SWANSBORO, NC — Joshua Yeoman recovered from an early race spin to score his first career Late Model victory in the Budweiser Short Track Shootout at Carteret County Speedway on Saturday night. While Yeoman celebrated, tempers flared later in the evening in the U-CAR feature.
Yeoman qualified on the pole and dominated early in the race, but a caution came out due to problems on Jim Kelley’s car erased his lead. He fended off several challenges from Chris Burns but, on lap 32, Yeoman got loose and spun on the frontstretch. The incident relegated Yeoman to the rear of the field and he had only 28 short laps to rebound.
Yeoman made his move, quickly working his way up to third, then getting around Tim Allensworth for second with 18 laps to go. Yeoman then closed in on race leader Chris Burns and challenged him for the lead. With 10 laps remaining, Yeoman made the pass on Chris Burns and held him off several times to score the victory – his first career Late Model victory.
“When we started the race, I knew the car was good,” Yeoman said. “Ever since we unloaded it, it unloaded great. Ever since last time, we should’ve won that one but it was good clean racing with Chris. I love racing with him, he’s a good guy. I want to thank [Bobby Watson] for putting it on. He’s got the best racetrack in the Carolinas.”
Yeoman recalled his spin in the closing laps in the season opening race, which handed the win to Burns and how he had to rebound once again from his lap 32 spin.
“Last time, we made it back to third in five laps,” Yeoman elaborated. “I had that one. When I spun out, I came on the radio and said ‘sorry guys, I blew this one’. My uncle told me to take my time and he spoke the truth because we’re here in victory lane. I want to thank Archie Adams and his entire family have gotten me where I’m at. We’ve run top three all year and I’m glad it’s here.”
When Yeoman spun, Burns inherited the lead and it was like déjà vu all over again but Burns knew Yeoman was fast and would be back to him before the race was over.
“I knew he was fast enough to come back,” Burns remarked. “I wish it was a 55 lap race, we might have been alright. Congratulations to Josh, he deserves it. We didn’t have the car we should have had tonight. It was decent but not good enough. We’ll regroup, come back next time and we’ll be better.”
Dillon Motor Speedway competitor Tim Allensworth went on to finish third in his Carteret County Speedway debut.
“We can’t complain,” Allensworth stated. “This was the first time that we got to see the track. We came up here last year for a tire test with American Racer and got 10 laps before the bottom fell out and it poured down rain all day. We were happy with as little testing as we got to run as well as we did. I’ve got to give it up to Josh and Chris, they put on a heck of a show for the fans.”
Zachary Marks, a regular at Wake County Speedway, finished fourth in his second Carteret County Speedway appearance while Zach Henshaw finished fifth.
US Marine Gunnery Sergeant Wins U-CAR Fight Night
United States Marine Corps. Gunnery Sergeant Zac Reimer, who is stationed at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina, picked up the victory in a wild and crazy U-CAR feature. Behind him, tempers flared between veteran drivers.
James Stroud, a former champion at Southern National Motorsports Park, dominated the race, leading the first 29 laps. However, in the final 10 laps, Travis Miller caught Stroud and challenged him for the lead. As Miller threatened for the lead, Stroud put on a strong defense.
When the white flag waved, the gloves came off and the crowd went wild.
In turns one and two, Stroud cleared a lapped car but ended up spinning off the front bumper of Miller. Miller took the lead but was penalized for aggressive driving, allowing Reimer to inherit the lead. When the race resumed, Miller and Stroud again crashed on the final lap and Reimer came to the checkered flag to pick up his first career Carteret County Speedway victory.
“Just got the car done last night,” Reimer said in victory lane. “First run on it. It kept popping out of gear so we were stuck in third gear. We had no power steering either so my arms are definitely dead. Got a lot of work to catch up to Miller and Stroud. We’ll get there though. I appreciate everyone coming out and it’s always exciting to race with these guys.”
Without power steering, Saturday night’s race was more of a test of physical endurance for Gunnery Sergeant Reimer.
“Tonight was definitely the physical fitness part without power steering,” Reimer explained. “It was getting pretty rough and mentally challenging. Other than that, just keep your head on your shoulders and don’t do crazy things out there.”
While Reimer climbed out of his car and celebrated in victory lane, Stroud and Miller exchanged pleasantries with each other on the backstretch as the crowd roared. Miller climbed out of his car and confronted Stroud with a physical and verbal reaction. Carteret County Speedway officials quickly took control of the situation and the two drivers both shared their differing versions of what took place.
“Me and James have raced for the past four or five years and never really had any problems,” Miller commented. “When you’re racing side-by-side, stuff happens. The first incident, when he got dumped, we had a lapped car. Last lap, I probably put more pressure than I should have and I apologize for that. The last deal, coming out of turn two, our cars got together. Our wheels stick so far out that when they jump, they jump on each other. I walked that off too.”
Miller said he lost his temper and confronted Stroud because Stroud wrecked him under caution.
“Under caution, James wrecked me and that just doesn’t sit well with me,” Miller explained. “I’m sorry the fans had to see stuff like that. I’ve never had an altercation with other drivers. It’s not my style but, this was a brand new car and it doesn’t look that way now. It doesn’t help things but we’ll regroup and try again.”
Stroud, the winner of the U-CAR feature back on April 30th, said this was not the first time Miller had wrecked him for the win and that his temper finally boiled over.
“I’ve raced with Travis about three years now,” Stroud commented. “This is the third time he’s dumped me coming to the win when I’m leading the race convincingly. I hate we tore up cars. It pissed me off, I’m not going to lie. We’ll fix it and come back and move on. Fans should have enjoyed it I guess. I don’t know. I was just riding and he got up to me and I didn’t think he would turn me like that but obviously he will so we’ll take this one and move on… We’ll be back, I promise.”
Dillon Spain Dominates Legends Feature for 100th Victory
Wherever Dillon Spain goes, he’s fast. Spain is the reigning Legends champion at Southern National Motorsports Park and has collected dozens of feature wins – many of them at Southern National, East Carolina Motor Speedway and Wake County Speedway.
Saturday night, he added Carteret County Speedway to his resume, scoring the victory in his first Carteret County Speedway appearance.
“We got here around five o’clock yesterday and practiced a lot,” Spain said. “We changed a lot of things on the car to get it ready. This track is definitely different than anything I’ve ever raced at. It was a fun challenge to come out here and learn something new.”
Spain qualified on the pole but surrendered the lead briefly to Brent Irving, who won on April 30th, at the start of the race. Spain quickly got back around Irving and led all the way to the checkered flag.
“I knew I had to keep hitting my marks and not overdrive the car,” Spain remarked. “I knew my car was where it needed to be and if I hit my marks like I was supposed to, I would eventually be right with him to make the pass.”
Spain said he believed his victory at Carteret on Saturday night was his 100th career victory.
Brent Irving went on to finish second while Zach Lightfoot held off Billy Hall to finish in third.
Rouse Repeats, Council Dominates and Mini Cups Entertain
Michael Rouse picked up his second consecutive victory in the Mini Stock division, dominating the race from start to finish to score the victory over Kres Hetu and Brandon Clements.
Jesse Council qualified on the pole and led every single lap of the Street Stock feature, which was the nightcap event for the Budweiser Short Track Shootout. Attrition took its toll during the race as both Chris Burns and Jonathon Belfiore retired from the event with mechanical problems while running in the runner-up position.
The Carolina Eastern Mini-Cup Association (CEMCA) kicked off Saturday night’s race with a thrilling event. Aiden Hetu qualified on the pole but spun out of turn four while leading the race, relegating him to the rear of the field and allowing Brent Bullard to take the lead. Bullard would not surrender the lead while Hetu raced his way back up through the field into the second spot.
Classic racing action returns to Carteret County Speedway on Sunday, July 3rd for the kickoff of Speedweek at Carteret County Speedway. After the race on July 3rd, there isn’t much rest as racing will resume on Wednesday, July 6th in a rarity for Southeast asphalt racing – a weeknight racing event. On Saturday, July 9th, the excitement continues with Carteret County Speedway’s Beach Music Bash under the stars which will be headlined by Jim Quick and the Coastline Band.
- #2 Joshua Yeoman
- #19 Chris Burns
- #21 Tim Allensworth
- #17 Zachary Marks
- #99 Zach Henshaw
- #55 Gerald Benton
- #K7 Jim Kelley
–Carteret County Speedway Press Release
-Photo Credit: Alicia Hackett/Frameworks Photography