Fans were on their feet in the closing laps of the Dean Custom Air 250 as veterans Mark McFarland and Clay Rogers fought hard over the lead in the closing laps, providing great entertainment for the large crowd in attendance at Myrtle Beach Speedway. McFarland was able to pass the current point’s leader, Rogers, on lap 246 to take the win for the second race in a row. The win did not come easy for McFarland as he was forced to come through the field after the series redraw of the top eight drivers at the event’s halfway point. JP Morgan completed the veteran sweep at the podium with youngsters Gus Dean and Reid Wilson rounding out the top five.
“What a race out there tonight, that was some of the best fun I’ve had behind the wheel of a racecar in a long time. Racing with Clay over the last fifty laps or so was really intense. I kept racing him hard and taking away his line, so hopefully he would burn up his tires and I would have the advantage at the end and evidently it worked,” explained an excited Mark McFarland in Edlebrock Victory Lane. “A big thank you goes to JMI Motorsports and Mark Huff for letting me drive this #8 car, and the folks at Black’s Tire and WJP Investments for sponsoring us here tonight. We had enough grip in our tires to get the win tonight, so go on over to Black’s Tire and get you some grip for your car and support these guys that allow us to put the show on like we did tonight.”
The abrasive Myrtle Beach surface produced a variety of leaders through the events initial stages. After leading the first six laps Clay Rogers handed the lead to Tyler Young making his return to the series before 2012 Myrtle Beach race winner showed some muscle moving to the point position for the next fifty-four laps. With tires fading and the lap 125 break for tires and fuel, drivers quickly showed each other what they might have when it came down to the $10,000 check on lap 250. A battle between Rogers and Young for the lead position allowed eventual winner McFarland to join in and overtake the lead on lap eighty-five en route to the Roush-Yates Performance Products Halfway Leader Award on lap 125.
The redraw put McFarland back to the seventh position and moved Rogers to the lead. In tire conservation mode Rogers let an eager Ryan Heavner take the point position who one of the biggest benefactors of the redraw. A lap 163 caution for debris in turn two erased his hefty lead over the field. When the field went back green, Heavner jumped the restart and was black flagged by series officials. The No. 33 team ignored the black flag forcing Pro Cup officials to stop scoring him. Heavner, displeased with being black flagged, stopped on the front stretch intentionally bringing out a caution. After acknowledging the black flag under yellow, Heavner displeased with the call did a donut burnout on track to show his displeasure. Heavner would be credited with a twelfth place finish; the same position he qualified at.
Rogers then inherited the lead after swapping the top position with Tyler Young for several laps before the field settled in single file. As laps clicked away veterans Rogers, McFarland, and Morgan all maintained the podium positions while youngster Gus Dean, silently in the fourth position, began chipping into the leader’s gap. Dean, the only South Carolina driver in the field, did all he could to gain position on the top three drivers before the tires on his #56 machine began to fade forcing the driver to take the checkered flag in the fourth position.
The final thirty laps it was a show for the history books as veterans Rogers and McFarland that raised the crowd to their feet with still twenty laps remaining. The two drivers changed the lead position a recorded five times alone at the scoring line in the final twenty-five laps. Finally McFarland slipped by Rogers off turn four and held on to the win. Rogers, wrecking lose, smoked the tires off of turn four all the way to the finish line doing all he could do to pick up the win.
In addition to the Pro Cup race at Myrtle Beach Speedway were treated to a unique event prior to the Dean Custom Air 250. Instead of a lower tier stock car series support division, X-1R Pro Cup officials along with DR Motorsports hosted the first ever Seaside Slide Drift event. Rather than racing traditionally for the win, the drifting event allowed the fans to judge the event and choose who won the event by the loudest cheers. The event had the crowd loud and on their feet throughout the show. During drifting practice earlier in the day Pro Cup Series drivers Tyler Young and Reid Wilson shook up their normal racing routine and rode shot gun with a drifting driver.
“It was just a little, just a tiny bit different than a Pro Cup car,” Wilson said jokingly. “When we went into the first turn I was like ‘okay we might be going a little too fast, we should slow down a little’, then he hit the hand break and the next thing I know we are 90 degrees sideways. It was really fun; it was a really cool experience.”
“It was my first time ever being in a drift car, so I didn’t really know what to expect” said Young. “I got to thank Ivey (driver) for the opportunity, I had an absolute blast.”
Next up for the X-1R Pro Cup Series will be at Southern National Motorsport Park in Kenly, NC on Saturday, July 13th. For more information on the X-1R Pro Cup Series including news, results, and photos visit the series website at www.x1rprocup.com
. For series operations and marketing information contact Chris Ragle firstname.lastname@example.org
or call 940-393-3167. For general information about the X-1R Pro Cup Series contact the series office at 704-662-9212.
Dean Custom Air 250 presented by Carrier & 100.3 The Team
Myrtle Beach Speedway-Myrtle Beach, SC
- #8 Mark McFarland
- #16 Clay Rogers
- #23 J.P. Morgan
- #56 Gus Dean
- #66 Reid Wilson
- #02 Tyler Young
- #41 Rusty Skewes
- #2 Brady Boswell
- #17 Stacy Puryear
- #1 Dalton Hopkins
- #15 Bill Plemons Jr.
- #33 Ryan Heavner
- #21 Eric Gerchak