PELETIER, N.C. – Defending CARS Late Model Stock Tour champion Jared Fryar reigned supreme in the opening round of Carteret County Speedway’s Fast Five Late Model Series Saturday, leading every lap of the 100-lap late model race.
While Fryar made it look easy at times, he had to hold off some tough challenges from Zach Lightfoot at the initial start of the race and after the lone competition caution that took place at halfway. The win was his first at Carteret County Speedway in his third start at a track he enjoys due to its challenging nature.
“It was awesome,” Fryar said. “Car was on rails. We struggled a little bit last year, which was the first time I’d been here. I ran two races and learned a ton and came back and applied everything we learned off those two races and put it into one here and it showed today. I just can’t thank everybody behind me enough. To compete for wins is awesome and it feels so good to get a win here and get my name on the wall.”
The wall Fryar mentions is the wall on the front stretch at Carteret County Speedway which lists the name of every late model race winner at the track as well as the names of the defending division champions – something that has grown to mean a lot to racers who have competed at the Crystal Coast gem.
Fryar also used the race to gain some valuable track time prior to the CARS Tour’s $30,000-to-win Old North State Nationals at Orange County Speedway in Rougemont, N.C., later this month.
“This is a different animal,” Fryar said of the track. “It’s different than anywhere we go to. I’m just happy we put it into one and can sit on pole and win the race, feels good. I know we needed this. It will be big momentum going into the [Old North State Nationals] in a couple of week.”
Lightfoot finished in the runner-up spot in his second late model start at Carteret County Speedway.
“We had a pretty good race,” Lightfoot said. “We just rode a little bit the first half, let [Fryar] do his thing and then, the second half, our car started fading. He had a real good car, congratulations to that whole team.”
Lightfoot also said his intentions are, as of now, to compete for the track championship at Carteret County Speedway as well as run in all five rounds of the Solid Rock Carriers Fast Five Late Model Series.
Tim Allensworth finished in the third position while Brandon Clements and T.J. Barron rounded out the top-five.
Curtis Lanier led only one lap during the first of two U-CAR features Saturday at Carteret County, but it was the one that paid the money. He bested Steve Sullivan at the finish line by a remarkable .004 seconds.
The finish was so close that Lanier had no idea he’d won the race.
“I didn’t know, I really didn’t know,” Lanier said in victory lane. “I pushed as hard as I could. Steve had a little issue there. We ran hard on the outside and made it happen so that was good, really good. I ran up a half a groove a lap or two before and it seemed to hold for me so I stuck it on the outside and said ‘hold on.’”
While Sullivan settled for second, by inches, he would go on to win later in the afternoon over Lanier in the second act of a U-CAR double feature.
United States Marines Zac Reimer and Neil Mason stole the show in the Battlefield Tire Pros Mini Stock feature, sweeping the top-two spots in front of an enthusiastic and patriotic crowd.
Reimer picked up the victory after an engaging duel with Travis Miller in the early laps of the race before Miller was sidelined with mechanical issues. Following Miller’s retirement from the race, Reimer drove away from the field in dominant fashion to score the win while Neil Mason made a late race pass on Andrew Jackson to move to the runner-up spot.
Other winners Saturday included Andrew Warner (Bomber), Josh Eubanks (Champ Kart) and Adam Mattice (Jr. Mini Cup).