Tyler Ankrum and Brayton Haws both charged through the field though out the duration of Saturday night’s CARS Tour Late Model Stock Car race at Southern National Motorsports Park and it was fun to watch.

Brayton Haws, who won the Autumn Classic at Southern National last November, qualified in the second position but a broken valve spring forced him to pit under caution early in the race while he was running in the top-three.  That relegated Haws to the rear of the field.  Haws spent much of the race fighting and clawing to get back up inside the top-five.  He ended up finishing in the sixth position, but Haws said it was probably some of the most fun he has ever had inside the racecar.

“Honestly, it was probably, besides Martinsville, one of the most fun races I’ve ever run,” Haws said.  “I think, most definitely, we could have run.  Coming through the field, we were still saving tires and with 15 to go, we were still saving tires.”

Tyler Ankrum also had a fast car all weekend and looked like he would be a factor, but a spin in qualifying forced him to have to run the last chance qualifying race to make the field of 30.  Ankrum not only advanced through that race, he won it, and then spent much of the race making a steady march toward his eventual top-five finish.

“I had a lot of fun,” Ankrum said.  “It’s definitely one of the tracks I want to come back to.  My whole thing, I was nervous with that many cars and being so deep in the field, it’s easier to be caught up in a wreck and my whole point was to keep my nose clean and have a solid finish.  Going through that whole race, it was so nerve-racking.  There’s no way to explain it.  My spotter, crew chief were like, be more cautious and keep the right rear cooled down.

“When I got in the top-10, it was about lap 60 and I knew we had a good car and good chance to win.  It was a matter of being there.  I was doing all I could gain as many positions as I could.  I thought, this is my time to get to the front but we didn’t have enough tire left.”

Brayton Haws and Tyler Ankrum were both rookies in Late Model Stock Car racing last year and they both scored victories.  Haws scored wins at Hickory Motor Speedway and Southern National while Ankrum scored a win at Caraway Speedway and challenged for wins at Langley Speedway.

Both of these sophomore Late Model drivers are young, fast, in good equipment and plan on running the entire tour.  A little bit of luck for either driver could have flipped the script on Saturday night and landed either one of them in victory lane.  They will both be running in the entire CARS Late Model Stock Tour and are almost certain to be championship contenders.