The Limited Sportsman feature of the Thunder Road Harley Davidson 200 at South Boston Speedway was dominated by an intense battle between Danny Willis Jr. and Jacob Borst, but Eric Winslow managed to take advantage of their misfortunes and held off a hard charge by the latter to pick up the win on Saturday evening.
Winslow admitted that it was an immense challenge trying to hold off Borst over the closing stages of the race, but he stated that being able to accomplish that goal made celebrating the biggest win of his career to date feel all the more special.
“Borst has a lot of wins coming his way,” Winslow said. “He wheels it 110% every laps, which is what made things so damn hard at the end of the race. It’s tough to win in these cars, and you lose more than you win. This race is the one all the Limited drivers have circled on their calendar, and it doesn’t get any better than winning this race in front of a packed crowd.”
Winslow had the perfect opportunity to get his race started on the right note when he moved to the front row after polesitter Daniel Moss encountered trouble before the start of the 75-lap feature.
Winslow beat Borst on the initial start and led the first lap, but Borst continued to apply pressure on him through the turns before getting a run and passing Winslow for the lead, which he would for the next 40 laps.
Borst would never be comfortable during his time at the front, as he was constantly challenged by Willis, who had climbed up to second from the rear of the 10-car field after Jeb Burton qualified his Late Model.
Willis made several attempts to pass Borst, but the two would get together on Lap 49 while battling for the lead, which brought the caution out and sent both of them to the rear of the field.
“We had a great car, and I knew from Lap 1 that it was spot on,” Willis said. “We were fortunate to finally get behind Jacob and I thought I finally had a good run on him. We got together there and it closed the ductwork up on the radiator and it started overheating, so we had to pit to get that fixed. It was just hard racing.”
Willis was able to come home with a third place finish, while Borst carved his way through the remaining cars to have another shot at Winslow, who was now the leader.
Borst got closer to Winslow’s back bumper as the laps wound down, but could gather the necessary momentum to make a pass for the lead, which allowed Winslow to take the checkered flag first.
Borst stated that he was not upset over the circumstances that led to the accident between him and Willis, as he was more focused on chasing down Winslow for the win. While Borst thought he had the better car, he said that he needed more time to make a proper run on Winslow.
“We were catching [Winslow] pretty good,” Borst said. “His car really started slowing down during those last couple of laps. If it was an 80 or 85-lap race, we would have definitely caught him. That’s racing, so we’re just going to come back next time and be even faster.”
Winslow admitted in victory lane that he had been doubting his ability to succeed behind the wheel of a Late Model prior to the Thunder Road-Harley Davidson 200, but he hopes that his win will give him and his team the confidence they need to bring home many more trophies in the foreseeable future.
“I don’t have a great car a lot of weeks,” Winslow said. “I don’t win a lot, but I enjoy racing and I’m going to do it for the rest of my life. If I have any money, it goes into the racecar. This is a Sellers-prepared car that they rented to me, and I made the most of it. That’s all I can ask for.”
The next race for Winslow will be one step up the ladder in the CARS Tour-sanctioned Solid Rock Carriers Crystal Coast 125 at Carteret County Speedway on July 13. Winslow is not sure if he will have a race-winning car for the event, but he affirmed that he was going to do everything possible to fight for a Top 10 finish.
Limited Sportsman Results:
1. 22 Eric Winslow
2. 25 Jacob Borst
3. 23 Danny Willis
4. 0 Landon Pembelton
5. 17m Jason Myers
6. 2 Kenny Daniel
7. 8 Drew Dawson -5
8. 17p Caleb Dyer OUT
9. 6 Brent Younger OUT
10. 58 Daniel Moss DNS