An impressive 23 car field signed in at the Florence Motor Speedway for the running of the S.M.A.R.T. Tour Low Country 99 with Bobby Measemer Jr. turning in a quick qualifying time of 17.086 taking down the first Pace-O-Matic pole award on the 4/10 mile speedway.
Caleb Heady holds the track record of 16.806, he set that record one year ago 3/20/2021.
After the top twelve drivers redrew for position Jimmy Wallace and Brandon Ward brought the field to flagman Brian Callen’s green flag and Wallace blazed out to a ten car length lead in the first handful of laps until Dean Ward reeled Wallace in and took command of the event on lap eleven while Matt Hirschman watched the hot action from his seventh starting spot.
Ward’s lead only lasted five laps until Dennis Holdren shot into the number one spot and held it to the lap thirty Jerry Hunt Super Center stage break but Holdren spun his tires on the restart and Dean Ward, Caleb Heady and Hirschman took advantage by racing by. Three laps later Heady powered pass Ward and took command but Hirschman was eyeing the $200.00 Bankers Life halfway leader award and out dragged Heady down the backstretch to power into the lead.
2021 Bowman Gray modified Champion, Burt Myers who has been winless at Florence was the next to flex his muscle and charged into the number one spot
but it was short lived as Hirschman blew by Myers on lap 64 and never relinquished the top spot for the remainder of the 99 lap marathon.
With time running out seventeen year old Caleb Heady pushed his Tommy Baldwin Jr. mount to its limit and pressured Hirschman looking inside then outside but Hirschman held Heady at bay while Brandon Ward put on a late race charge and was possibly the fastest car on track at this point. but lap traffic kept him from challenging Heady or Hirschman to better his third place finish.
In victory lane Hirschman said,”You never really know, cautions can make or break your race strategy”. “For the first time here we really adjusted to it and dug into my bag of tricks by referring back to what we learned at Myrtle Beach and a couple of other tracks.” Hirschman added, “you try to figure it out and do the best you can. Those last 30 laps were some hard running right there.”
Second place Heady said. “Man I needed those lap cars to get out of the way, I feel like we would’ve had a shot if it was clean there.” “I could pick my own line and go wherever I wanted but more or less it was a good race.” He added, “Man ,second place sucks, but I cant thank Tommy Baldwin enough for this bad fast car.
Brandon Ward came across the line third and said,”We did wait late to take a tire, we figured it would come down to who had the best tires at the end.’ “I felt like it was the best strategy, we were too far deep into the field by the time we got our tire.” “By the time we got back to third, we kind of leveled off” he said. ” I had ran them back down but we just used it up to get back to where I was at. Got to thank Randy Renfrow and the entire Coulter Motorsports team.”
Time of race- 1hr. 19:52
Cautions-7 for 39 laps
Lap-30, (stage break)-34-66-67-69-75-78
Lead changes-8 among 6 drivers
Jostens lap leader- Hirschman
Bankers Life halfway leader- Hirschman
PACE-O-MATIC pole award-Bobby Measemer
Jerry Hunt Super Center stage winner-Holdren
1- #60- Matt Hirschman
2- 7ny- Caleb Heady
3- 2- Brandon Ward
4- 1- Burt Myers
5- 22- Jonathan Brown
6- 25- Bobby Labonte
7- 15- Brian Loftin
8- 21W-Jimmy Wallace
9- 4- Jason Myers
10- 14- Bobby Measemer
11- 12- Dean Ward
12- 07H-Dennis Holdren
13- 95- Cody Kohler
14- 48- Jon Keivman
15- 79- Jeremy Gerstner
16- 99- Jamie Tomaino
17- 00- Kevin Orlando
18- 02Y-Troy Young
19- 21N-Tommy Neal
20- 01- Brian Weber
21- 03- Craig Young
22- 45- Gary Young Jr.
23- 6- Greg Butcher
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