MIDLAND, N.C. - Matt Craig all but locked up his second straight PASS South Super Late Model championship by claiming his sixth win of the season Saturday afternoon in the North-South Shootout at North Carolina’s Concord Speedway.
Craig’s seventh career PASS South win was his first at Concord Speedway, but not the first for his family-owned team at the track, where they have also gone to victory lane in the past with drivers like Rodney Childers, Jeff Fultz, and Clay Rogers.
“This track means so much to my family, we’ve always had success here, it was a little bit bumpy for me the first few times out here, but we’ve finally got it conquered and figured it out this time,” said Craig. “We’ve had a phenomenal year and we’ve been doing so good. We’ve tested and really done our homework and I’m just the lucky one that gets to drive them.”
In qualifying on Friday, Craig just barely beat out Midwest standout Ty Majeski for his third quick qualifying time of the year with a lap of 15.925 seconds (113.030 MPH). After the top 10 qualifiers redraw, former Truck Series racers Erik Darnell and Chad McCumbee would move to the front row, while Craig moved back to the fifth starting position.
At the drop of the green flag, Darnell would move to the point, while McCumbee settled into second in front of Jared Irvan. Craig did not take long to flex his muscle, leading Majeski by McCumbee into second and third respectively on lap 13. Just 15 laps later, McCumbee continued to slide back, losing fifth to Christian Eckes.
The first caution of the afternoon would wave on lap 46 when Dave Farrington, Jr. stalled in the dogleg with a broken shock mount, after contact the lap before nearly sent Tate Fogleman and Colt James spinning.
On the restart, Darnell and Craig bumped in turn one and nearly crashed, allowing Majeski to make a bold move in the short chute and into the lead. The battle continued between Darnell and Craig for second with Craig finally able to wrestle the spot away on lap 73.
Majeski had built up nearly a straightaway advantage over Craig, but that was all erased when the caution waved with 36 laps to go after contact between Eckes and Dawsonville, Georgia’s Spencer Davis sent Eckes hard into the turn one wall. Coming back to the green flag for the restart, Majeski’s car stumbled, allowing Craig to assume the lead.
The final caution of the afternoon would wave with 27 laps to go for a spin by Fogleman exiting turn three. Craig led on the restart and would lead the rest of the way to take the win over Majeski. Davis finished in third, followed by Jake Crum and McCumbee.
Kodie Conner, James, Roy Hayes, Darnell, and Irvan rounded out the top ten..
The PASS Super Late Models will be in action for the final time in 2017 on Saturday afternoon, November 18, for the 12th Annual Mason-Dixon MegaMeltdown 300 at North Carolina’s Hickory Motor Speedway, with $15,000 on the line to win.
For more information, visit ProAllStarsSeries.com.
PASS South Super Late Model Series
Concord Speedway – Midland, NC
North-South Shootout (Unofficial) – Nov. 4, 2017
1. 54 – Matt Craig
2 16 – Ty Majeski
3. 55 – Spencer Davis
4. 01 – Jake Crum
5. 16M – Chad McCumbee
6. 45 – Kodie Conner
7. 15J – Colt James
8. 15 – Roy Hayes III
9. 7 – Erik Darnell
10. 28 – Jared Irvan
11. 8F – Tate Fogleman
12. 24J – J.P. Josiasse
13. 4M – Kyle McCallum
14. 15X – Christian Eckes
15. 64 – Garrett Evans
16. 13 – Wes Burton
17. 7F – Dave Farrington, Jr.
18. 11 – Jordan McCallum
DNS: 6 – Matt Wallace