- Last Updated on 08:22 AM 08/20/12
- BY Doug Ford
Kyle Grissom may not have thought his racecar was good enough to win the Pass Super Late Model 150 at South Boston Speedway Saturday night, but that was before the Concord, N.C., driver and series points leader took to the track and came out on top of a field of 22 cars to grab his second straight win and series-leading fourth win of the season.
Grissom, starting ninth, moved steadily through the pack before passing race leader Nate Caruth on lap 88 and led the rest of the way, winning by .211 seconds over the hard-charging Mooresville, N.C., driver.
Veteran driver Jody Lavender started fifth and finished third, and 15-year-old rookie Gray Gaulding of Charlotte, N.C., finished fourth after starting fifth in a race that was marred by seven cautions.
Preston Peltier of Harrisburg, N.C., third in points coming into Saturday night, finished fifth, with fast qualifier (15.277 seconds) Brandon Ward of Winston-Salem, N.C., Daniel Hemric of Mooresville, N.C., Jay Fogleman of Durham, N.C., Kevin Powell of Winston Salem, N.C., and Ross Kenseth of Mooresville, N.C. rounding out the top-ten finishers.
Kenseth led laps 1-19, Fogleman lap 20 and Kenseth laps 21-30, before Steve Wallace, using the high groove, passed for the lead.
Caruth passed Wallace for the lead on lap 81 but couldn’t hold off Grissom, who passed for the lead on lap 88 and led to the checkered flag.
Grissom never could quite pull away from Caruth, who stayed within striking distance the rest of the race but couldn’t pull off a pass of the race leader.
Grissom admitted Caruth could have had the best car at the end of the race.
“The 19 was really good… we just got out front and were able to maintain,” Grissom said in Victory Lane.
He and his crew made chassis adjustments for two days to the racecar, trying to find the right combinations, but Grissom was unsure up until race time if they would work.
“I can’t thank these guys who helped me this weekend, yesterday and today they worked like crazy and changed every shock and spring on the car,” said Grissom.
“We went from two polar opposite setups back and forth.
“We left here last night kind of confused not knowing what to do and came up with a plan, and we came in this morning and put it together.
“I don’t think we were expecting this, but we’ll definitely take it.”
Grissom is keeping his fingers crossed that his race team’s good fortune continues the rest of the year.
“To have four wins right now this year is unbelievable,” said Grissom.
“I keep hoping the good luck doesn’t run out. We’ve been really lucky so far this year, but also there’ve been a lot of good guys helping me.
“I hope we don’t’ stop anytime soon.”
Caruth, a series rookie, thought his car was better on the long runs and didn’t want to see the caution flags fly.
“I wish we would have got it done,” said Caruth. Kyle’s a good racer, its pretty cool to run him down like that, he’s fast everywhere he goes.
“Those cautions really hurt us. I think we were really, really good on the long runs.
“We had a good car, and we were just blessed to run second, I guess.’
Caruth is still looking for his first career win in the Pass Series.
“Once you get that first one, the rest come a little easier, and that’s why I was hoping to get that first one out of the way this weekend,” admitted Caruth.
“We’ll live another day and try to get it in Caraway.”
Lavender made his first racing start of the year a successful one Saturday night with his third-place finish.
“I kind of pulled a Mark Martin, said I’d retired but now coming back,” joked Lavender.
“I hadn’t been in a car for about a year, and I have to thank my guys for coming back and helping me get the car together.
“It was really good, and I thought we had a shot at it, but I just lost my forward drive at the end.
“I still had a blast.”
Grala wins Legends
Kaz Grala of Boston, Mass., qualified on the pole and led each of 25 laps to win the Carolina Competition Sports Legends cars race Saturday night at South Boston Speedway.
David Garbo Jr. finished second, and Brad Hancock, Dillon Spain and Joe Ryan Osborne rounded out the top-five finishers in an 18-car field.
Former South Boston Late Model Stock car driver Julia Landauer, Casey Traxler, Scottsburg’s Jamie Laine, Austin Berry and Bryce Norton rounded out the top-ten finishers in a race that was delayed once by a caution flag.