Saturday night at Myrtle Beach Speedway (SC) was a chance at redemption for Tommy Catalano, and he cashed in for the victory in the 40-lap Modified feature, the second Modified race of the Myrtle Beach 400 Weekend.
On Friday night, Catalano appeared poised for a victory in the 35-lap race for the ground pounders. However, a late caution led to Catalano spinning his tires on the restart, surrendering the lead and the win to Matt Hirschman.
“Last night, we were thinking it was going to be a good day,” Catalano said. “We had quick time in practice and sat on the pole. I spun my tires with five to go on the restart and gave up the lead. I kind of lost track a little bit there.”
Saturday was déjà vu for the Ontario, New York driver. Again, Catalano was fast in practice and took the pole. Again, a late caution threatened to sour a runaway victory, as the yellow flag flew with ten laps to go.
“I was thinking the same thing in the car,” Catalano said about the late caution, concerned about the chance of a repeat disappointment. “I wanted to make sure it didn’t happen tonight.”
This time, however, Catalano, had no issues on the restart, holding off none other than Hirschman for the victory.
“We rebounded today,” Catalano said. “Fastest again in practice, put it on the pole. Rebounded pretty good to put it in victory lane.”
This year, the Modified portion of the Myrtle Beach 400 weekend experienced a change from last year’s format, moving from one 100-lap feature to a pair of features over two nights for a combined distance of 75 laps.
This provided an added challenge for Modified competitors at the venerable South Carolina half-mile. The longer races of the past encouraged tire conservation, but this sprint format forced Catalano and others to attack the abrasive surface.
“It’s definitely a wild track. It was really fun to race on, but it’s definitely abrasive on tires,” Catalano said. “I can’t thank my guys enough for getting me here. Especially my mom, dad, brothers. It’s been a wild week.”
Hirschman came up one spot short of a weekend sweep by finishing second Saturday night. Southern drivers Burt Myers, Bobby Measmer and Jason Myers completed the top five.
Race fans who missed the action from Saturday’s Modified feature, as well as the 250-lap Late Model Stock feature, can visit our Trackside Now updates and relive every lap. Click here to view Trackside Now from Saturday at Myrtle Beach.
-Story by Zach Evans, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent
-Photo credit: Speed51.com
Tour-type Modified 35 Unofficial Results
Myrtle Beach Speedway (SC) – November 17, 2018