Matt Carter Wins Soy Biodiesel 225
Iowa Speedway Provides Another Barnburner Finish
Matt Carter celebrated his first Pro Cup win in style. (Kathy Bond photos)
First wins aren’t supposed to be easy. And after several near-misses, Matt Carter knows that first-hand. So when the opportunity arose for Carter to pick up a Hooters Pro Cup win, he took it.
Carter, driver of the No. 26n Travis Carter Motorsports Ford, lost the lead to Jay Fogleman with one lap to go, battled back on the white flag lap, bounced off Fogleman in Turn 4 and went onto win the Alan Kulwicki Memorial Soy Biodiesel 225 at Iowa Speedway on Saturday, September 22.
“I don’t think I lifted that last lap,” said Carter, who took home $12,000 for the win. “I was about wide open through Turns 1 and 2, and I know I didn’t crack the throttle in Turns 3 and 4. We bumped a little and beat him back to the flag.”
If not for a late-race caution, the last-lap duel probably wouldn’t have materialized.
Carter, who took the lead on Lap 206, had built a comfortable lead with just two laps remaining. The caution bunched the field for a green-white-checkered finish—and Fogleman pounced on the restart.
“I don’t know what his problem was on the restarts, but I had to ride the brake to stay off him,” said Fogleman, driver of the No. 4s The Works Ford. “I went down into [Turn] 1 and got under him coming to the white flag. My car was good at the top, so I gave him the whole bottom of the track. But somehow he needed the top of the racetrack, too. I’m not complaining about it. It’s over and done with, and we’ll go race together at Myrtle Beach. If he races me clean, we’ll race him clean. If he doesn’t, we won’t.”
Carter didn’t see the last-lap battle quite the same.
“It was the last lap and I was going for my first win,” said Carter. “I was just hammer down, going for the win and whatever happened was going to happen. He would have done the same thing. I remember the last time I was leading coming to a green-white-checkered finish. We had six of them, and I finished fourth. I wasn’t going to let that happen again.”
With his win, Carter jumped to third in the standings, just 53 points out of first. The top spot is now occupied by Bobby Gill after Gary St. Amant, who led the points coming into Iowa, had rough ending to his night.
St. Amant needed a provisional to make the race, but the cagy veteran moved into the top 10 around the halfway mark. While he wasn’t going to be a factor for the win, St. Amant appeared en route to a solid finish. But on Lap 222, St. Amant tangled with Chase Pistone and slammed into the Turn 2 wall. With just two laps remaining, St. Amant’s team was able to piece together his No. 7n JEGS.com/Speedco Chevrolet enough to finish the event, but he fell 29 points behind Gill in the standings.
Gill, driver of the No. 06s USG Sheetrock Ford, could have extended his lead over St. Amant and Carter, but he was freight-trained in the final laps and fell from third to sixth in the running order.
Trevor Bayne was the first driver to get past Gill late in the going. Bayne, driver of the No. 29s Aaron’s/DEI Chevrolet, pitted with 25 laps remaining and restarted 22nd. And what the 16-year-old driver did next was nearly as exciting as the battle for the win.
Carter in Victory Lane at Iowa.
In a series of bold moves, Bayne knifed his way through the pack towards the front. He went high, low and even three-wide at times. The contact between Carter and Fogleman almost gave the youngster a shot at the win. But in the end, Bayne could only slip past Fogleman, coming up .225 seconds short of Carter at the end.
“We just drove the wheels off of it to get back to the front,” said Bayne. “I drove it in probably five car lengths deeper than I did all race. The car was just so good I could go anywhere on the track. Another lap and I think I could have chased down Matt.”
Bayne’s second-place finish pushed him to fourth in the standings.
Gary St. Amant's wreck hurt his chances for the title.
Mike Garvey, driver of the No. 17s JaniKing Ford, had a similar pit strategy as Bayne, opting to give up track position and pit late. He also rumbled from the back to the front in the final laps, bypassing Gill and finishing fourth. Garvey, who started from the Awesome Awnings Pole and led 17 laps early in the race, jumped to fifth in the standings after his top-five finish.
Caleb Holman, driver of the No. 75s Food Country USA Chevrolet, led a race-high 52 laps and picked up the Miller Lite Rookie of the Race Award for his fifth-place finish.
Coupled with rookie point leader Brandon Ward’s 17th-place finish, Holman’s top-five finish moved him to within 20 points of Ward in the Miller Lite Rookie of the Year point race.
Johnny Rumley, driver of the No. 8n Snow King/Black’s Tire Chevrolet, was unable to get past Gill on the final lap and finished seventh, but the veteran did pick up five bonus points and $1,000 for leading the Lucas Oil Halfway Lap.
Woody Howard, Clay Jones and Shane Wallace completed the top 10.
Jeff Agnew, driver of the No. 73n Mark IV Suzuki/Team 7 Ford, grabbed the Aaron’s “Do The Math” Award for advancing the most positions during the event. Agnew started 36th and finished 13th.
The Soy Biodiesel 225 featured 16 lead changes among 12 drivers and was slowed 13 times for 76 laps of caution.
Soy Biodiesel 225 Notebook
“I don’t really know what the right word is, but you just really get pissed off when you go so long without winning,” said Ritch. “Cecil was uncalled for, it was my fault. At Jefferson (Peachstate), the #29 took out a lapped car and destroyed the man’s racecar, but they didn’t do anything about it. Those are the kinds of things that tick me off, but all it does is make me meaner. I don’t get down or nothing. The way I’ve always looked at it, I’m one of the best drivers out there and nothing’s going to get me down, regardless of it’s sponsorship, funds or whatever.
Trevor Bayne’s Aaron’s Dream Machine was fast all night long in the Soy Biodiesel 225 at Iowa Speedway, but the car may have had some extra powers to help him march from 22nd to second in the final 25 laps.
“I was driving the Dream Machine and I think it must have put everyone to sleep there at the end,” said Bayne.
When the sky lit up with fireworks on Lap 225 of the Soy Biodiesel 225, some fans may have thought the race was over, but there was still a green-white-checkered finish upcoming. Ironically, the early eruption proved to be a nice foreshadowing of the final, climactic laps of the Soy Biodiesel 225.
Strawberries and Cream
Matt Carter is not a doughnut man. But after winning the Soy Biodiesel 225, he couldn’t resist.
“I usually don’t do burnouts,” said Carter, who smoked up the frontstretch at Iowa Speedway after his win. “But it’s been so long since I’ve won a race, I was going to do something. Hopefully, it looked alright. I haven’t had a lot of practice at it. I just didn’t want to look stupid.”
Jay Fogleman lost an engine on Friday, rented Tim Bainey’s Predator Performance engine, which was on Benny Gordon’s hauler, and finished third…Ray Love Jr. rented one of Benny Gordon’s backup cars after having problems with his car in practice. Love qualified the borrowed car 16th…Through 18 races there have been 13 different winners in the Hooters Pro Cup Series and five first-time winners.