Pierce and Pollard Prevail In CARS Tour High-Paying Openers

Auto Racing CARS Tour
LUCAMA, NC (March 10, 2019) – Brandon Pierce and Bubba Pollard claimed the victories in the opening round of the CARS Tour on Saturday at Southern National Motorsports Park. For Pierce, it was his first series win while Pollard emerged on top after only his second start at the facility.
Brandon Pierce started the afternoon in the best shape of anyone after capturing the Hedgecock Racing Pole Position following two rounds of Fivestar Bodies Knockout Qualifying. He led the opening seven circuits until JR Motorsports driver Josh Berry drove by in turn three to take command of the event. Pierce eventually slid back a handful of positions in the running order as the race progressed.
Berry was trailed closely by Deac McCaskill and Chad McCumbee for most of the race until the final handful of restarts. Though Pierce fell back early, he gradually began to make his way forward inside of 40 laps to go, passing competitors hastily and occasionally using the bumper to assist slower machines out of his path.
A spin by Mini Tyrrell tightened the field just outside of 30 laps remaining, and Pierce continued to play chess with Berry in the closing stages. After conserving even further, Pierce began to mount a challenge as Berry diced through traffic until a caution for Ronald Hill’s stalled machine slowed the field with ten laps to go.
Berry rocketed to a ten car length lead before Pierce’s car began to come in just a handful of laps later. With three laps to go, Pierce turned Berry 45-degrees sideways in turn four but allowed the No. 88 to gather it back in before resuming his assault. On the white flag lap, he nudged Berry out of the groove in turn two to pull alongside before driving ahead in turn three. Berry attempted to return the favor but was unsuccessful, allowing Pierce to capture the biggest win of his late model stock career and first in the CARS Late Model Stock Tour. Berry, Deac McCaskill, Bobby McCarty and Riley Herbst rounded out the top five.
“I’ve worked at this so hard and this has been coming for a long time,” Pierce said while fighting back emotions in Edelbrock Victory Lane. “I took the off-season pretty personally and went to work on myself really hard, and these guys thrashed, and I really reset my whole focus this off-season and knew it was time to hit the reset button and try to see what I was missing to be more determined to win these races. I had been in cars that I could get the job done and hadn’t. There was no stopping us today. I owe it all to that man right there (Lee Pulliam) and these guys. When you’ve got a four time national champion in you’re hear, if you just listen to him, you’re probably going to win. That’s what I did, and here we are.
“I’ll be honest, when the caution came out I was pretty pissed,” he continued when asked about his run to the front and the final caution which set up a late-race restart. “I had used it up pretty good trying to run Josh down. With lapped traffic you really didn’t know, it changed lap to lap, even coming up on the same cars again. I knew I had to get a really good start and hold it tight. If I could get down and get behind him, I felt like I had enough left where I could get by him. He was getting really tight, and I was getting really free. I just shoved him off the bottom there a little bit and got the job done.”
Bubba Pollard solidified himself as the man to beat early by capturing the Mahle Pole Position during his two rounds of Fivestar Bodies Knockout Qualifying prior to racing. The Georgia driver led the opening fifth of the race before Matt Wallace outdrove him on a restart and cleared the No. 26 car, taking the lead on lap 34.
Wallace set the pace until Nolan Pope and Mike Speeney tangled in turn one for the fifth caution of the race. Pollard got the holeshot through the KRC Power Steering Restart Zone and once again controlled the race on lap 57.
Pollard remained unchallenged for the top spot until the final 40 laps, when Preston Peltier ascended from his 17th starting position to challenge for the point and successfully obtained it on lap 113. Just five laps later, on a restart, Pollard was able to bypass Peltier for the lead once again.
With 26 laps to go, Mason Diaz and Peltier both began to give intense chase to Pollard. Diaz looked inside several times on the No. 26 car and occasionally made slight contact with his rear bumper challenging for the $10,000 top prize. With seven laps to go, Diaz’s upset bid fell short when he got loose in turn three and spun off the front bumper of Preston Peltier exiting turn four on lap 143.
Peltier hounded Pollard for the final seven laps but was unable to find a path around the superstar before the checkered flag waved, awarding Pollard another CARS Super Late Model win. Peltier, Brandon Setzer, Jared Fryar and Stephen Nasse rounded out the top five.
“It’s tough to save enough at the beginning because you just get strung out and start riding,” Pollard admitted in Edelbrock Victory Lane. “We had way too much motor, just way too much motor tonight, and it cost us late in the race. The big motor made me free in, and it’s hard to win races when you’re free in because you get tight in the center. So, I had to be more conservative and start driving defensively, driving straight in on the bottom and things like that. It was a good race at the end, but that’s what it’s all about. Everyone rides around at the beginning of the race and that’s what makes it good at the end.”
Pollard immediately turned his focus to his next CARS Tour event, the $30,000-to-win Old North State Nationals presented by Visit Orange County at Orange County Speedway on April 5-7, where he will be racing a late model stock car for only the second time in his career.
“Late model stocks are a lot different, but we can take a lot we learn from this thing and apply to it,” said Pollard. “Jamie Yelton and Fat Head Racing are getting it ready and hopefully we have a good run. It’s a lot of fun running that deal, so we’ll do the best we can and see how it goes.”
The CARS Tour resumes action in less than two weeks when both divisions visit Hickory Motor Speedway for the MTP Tire 300 on March 23. Following the Hickory visit, the short track world’s attention will turn to the tour’s event at Orange County Speedway paying $30,000 to win, the richest late model stock race in history of the discipline, paying even more than the prestigious event at Martinsville Speedway, also one of the single biggest paying late model events of any kind in the United States.
For more information on the CARS Tour, visit their website at www.carsracingtour.com. Fresh content and updates can also be found on the series Facebook page (@carstour), Twitter (@carstour), Instagram (@cars_tour), Snapchat (@carstour) and Youtube channel (/carstour). The series Roku app is also available for installation to see live and on-demand events by following the instructions found at www.carstour.tv.
CARS Late Model Stock Tour
Solid  Rock Carriers 300 presented by SRI Performance
Southern National Motorsports Park – March 9, 2019
1.2Brandon Pierce150
2.88Josh Berry150
3.08Deac McCaskill150
4.22Bobby McCarty150
5.18Riley Herbst150
6.99Layne Riggs150
7.54Drew Dollar150
8.17PStacy Puryear150
9.2SMyatt Snider150
10.57Justin Carroll150
11.27Tommy Lemons, Jr.150
12.07Bradley McCaskill150
13.17Taylor Gray150
14.16Chad McCumbee149
15.63Tyler Matthews149
16.25Zack St. Onge148
17.19Cameron Bowen148
18.77Trevor Ward148
19.81Mini Tyrrell148
20.51Matt Cox148
21.01Camden Gullie146
22.23Terry Brooks, Jr.144
23. 74 Ronald Hill 138 Out Of Fuel
24. 4 Jonathan Findley 121 Mechanical
25. 1 Craig Moore 93 Engine
26. 12 Ryan Wilson 85 Handling
27. 1P Brody Pope 27 Accident
28.98Adam Lemke1Mechanical
4HLeland Honeyman, Jr.DNQ
18Jason YorkDNQ
CARS Super Late Model Tour
Solid  Rock Carriers 300 presented by SRI Performance
Southern National Motorsports Park – March 9, 2019
1.26PBubba Pollard150
2.33Preston Peltier150
3.6Brandon Setzer150
4.14Jared Fryar150
5.51Stephen Nasse150
6.17Mike Speeney150
7.7Justin Crider150
8.54Matt Craig150
9.2Trevor Noles150
10.97Brandon Lynn150
11.45Kodie Conner150
12.8Tate Fogleman150
13.24DMason Diaz150
14.37Dan Speeney150
15.2TGracie Trotter150
16.27Tyler Church150
17.16Molly Helmuth150
18.34Nolan Pope150
19.24Colin Garrett149
20.21Trey Bayne148
21.22Tim Hollis144
22.61Gabriel Fogg137
23. 98 Jody Measamer 123 Mechanical
24. 6W Matt Wallace 121 DNF
25. 66W Steve Wallace 60 Engine
26. 49 Jeff Batten 35 Accident
27. 00 Anthony Cataldi 35 Accident

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