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent - Twitter: @Ztevans
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com
CARS Tour Throwback 276
Hickory Motor Speedway, Newton, North Carolina
Late Model Stock Unofficial Results
|6||1||Dexter Canipe Jr.|
|15||4||Annabeth Barnes Crum|
|18||27||Tommy Lemons Jr.|