SWANSBORO, NC – Eric Winslow stormed to victory in Saturday night’s NAPA/Walker Auto Parts Southern All-Star Showdown at Carteret County Speedway, making a last lap pass for the lead before being taken out after the checkered flag.
Winslow made the pass to the inside of race leader Zachary Marks, after an intense four-way battle for the lead, heading into turn one. Winslow and Marks raced side-by-side coming out of turn four. Winslow crossed the stripe first to score the victory and then ended up being taken out by Marks at the stripe in a finish reminiscent of the 1995 Goody’s 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway.
For Winslow, the victory is bittersweet. While he may have the trophy, he also has a totaled racecar after the postrace contact from Marks.
“I backed her into the wall really really hard,” Winslow said after the race. “This is one of those things you never give up. My car is destroyed. It pays $1,200 to win this race. I busted my ass to win it, came from the back twice, and I have a destroyed racecar. That’s bad. I drove four hours and slept in my trailer to race here but that’s not the track’s fault.
“The track produces great racing. It is a challenge to get around it. That’s why I come back.”
The race was anything but easy sailing for Winslow.
Winslow started on the pole in the race but was spun early in the second half of the 60 lap race, relegating him to the rear of the field. He had to race his way back up to the front but was penalized after initiating contact with Joshua Yeoman which ended Yeoman’s race.
“I did get off him but it was too much that he spun and wasn’t able to save it,” Winslow explained. “I’ll admit I did that. That’s my fault. I really gave up. I get upset in the car and mad. I tend to drive a little hard.”
Despite the damage to the racecar, Winslow was proud of the hard work on and off the track that went to scoring the victory.
“I’m so proud to come here from Sellers. I work all week until 4am to get the car here and we won this thing. I can’t explain it. It’s what fairy tales are made of right here, coming here to do this. And I hope to god you were live and people saw it.”
The battle between Winslow and Marks was the climax of the intense race which saw numerous lead changes in the second half. Chris Burns, Alex Fleming and Zachary Marks traded the lead among themselves several times in the closing laps of the race – but a caution with 12 laps to go put Winslow in the picture.
Winslow rocketed to the second spot prior to a caution coming out with five laps to go setting up the showdown for the finish.
Zachary Marks ended up finishing in the second position. Marks declined comment after the race.
Chris Burns finished in the third position, his third top-five finish of 2016.
“Yesterday, at 10am, we didn’t even have a motor,” Burns commented. “We didn’t get to test last night so I think we were a little behind the eight ball. Overall, I’m happy with how we ran. We definitely showed we had a strong car and it felt good to be back up front.”
Burns had a front row seat to the thrilling finish and the extracurricular activity that took place after the checkered flag waved.
“I wish, a couple more laps and I would’ve liked to have seen what would have happened. We got stuck on the outside the last two restarts and that kind of hurt us. A couple more laps, we might have won after the battle royale. I know the fans loved it because it was pretty interesting from my seat.”
Tyler Horne finished fourth in his Carteret County Speedway debut while Alex Fleming, also making his Carteret County Speedway debut, finished fifth.
Winslow is the fifth different Late Model winner in Carteret County Speedway history and the fourth different winner in 2016. The track has never had a repeat winner in the Late Model division.
Jessica Bean Scores USAC Victory
Jessica Bean became the first woman to score a win at Carteret County Speedway. The victory was her second win in three races in the USAC Eastern Midget Series.
Qualifying was rained out, putting Bean on the pole by random draw. She led wire-to-wire, holding off challenges from George Kurtz and Chris Lamb for the entirety of the 35 lap race.
The win was a popular one with the scores of fans who stayed through the rain and the delays. When Bean pulled into victory lane, she was greeted by roars and thunderous applause from the stands.
“Feels pretty good,” Bean said in victory lane. “Starting on the pole was definitely an advantage. I got lucky there. Really think that was the worst the car’s been all weekend since we got here but I knew we have to clog the bottom to keep everyone behind me. I’m pretty sure they were right on my butt the whole time. It’s nice having momentum coming into this win, second win of the season. First half of the season was a struggle. I’m just going for wins the rest of the year.”
Kurtz and Lamb challenged Bean throughout the duration of the race but, in the final laps, Bean was able to drive away.
“George was the fastest car all weekend,” Bean remarked. “I knew I had to try to hold him off, that’s why I had to clog the bottom. Of course, Chris is a veteran and knows how to get around no matter what track we go to.”
George Kurtz finished second while Chris Lamb, Nolan Allison and Famous Rhodes II rounded out the top-five.
Brandon Clements Returns to Victory Lane
Brandon Clements picked up his first win of the 2016 season and his first win since his car was destroyed in an accident at Dillon Motor Speedway (South Carolina) last fall.
Clements held off Kris Hetu and Travis Provost to score the win, becoming only the second different winner in the Mini Stock division this season.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Clements said. “It’s either been feast or famine. Ever since last year, we’ve just struggled with this thing so much. It’s either been second best or something breaks. It’s really good to finally be back here in victory lane. I really thought Kris was going to have something for us at the end. He’s always a hard charger at the end.”
Clements, Hetu and Provost finished in the top three positions while Travis Miller and Mickey Conner rounded out the top-five.
Belfiore, Spain and Miller Return to Victory Lane
Jonathon Belfiore passed East Carolina Motor Speedway competitor Travis Roberson in the middle stages of the 35 lap Street Stock feature to score his second win of the season over Roberson and Chris Connor. Eddie Humphrey finished in fourth while Gary Rochelle, Jr. finished fifth.
Travis Miller scored his second consecutive U-CAR win at Carteret County Speedway with a late race pass on Zac Reimer. Reimer went on to finish second. Michael Fose, fresh off a pair of Late Model wins at East Carolina Motor Speedway, finished third while Adam Resnick and Mickey Conner rounded out the top-five.
Dillon Spain scored his third consecutive victory in the Legends feature over Stephen Ford, Billy Hall, Justin Mitchell and Shane Irving.
Carteret County Speedway will return to action on Saturday, August 20th with racing for Late Models, Street Stocks, Mini Stocks, U-CARs and Legends. August 20th will be Ladies Night at Carteret County Speedway, with all ladies being admitted for $5.
-Carteret County Speedway Press Release
-Photo Credit: Carteret County Speedway