Timothy Peters makes a lap around Orange County Speedway during practice for the inaugural Old North State Nationals on Saturday. Peters was one of three drivers to secure a spot in the main event by winning a heat race. (Photo: Brandon White)

The three heat races for Sunday’s Old North State Nationals at Orange County remained calm and orderly for most of their duration, but an even mixture of veterans and rookies avoided trouble to earn an opportunity to compete for a $30,00 paycheck.

After qualifying sixth earlier in the day, Layne Riggs started on pole and took control of the event, leading all 30 laps to punch his ticket into the main event. Defending CARS LMSC Tour champion Bobby McCarty, Ty Gibbs and Craig Moore followed Riggs across the start-finish line and also advanced into tomorrow’s 200-lap Late Model feature.

The second heat race featured a great battle between RD Smith and Josh Oakley for the lead through all 30 laps, but Smith was able to run Oakley down with five laps to go and pass him for the win.

Their efforts proved to be pointless, as both Smith and Oakley were found to have fuel cells that did not meet CARS Tour specifications, which disqualified them from the event. As a result, Jacob Heafner was declared the winner of Heat #2 and advanced into the main event, followed by Tommy Lemons Jr., Justin Carroll and Terry Dease Jr.

“I was satisfied before, but now I’m more satisfied now,” Heafner said. “We gained a couple of positions there, but I was pretty confident in my car during the heat race. We had a shot to win the heat race fair and square beforehand, but we’ll get to work on it, and I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”

All of the action in the third heat race happened behind Timothy Peters, who easily clinched his spot in the Old North State Nationals with a dominating victory. Bradley McCaskill held off a hard-charging Trevor Ward for second, while Stacy Puryear filled the last transfer spot with his fourth place finish.

“Tomorrow is all about staying out of trouble,” Peters said. “There are a lot of great cars here, and it’s really cool what the CARS Tour is doing along with Orange County and the community. At the end of the day [Nelson Motorsports] has three fast cars, and you have to apply a little bit of patience tomorrow along with a little lady luck.”

Myatt Snider and Tyler Matthews led the field to the green flag for the Last Chance Qualifier, with Snider easily pulling away for the victory after Matthews led the first several laps. The battle for the final transfer spot was settled when Jonathan Findley lost a motor shortly before the halfway point, which forced him to miss the Old North State Nationals alongside Smith, Oakley, Cameron Bowen, Ronald Hill and Jessica Cann.

The green flag for the inaugural Old North State Nationals will drop tomorrow afternoon at 3 p.m.

Heat #1 Results:

1. 99 Layne Riggs
2. 22 Bobby McCarty
3. 18 Ty Gibbs
4. 1m Craig Moore
5. 2s Myatt Snider
6. 4 Jonathan Findley
7. 35 Carson Kvapil
8. 23 Terry Brooks Jr.
9. 25 Zack St. Onge
10. 81 Mini Tyrell

Heat #2 Results:

1. 95 Jacob Heafner
2. 27 Tommy Lemons Jr.
3. 57 Justin Carroll
4. 1d Terry Dease
5. 63 Tyler Matthews
6. 2y Joshua Yeoman
7. 19c Jessica Cann
8. 74 Ronald Hill OUT
9. 16 RD Smith DQ
10. 8 Josh Oakley DQ

Heat #3 Results:

1. 12 Timothy Peters
2. 07 Bradley McCaskill
3. 77 Trevor Ward
4. 17p Stacy Puryear
5. 08 Deac McCaskill
6. 98 Adam Lemke
7. 4c Mike Chambers
8. 19 Cameron Bowen OUT
9. 01 Camden Gullie OUT

LCQ Results:

1. 2s Myatt Snider
2. 63 Tyler Matthews
3. 98 Adam Lemke
4. 2 Joshua Yeoman
5. 4c Mike Chambers
6. 35 Carson Kvapil
7. 01 Camden Gullie
8. 23 Terry Brooks Jr.
9. 81 Mini Tyrell
10. 19c Jessica Cann
11. 4 Jonathan Findley OUT
12. 19 Cameron Bowen DNS
13. 74 Ronald Hill DNS
14. 16 RD Smith DNS
15. 8 Josh Oakley DNS