Despite pesky thunderstorms that pushed the racing program into the early morning hours, Stephen Nasse and Tommy Lemons captured their respective halves of last weekend’s CARS Tour Summertime Showdown 250 at Orange County Speedway.
Nasse earned the pole for the first time in a Championship Auto Racing Series event and led the field to green in the Super Late Model race.
Just 14 laps into the July 30 event, Tate Fogleman and Tyler Church made contact exiting turn four, sending Fogleman’s No. 8 machine into the turn four wall at a sharp angle. The car went airborne before drawing Preston Peltier, Quin Houff, Tanner Berryhill, Jeff Batten and Wade Day into the accident.
All drivers were able to walk away from the accident.
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A rash of mid-race yellow flags, three of which involved previous event winner Matt Craig, set the stage for a 47-lap dash to the checkered flag between Nasse and Dalton Sargeant, who had run the ARCA race at Pocono Raceway the previous day and who also had finished third at Orange County during the tour’s last visit in April.
Sargeant’s last-ditch push over the final two laps included some aggressive driving and substantial contact, but Nasse kept his car under control and beat Sargeant to the checkered flag by .239 of a second.
In the Late Model event, hometown hero Chris Denny started from the pole in his second career start with the tour. Ten laps into the event, Denny and front row starter Stefan Parsons made contact in turn two, cutting Denny’s tire and sending him into the concrete to bring out the first caution of the evening.
CARS points leader Deac McCaskill wrestled the lead away from Parsons on the restart.
On lap 43, Chase Purdy and Ryan Wilson made contact on the backstretch, sending Wilson’s car into the outside wall, where he collected Craig Stallard in the aftermath. After exiting his car, Wilson proceeded to confront Purdy on-track during the caution flag, landing punches through the window of Purdy’s car before walking away under the quick escort of CARS Tour officials.
Lemons held off Deac McCaskill’s advances for the last three laps and cruised underneath the checkered flag to claim his second consecutive CARS Late Model Stock Tour win. McCaskill, Christian Eckes, Layne Riggs and Craig Moore rounded out the top five.
“That’s the hardest we’ve run all year long. It felt like we ran 100 qualifying laps,” Lemons said. “This place beats on you pretty good, but this is just awesome.”
Orange County Speedway
Next Race: August 13, 2016
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Grandstand Gates Open 5:00 p.m.
Green Flag at 7:00 p.m.