LUCAMA, NC :: Jonathan Findley is hoping to score his first career Late Model Stock Car victory in Sunday’s Autumn Classic at Southern National Motorsports Park.

Findley, 15, comes in to the race with some newfound confidence after a handful of strong performances late in the 2014 regular season at Southern National where he led laps and clicked off a few top-five finishes.

“We’ve had good runs this year and led some laps,” Findley said.  “The car’s been a good long run car and we haven’t had many long runs this season.  We’ll see what we can do.”

Findley knows that the Autumn Classic will provide a mix of short runs and long runs and that staying out of trouble and being in contention in the end will be his main priority throughout much of the duration of the 200-lap feature race.

“If you’re not out front leading a lot, you’re going to have a front bumper put to you,” Findley explained.  “Avoiding that will be one of our keys.  Hopefully, we don’t get one if we’re in the lead.  It comes down to late race restarts most of the time.  We’ll get what we can out of it.”

Findley is a sophomore driver in the Late Model Stock Car ranks.  Prior to moving up to the Late Models, he had raced in the Bandolero division at the now-defunct Old Dominion Speedway.  This year, Findley’s worked with veteran Late Model Stock Car competitor Mike Darne.  Findley feels he’s maturing and progressing quite a bit as a driver.

“I think I’ve done a lot better than I did last year,” Findley remarked.  “Last year was a starting year and we had some flukes with the car.  This year, we’ve built a new car and had our best run, a third or fourth place finish.  That’s decent from where I started off last year.”

Next season, Findley hopes to venture out more.  He says he’d like to compete at Ace Speedway if they secure NASCAR sanctioning as well as Caraway Speedway, Hickory Motor Speedway, South Boston Speedway and, if the track opens in 2015, Dominion Raceway.