ANDERSON, S.C. — official series release, photo and audio by Race Chaser Online Senior Editor Tom Baker —
Luke Sorrow left Anderson Motor Speedway with a sweet $4,000 sweep of the two Southeast Limited Late Model Series main events held Friday night, in the series debut at the three-eighths mile South Carolina oval.
The 14-year-old won both the 50-lap Daytona1 Challenger division and 100-lap Pro division races for his first-career series victories in both classes.
Sorrow was the fastest qualifier in the Daytona1 Challenger field, while the No. 16 of Colby Howard picked up fast time in the Pro division, earning the Gale Force Suspension Pole Award and a $150 product certificate.
Following qualifying, the Challenger main saw Sorrow take off with the lead at the drop of the green, with Howard settling into second behind him. They ran that way for the first 24 laps, until Blake Humphrey got crossed up in turn two and did a gentle spin with his No. 19. He was able to restart at the tail of the field.
Sorrow made sure he was ready for the restart, and pulled his good friend and on-track rival Howard by a full car length into turn one. As Sorrow ran away, Andrew Cordell got underneath Howard’s No. 16 and raced him for a full lap before Howard dropped the hammer off the outside groove, powering down in front of Cordell to reclaim second.
Further back in the field, Thad Moffitt — the grandson of NASCAR’s anointed “King” Richard Petty — ran third with his No. 46 until the restart, when he lost a couple of spots and fell back to fifth. He eventually finished the race in sixth but did a credible job for his first race at Anderson. Moffitt is in his first year of racing and has quickly adapted to the late model stock car wars, showing improvement each time out.
Meanwhile, Howard threw everything — including a small kitchen sink — at leader Sorrow but just couldn’t find his way around as the 14-year-old ttook home the victory with his Vannory Construction sponsored No. 9, leading all 50 laps in the process.
Howard finished a strong second, with Cordell, Amber Lynn (who ran a steady and consistent race), Blake Humphrey, Moffitt and Everette McMahon rounding out the field.
Howard and Sorrow swapped starting spots for the 100-lap Pro Division feature, with Howard starting on the inside of the front row and Sorrow starting alongside him. Late model veteran Justin Carroll and New Englander Anthony Alfredo, in the Lee Faulk Racing entry, started in row two.
When the green flag dropped, it was Howard jumping off the inside to take the lead, but Carroll was not going to let him get too far. The first yellow flag of the race was waved on lap two when the No. 46 of Moffitt and the No. 23 of Shon Gibson got together in turn four. Moffitt went directly to the pits and was out of the event. Gibson initially restarted but pulled his car pit-side and ended his day on lap 11.
On the ensuing restart, Howard spun his tires, slowing his pace and allowing Carroll to race off the outside groove and into the lead. Once out front, Carroll started clicking off laps in the 16.1 and 16.2 second range as he pulled the rest of the field by a straightaway. Howard was able to remain in second, but behind him action started to become more intense as the race moved past lap 30.
Alfredo, a past winner in the series, ran a strong third with Sorrow and Dylan Hall rounding out the top five early. However, as 34 went up on the lap board, Alfredo was beginning to slow his pace and Sorrow — playing a patience game for the first quarter of the event — took third away and set sail after the leaders.
Hall was next to move up a spot as Alfredo fell back to fifth, and the stage was set now for what could be a four car battle in the last half of the race. Sorrow finally reeled in second-place Carroll and dove underneath the No. 57 to take second, but the question everyone had on their minds was: “Would Sorrow have enough speed to catch Howard if the race stayed green?”
That question became a moot point on lap 71, as the No. 33 of Andrew Cordell had a flat tire and stopped on the back straightaway until the yellow was waved. Now the Vannoy Construction No. 9 of Sorrow would start alongside Howard in what would be the most important restart of Howard’s young season to-date.
The 14-year-old answered the question by getting a superb restart and jumping back out front to take control. Now it was up to Sorrow to put the pressure on and attempt to “worry” Howard into making a mistake.
Hall took over third on lap 73 and appeared to have a podium finish locked up, but suddenly slowed with 10 laps left and pulled into the pits and out of the race as Sorrow continued to work over leader Howard.
Finally, with just five laps left, the No. 9 of Sorrow buried his car deep into turn three, drew alongside Howard and took the lead — ultimately speeding away to a 1.157 second win and a clean sweep of the two features.
Howard wound up second to his buddy for the second time on the night, with Carroll finishing third, Alfredo hanging on to finish fourth and fifth going to the No. 33 of Cordell after his flat tire.
Mitch Walker, Brandon Fox, Hall, Gibson and Moffitt rounded out the field.
Hayden Humphrey was entered in his No. 07, but had a brake failure in practice, causing a crash that put him out for the balance of the evening. He was uninjured.
The next race for the Southeast Limited Late Model Series will be Saturday, April 2 at the Greenville-Pickens Speedway in Easley, S.C. Both the Pro division and the Daytona1 Challenger Divisions will be in action.
For more information, visit the series website at www.SoutheastLimiteds.com.
Audio with Daytona1 Challenger Division winner Luke Sorrow:
Audio with Pro Division winner Luke Sorrow:
RESULTS: Southeast Limited Late Model Series; Anderson Motor Speedway; March 26, 2016
Daytona1 Challenger 50:
- Luke Sorrow
- Colby Howard
- Andrew Cordell
- Amber Lynn
- Blake Humphrey
- Thad Moffitt
- Everette McMahon
Pro Division 100 Finish
- Luke Sorrow
- Colby Howard
- Justin Carroll
- Anthony Alfredo
- Andrew Cordell
- Mitch Walker
- Brandon Fox
- Dylan Hall
- Shon Gibson
- Thad Moffitt
CREDIT: Southeast Limited Late Model Series