Trevor Noles endured an eventful evening during his pursuit to the front of the field in the Mid-Atlantic Classic at Orange County Speedway on Saturday, but he was able to make a crucial pass on Matt Craig for the lead with a handful of laps remaining to secure his first CARS SLM Tour victory.
“I didn’t think I’d win a race with [Donnie Wilson] this quick,” Noles said, who was making his second start with the long-time Super Late Model veteran. “I don’t run a full schedule like most of these guys do, but I knew I could do it, and Donnie put some faith in me, and we’re standing here in victory lane.”
Noles would be relegated to a position inside the Top 5 for most of the night with Matt Craig dominating the opening 120 laps of the event while Brandon Setzer closely pursued him for the lead.
With a 40-lap competition caution approaching on Lap 120, Noles heard a pop in his car and began to slow down dramatically, but he was able to bring his car to the pits under the caution where his crew discovered that his right rear had been punctured.
Noles would be forced to climb his way back through the field on the ensuing restart, where he got a good view of Setzer spinning in front of the pack while trying to pass Craig for the lead in Turn 4.
Noles easily navigated his way through the stopped car of Setzer and began carving his way through the slower traffic before finally catching Craig and Giovanni Bromante for the lead with 15 laps remaining.
Noles dispatch Bromante first before taking a look underneath Craig for the lead, where the two engaged in an intense duel for nearly five laps before Noles finally prevailed and wrestled the top spot away from Craig.
An accident between Steve Wallace, Tate Fogleman and Kodie Conner on the white flag lap set up a green-white-checkered, but Noles easily pulled out in front of Craig to secure the win while Craig held on for second.
“We had a good car, but I knew we would have a better car at the end with the fresh rubber,” Noles said. “It got hectic, but once I got out in front I set sail. It’s really a privilege to come run these races and to be here is even better.”
Bromante came home in third while Corey Heim and Stephen Nasse completed the Top 5 finishers.
SLM Race Results:
1. 22 Trevor Noles
2. 54 Matt Craig
3. 81 Giovanni Bromante
4. 78 Corey Heim
5. 51 Stephen Nasse
6. 14 Jared Fryar
7. 34 Nolan Pope
8. 6w Matt Wallace
9. 16 Molly Helmuth
10. 21 Carson Kvapil
11. 49 Jeff Batten
12. 21p Kyle Plott
13. 40 Toby Grynewicz
14. 45 Kodie Conner
15. 8 Tate Fogleman OUT
16. 66 Steve Wallace OUT
17. 13 Eric Nash OUT
18. 6 Brandon Setzer OUT
19. 17 Mike Speeney OUT