Golden Isles Speedway
Arthur gains redemption with win at Golden Isles
By Roby HelmNeSmith Dirt Late Model Series
BRUNSWICK, Ga. (Feb. 8) — Denied a victory by mechanical failure a day earlier, Walker Arthur of Forest, Va., got even with fate Saturday by driving the Cecil B. Arthur Beef Farms Special to a flag-to-flag victory in Golden Isles Speedway’s Super Bowl of Racing presented by Rock Auto.com. He earned $2,500 for the 50-lap Crate Late Model victory on the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series. | Video
Even though Arthur led all 50 laps, it wasn’t a runaway. Mack McCarter of Gatlinburg, Tenn., turned up the wick and put late race pressure on Arthur to the checkered flag.
“This win makes up for the frustration of yesterday afternoon because with the competition in the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series has, this is a very special win in my career,” Arthur said. “Mack and I are good friends, and his crew was signaling me that he was coming. At least I knew if it came down to battle at the end of the race, it would be a clean battle because Mack is a friend and a good driver.”
McCarter fell two lengths short for his career-best series finish. Chase Edge of LaFayette, Ala., charged from the 16th starting spot to finished third while Mark Whitener of Middleburg, Fla., rallied to fin fourth despite a rollover accident on the fifth lap. Josh Adkins of Talladega, Ala., rounded out the top five.
Arthur got the jump on polesitter Joey Coulter at the outset, but Jason Fitzgerald’s turn-three spin slowed the action on the fifth lap. A battle for second between Coulter and Jeremy Faircloth on the restart triggered a Coulter spin in front of the field.
The pileup saw Whitener flip over the top of two other race cars. When the dust settled, Whitener drove away, but three top 10 runners were eliminated.
The field went back to green flag action for five more laps until the third caution flag came out on lap 11 when defending series champion Ronnie Johnson spun with an assist from Brasher coming off the fourth turn.
Brasher was ticketed with caution and Johnson got his spot back for the restart. Arthur led Jeremy Faircloth, McCarter, Adkins and Whitener back to the green and the positions held until a lap-24 caution for a stalled Brent Barrett. The final caution appeared on lap 27 when Hunter Carter slowed in turn four.
Faircloth’s car broke during the caution, costing him the second spot, and Arthur led McCarter, Edge, Adkins and Whitener back to green.
Edge was able to nose ahead of McCarter for second and Whitener got around Adkins for the fourth spot. McCarter then got back around Edge for second on lap 29. By lap 35, Arthur had built a half-straightaway lead over McCarter.
With 10 laps to go, McCarter had a full straightaway advantage over Edge in the third spot, and was focused on the leader Arthur. McCarter was chipping away at Arthur’s lead in the closing laps of the race, and closed to within a car length at the white flag. The battle of the friends never took place as Arthur kept McCarter behind him to the checkered flag.
Super Bowl of Racing: (1) Walker Arthur, (2) Mack McCarter, (3) Chase Edge, (4) Mark Whitener, (5) Josh Adkins, (6) Ben Faircloth, (7) Robert Diekemper, (8) Chris Noah, (9) Cecil Eunice, (10) Donald Bradsher, (11) Ronnie Johnson, (12) Joey Coulter, (13) Ray Cook, (14) Michael Blount, (15) Tait Davenport, (16) Jeremy Faircloth, (17) Hunter Carter, (18) Brent Barrett, (19) Stacey Roberts, (20) Kitt Sealy, (21) Jason Fitzgerald, (22) Chase Washington, (23) Steven Roberts, (24) David Gentry. Fast qualifier (among 36 cars): Coulter, 16.848 seconds. Consolation race winners: Cook, Fitzgerald. Provisional starters: Barrett, Blount.