In a race dictated by both tires and strategy, Late Model veteran Jeff Fultz found the correct balance of conservation and aggression as he took home $10,000 in his first career CARS Response Energy Tour victory at Myrtle Beach Speedway.
“It means a lot to win here at Myrtle Beach,” Fultz said in victory lane. “I don’t get to race a whole lot, and I wanted to runs the CARS Tour as much as I could. All the guys back at the shop worked so hard many nights back at the shop to get this car ready for me so that I could have some fun.”
From the drop of the green flag, Fultz displayed to the rest of the field that he had one of the fastest cars in the field, as he quickly passed Raphael Lessard for the lead on Lap 2 after Lessard led the first lap from the pole. Fultz proceeded to stretch out his lead over the rest of the field while several drivers, including Lessard and Matt Craig, elected to drop to the rear of the field in order to conserve their tires.
After the first competition caution fell on Lap 40, Fultz began to conserve his tires in order to have a chance to win the race at the end, as he relinquished the lead to Chris Fontaine on Lap 45 and logged laps behind the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series veteran. Fontaine would only be able to hold the lead for 15 laps, as Fultz made short work of him on Lap 60 and led the race until the second competition caution came out on Lap 70.
The final stage of the race proved to be the most challenging for Fultz, as he was forced to hold off Chandler Smith over the final 30 laps of the race. Smith attempted to pass Fultz several times for the lead, and was eventually able to pull alongside Fultz coming off Turn 4 on the final lap, but Smith was unable to take advantage of the opportunity, as Fultz held him off to secure the victory at Myrtle Beach Speedway.
“I was trying to stay on the bottom during those final laps,” Fultz said. “I could get away from Smith, but then I would slip up and hit the bump and he would run back up on me. Smith’s a young kid and he did a great job, plus he raced me clean which I greatly appreciated.”
Smith was able to bring home his #26 Late Model in the second position, while veteran Ryan Moore secure a third place finish. Rounding out the Top 5 was CARS SLM Tour regular Jeff Batten in fourth, and Anthony Cataldi in fifth.