ROUGEMONT, N.C. – Nick Loden dominated a largely procedural 75-lap Carolina Pro Late Model Series feature Sunday at Orange County Speedway to notch his third win in as many races this season.
After qualifying fourth, Loden outdueled Caden Kvapil following the initial start to take the lead on lap three, then controlled the remaining distance at the semi-banked, three-eighths-mile paved oval.
Loden led the final 73 circuits unchallenged and took the victory by 1.834 seconds over Dylan Ward.
“This is awesome,” said Loden in victory lane. “My second win here [at Orange County] … I want to win all of them this year, but this was really fun. That was one of the best races this year. It was a lot of fun racing on the restarts, but it’s a big deal to win at a place like this. Orange County is pretty historic.
“I’ve had to pretty much not do what we did last year, and just scoot to the lead now and control the pace rather than trying to stay back in the back of the pack and save tires,” Loden added. “It’s worked out a lot better to control how fast the field is going and it worked out well for us today.”
The 16-year-old son of Southeast short-track star Andy Loden gave his father plenty of credit for helping him get to the point in his career where he can dominate races on a regular basis.
“It’s really good to have him in my corner, especially at Hickory because he knows a lot about that place, but he’s really taught me how to race side by side with people better than I have been,” said the younger Loden. “Without him, I wouldn’t be in the position that I am and able to win these races.”
Josh Lowder, William Sawalich and Kyle Campbell made up the rest of the top-five finishers.
The battle for second behind Loden might have been fast and furious down the home stretch, but a lap-52 caution saw Landon Devaughn spin on the backstretch and Nathan Byrd get pushed into the melee.
Kvapil and Leland Honeyman, who were battling for second at the time, both had nowhere to go and were collected in the multi-car incident – ending their chances at contending for the victory.
Honeyman rebounded after a left-rear tire change to finish seventh, while Kvapil nursed home a heavily-damaged race car to a disappointing 11th-place result.
1. 43-Nick Loden, 2. 21-Dylan Ward, 3. 63-Josh Lowder, 4. 43s-William Sawalich, 5. 03-Kyle Campbell, 6. 48-Toby Grynewicz, 7. 4-Leland Honeyman, 8. 24-Penn Crim, 9. 81-Bryson Carver, 10. 5-Jasec Holladay, 11. 35-Caden Kvapil, 12. 118-Landon Devaughn, 13. 51-Nathan Byrd, 14. 44-Josh VanWinkle, 15. 83-Breck Bullock.