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Mark Smith en route to victory at Southern Raceway. (Jim DenHamer photo)

Smith Stops McCarl At Southern Raceway

MILTON, Fla. — Mark Smith rode in the catbird’s seat for 27 laps and pounced in lapped traffic with three laps to go to take the lead. 

Smith went on to take his tenth United Sprint Car Series presented by K&N Filters win at Southern Raceway since 2019 on Saturday night in round nine of the Winter Heat Series.

Terry McCarl led the first 27 laps of the race and was looking for his second straight win at Southern Raceway after posting the USCS win on Friday night, but the second-generation National Sprint Car Hall of Fame driver had to settle for the second spot. 

Matt Covington finished third and Mark Ruel Jr. was fourth.

Corbin Gurley drove to a fifth-place finish and Lance Moss started 12th and finished sixth.

“I tried to stay close enough to Terry until we got into lapped traffic before I could make a move,” Smith said. “It’s easier to make a move when you’re running second because Terry had to slow down for the lapped car and decide which way he wanted to go, and he had no idea how close I was.  When he went high, I committed to the bottom and made the pass.”

The finish:

Feature (30 laps): 1. 43 Mark Smith, Sunbury, PA (2); 2. 24 Terry McCarl, Altoona, IA (1); 3. 95 Matt Covington, Glenpool, OK (8); 4. 83 Mark Ruel Jr., Jacksonville, FL (5); 5. 12 Corbin Gurley, Hebron, IN (7); 6. 36 Jason Martin, Liberal, KS (6); 7. 23 Lance Moss, Cherryville, NC (12); 8. 938 Bradley Fezard, Bonnerdale, AR (14); 9. 13 Van Gurley Jr., Valparaiso, IN (9); 10. 10 Terry Gray, Bartlett, TN (11); 11. 16 Austyn Gossel, Fort Collins, CO (4); 12. 6 Bryan Gossel, Windsor, CO (10); 13. 28 Jeff Willingham, Ripley, MS (13); 14. 2 Tommy Hall, Natchitoches, LA (15); 15. 14 Brett Wright, East Chatham, NY (3); 16. 121 Todd Bliss, Baton Rouge, LA (16).