Rougemont, N.C. – Nick Loden, who is the son of short track veteran Andy Loden, found his first taste of Late Model success on Saturday night by winning the 75-lap Carolina Pro Late Model feature at Orange County Speedway.
Having watched his dad win at Orange County multiple times during his childhood, Loden knew that the facility presented a golden opportunity for him to take home a checkered flag of his own, and was thrilled to park his #43 in victory lane after only 10 starts.
“I picked up my first win in a Late Model, so I’m pretty excited about that!” Loden said. “I did a little rubbing to get it, but rubbing is racing, so we’re all good.”
Loden qualified third for the feature, but he would end up starting on the outside of the second row in fourth after an invert. It would only take Loden seven laps to gain the lead and pull away from the field.
Only one caution fell before the halfway mark, but Loden encountered no issues with maintain his lead and proceeded to execute one great restart after another to hold off William Cox III and Lee Tissot for the win.
At only 15 years old, Loden balances out working a fulltime job during the day before heading to the race shop at night to prepare his cars and listen to his dad talk about gaining an advantage over the competition.
Loden knew that his work ethic would eventually pay off with a win, but his victory at Orange County meant that he lost a bet with Carolina Pro Late Model Series owner Keith Graham on what his hairstyle will be going forward.
“I made a deal this week that if I won the race, Keith from Carolina Pro Late Model Series will get to cut this mop off the top of my head, so I guess that’s happening,” Loden said.
A video of Loden’s haircut can be found on his Facebook and Instagram pages, and is also available across all of the Carolina Pro Late Model Series’ social media platforms.
Orange County Results:
1. 43 Nick Loden
2. 3 William Cox III
3. 27 Lee Tissot
4. 15 Kyle Campbell
5. 113 Erik Nash
6. 7 Dylan Ward
7. 2 Amber Lynn
8. 5 Mike Toner Jr
9. 80 Toni Breidinger
10. 11 Tony Cosentino
11. 18 Bill Catania
12. 21 Tommy Neal
13. 52 Zach Keller
14. 98 Matt Henley
15. 8 Chad Malloy
16. 1x Logan Boyett
17. 13 Tony Blanchard DNS
Note: The Carolina Pro Late Model Series contributed to this article.