Special to the Register & Bee
SOUTH BOSTON — Josh Berry won the battle at South Boston Speedway on Saturday afternoon, but Bobby McCarty won the war, fighting his way through the field to finish second in the autosby nelson.com 250 and capture the CARS Tour Late Model Stock championship.
He scored a one-point championship win over Berry who sat on the pole and led every lap of the 125-lap race.
Matt Craig led every lap of the 125-lap CARS Tour Super Late Model race and claimed that series championship in the day’s opening race.
“I knew we had our work cut out for us. We played the restarts, staying on the outside picking up a couple of spots,” said McCarty, who not only claimed back-to-back CARS Tour Late Model championships but became the first driver ever to win two titles in the series.
“We had to race the race differently than what we wanted to. We got to fifth or sixth and the leaders were gone so we started saving. I’m just so thankful for this whole team for standing behind me and pushing me to find all I could find.”
McCarty, who came into the race with a five-point lead over Berry, started deep in the field after a poor qualifying effort and barely missed a third-lap crash exiting the fourth turn. After that scare, he patiently worked his way through the field and was in the top five by lap 60.
He got around Corey Heim on lap 78 to take second but the two drivers battled hard the final 30 laps. Heim got under McCarty several times leaving the fourth turn, but each time McCarty pulled away on the frontstretch.
Heim made one charge leaving the fourth turn on the final lap, but McCarty beat him to the finish line by several feet for second and the championship.
“I really owe Corey,” McCarty said. “He drove me clean; he gave me plenty of room. I really appreciate that.”
It was the fourth win and fourth pole of the season for Berry, who drives for JR Motorsports.
Layne Riggs wound up fourth, while McCarty’s Nelson Motorsports teammate Timothy Peters finished fifth.
Craig came into the 125-lap Super Late Model race needing just to crank his engine to claim the 2019 series championship. He made sure, though, that he ended the season in the same dominant fashion he displayed most of the season.
The Kannapolis, North Carolina driver started second, took the lead from Tate Fogleman on the first lap and led all 125 laps for the win. It was his second win of the season and sixth top-five of the season. He finished in the top-10 every race this season.
Pole-sitter Fogleman and Carson Kvapil engaged in a spirited battle for second much of the race. They raced bumper-to-bumper and side-by-side during the last 50 laps of the race and only touched once.
Kvapil, who moved into second on the 75th lap, managed to hold off Fogleman for second with Nolan Pope fourth and Jarad Fryar fifth.
The 2020 South Boston Speedway season kicks off March 21 when the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour visits for a 150-lap race. There will also be twin 75-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series races.