Clay Jones rode a roller coaster to victory in the inaugural race at Carteret County Speedway on Sunday night.
Jones qualified on the pole and dominated in the early stages of the race but found himself in a hole when he spun in turn one trying to get around the lapped car of Larry Penny in the middle stages of the race. Jones quickly raced his way back through the field and passed Jeff Oakley to reclaim the lead and score the victory.
“It was a tough night,” Jones said in victory lane. “I can’t thank these guys enough. We had a little mishap about halfway man. Got caught up in a wreck. They told me to go back up to the front because the dude didn’t have a spotter or anything but that ain’t how it works dude. You the caution, you spin, you gotta go to the rear. We went to the rear, came back up through there and didn’t touch anybody. I can’t believe it, man. It means a lot to win down here.”
Oakley entered the race as a favorite to win but had to settle for second. He took his second place finish in stride.
“We hoped to do good,” Oakley commented. “We wanted to win of course. Hats off to [Clay]. He had a heck of a car. He drove a great race. Our crew worked very hard to get us where we’re at. Even though we wanted first, we’ve got to take second and smile.”
Ricky Jones finished third after running up inside the top-five for much of the race. Jones said his car got tight toward the end of the race. Zachary Marks came away with a fourth place finish while Haley Moody was able to rebound from a late race where she spun off the front bumper of Michael Fose to finish fifth.
Rain throughout the day forced Carteret County Speedway to eliminate one of its practice sessions to get qualifying in on time, however time trial qualifying for the Late Models ended up delayed when Mike Ganoe crashed during his qualifying effort.
It took track officials 18 minutes to clean up after Ganoe’s crash and get his car off track. With five cars still waiting to get on track, Carteret County Speedway began their pre-race festivities – which featured a vintage car parade and burnout competition – to the dismay of the teams waiting to qualify. Qualifying finally resumed exactly 40 minutes after Ganoe’s crash. However, the Late Model race had been moved
Mini Stock Mayhem
When Stephen Sanders was involved in an accident under caution during the Mini Stock race, the track’s opening feature, he argued with the flagman at the flagstand, with his car stopped on the track. Track officials rushed to calm him down and get him off the track to little success. Sanders started to make repairs to his car on the frontstretch as an orchestra of jeers erupted from the stands. After track officials got him back in his car, Sanders started doing donuts on the frontstretch before finally pulling off the track.
Short Track Scene