Gage Painter opened up Throwback 276 weekend at Hickory Motor Speedway with a win in the 52 lap Limited Late Model race on Friday night.
Initially, the winner of the Limited Late Model race in the preliminary night of competition would have locked themselves into the CARS Response Energy Late Model Stock Tour feature, but Painter is ineligible due to his age. The 13-year-old passed veteran Monty Cox for the lead on lap 18 and never looked back.
“I had a really good car,” Painter said. “All the guys, they worked their cans off to get me the best equipment here and it pays off.”
Cox looked like he would battle back, but fell out of the race shortly after. Pat Rachels ended up finishing in the runner-up position after an intense battle for the spot which lasted through much of the second half of the race.
“At least two more laps and I could have got to him,” Rachels said. “Obviously, it would have taken a couple more laps to get around him probably. We ended up in good shape.”
Dylon Wilson fought his way back from an early race penalty to finish third while Vince Midas and Taylor Gray rounded out the top-five.
Throwback 276 weekend continues on Saturday when the CARS Response Energy Tour takes to Hickory Motor Speedway, the “Birthplace of NASCAR Stars”. The Late Model Stock Tour and the Super Late Model Tour will each compete for 138 laps. The green flag will wave at 8pm. The race can be seen live on the CARS Tour TV video subscription service produced by Pit Row TV for those unable to attend the race.