JAMEY CAUDILL SMOKES THE FIELD AT SOUTHERN NATIONAL RACEWAY PARK by Amy Hayes
Track Veteran Dominates in UARA-STARS Late Model Stock Event
Jamey Caudill was number one at Kenly. (51 Photos)
But just how hard he was to beat might have had some people surprised.
“We had a really good car,” said Caudill. “We struggled the first couple of races we have run this year and we just kind of backed up to basics here today. We were good in practice and qualified well and the car just stayed real neutral the whole race. It’s not real often that you get a car that will stay that way from beginning to end But it is just nice when it does.”
Caudill started out on the pole and once the green flag was waved, he quickly settled for the second position as Mark Setzer jumped out to the lead.
It didn’t last too long however, by lap 18 Caudill was up to Setzer and by lap 19 he was around him and off he went, leaving the rest of the field to duke it out behind him.
“I saved quite a bit,” added Caudill. “But I would run hard after the restarts and when I could I would try and save it. I would say I probably ran hard about 70 percent of the time.”
Once Caudill was by Setzer, Roger Lee Newton, who had started in the third position, quickly took hold of the second spot after Setzer lost the lead and that is exactly where he stayed for the rest of the night.
“I am lucky,” said Newton. “I was able to be in front and stay out of some of the trouble that got some of the guys. I have been through that before, the last two races we had stuff happen, so I know how that is.
“I doubt I would have had anything for Jamey. He definitely has something that I don’t got. With the way he drives around this track, I am just glad to come home second.”
For the majority of the race Caudill was so far ahead that Newton wasn’t able to show if he had anything for him. But still, Caudill wasn’t going to take any chances.
“I was going to ride behind Setzer for awhile,” added Caudill. “But then Newton caught me and I felt like we needed to go. I knew we were better than Setzer there at the start but he was really keeping it pinched down on the bottom but I didn’t want to get into him. So I was just going to ride around for awhile and then try and get around him. But when Roger caught me I had to go get it done.”
Everyone knew that the No. 50 of Jamey Caudill was going to be hard to beat at Southern National Raceway Park. And he was. And, to no one’s surprise, he won the race.
The UARA-Stars drivers typically haven’t been afraid to move one another out of the way. Normally the races are filled with multiple-car incidents, but on Saturday night the drivers seemed to be on their best behavior.
Perhaps they realized the race wasn’t only on the track, but also a race against the imminent rain that was starting to cover the state of North Carolina.
While Caudill went and continued to stink up the show, there were several drivers who made some strides from the back of the field up front. But what they could have done with Caudill, the fans will never know because of what happened on lap 92.
Curtis Truex Jr., had started up front and secured himself in the third position. When a restart came on lap 92, he missed a shift and didn’t get the restart that he wanted, bunched the field up behind him. Truex Jr., was able to escape damage but the same couldn’t be said for former race leader Setzer and the previous race winner Matt DiBenedetto.
Setzer was done for the night, and DiBenedetto continued with a banged up hood but was unable to be a factor for the win. Also damaged in the incident were the competitive cars of track owner Kirk Leone, Alex Yontz, Ryan Gray, and John Gottsacker.
“I feel really bad about what happened,” said Truex Jr. “I raced everybody clean all night long and they raced me clean. The last thing I wanted to do was miss a shift.”
I went to shift and it wouldn’t go in and I hit the gas and I kept jamming it and it finally went in. That was totally my fault. I feel bad for the guys behind me, because they all raced me clean. When I saw them all wreck behind me and then the red came out, I felt really bad about that.”
Truex Jr., was able to continue on and hold the rest of the field off for the remaining 50 laps to finish third.
But the same couldn’t be said for those involved in the accident, and that just further more cleared the path for Caudill as he left Newton and Truex Jr., in the dust on his way to the checkered flag.
1. Jamie Caudill
2. Roger Newton
3. Curtis Truex Jr
4. Lee Tissot
5. Scott Young
6. Ross Furr
7. BJ Macky
8. Jeffrey Earnhardt
9. Clay Greenfield
10. Barry Andrews
11. Alex Yontz
12. Matt DiBenedetto
13. Justin Hill
14. John Gottsacker
15. Dennis Queen
16. Kevin Leicht
17. Mikey Kile
18. Ryan Rhodes
19. Lucas Ransone
20. Matt Leicht
21. Brandon Weber
22. KC Cunningham
23. Ryan Gray
24. Kirk Leone
25. Mark Setzer
26. Robert Ferguson
27. Jake Crum
28. Tommy Lemons Jr
Roger Lee Newton was able to shake off the luck that has followed him so far this season.