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Travis Swaim Wins First Career Myrtle Beach 400 at Myrtle Beach Speedway

Travis Swaim Wins First Career Myrtle Beach 400 at Myrtle Beach Speedway

by November 23, 2014 0 comments

Photo Credit: Hunter Thomas

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – On Saturday night, Travis Swaim held on to claim his first career Myrtle Beach 400 victory in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series at Myrtle Beach Speedway.

The second weekend of this year’s edition of the Myrtle Beach 400 was compiled into two days rather than three. Friday was filled with practice, while Saturday’s action included practice, qualifying and the main events. With rain in the forecast on Sunday, Myrtle Beach Speedway moved the main events to Saturday night in an effort to save teams money and to give the fans a show.

Greg Edwards started on the pole with a lap of 20.674 seconds, and RA Brown started alongside. However, it wasn’t long before former UARA-STARS champion, Travis Swaim made his way to the front of the pack. He led the majority of the first half of the race, but at the halfway mark, it was local, Justin Milliken out front. NASCAR Nationwide Series driver, Josh Berry was second, followed by Tommy Lemons, Greg Edwards and Travis Swaim.

Once the field went back to green to kick off the second half of the race, the first caution of the night came out on Lap 104 when Alex Yontz, Matt Cox and Robert Tyler got together in Turn 2. After a lengthy clean-up, the field took the green flag on Lap 112.

As the field entered Turn 1 on Lap 123, Brandon Gdovic was involved in a chain reaction that cost him heavy damage to the frontend of his car. Tyler Ankrum slowed on the track, and everyone behind him checked-up. Not long after the restart on Lap 136, Greg Edwards was able to pass Travis Swaim for the race lead while exiting Turn 4 on Lap 139.

By this time with the changing track conditions, new players were thrown into the mix for the battle up front. South Carolina’s Tyler English made his way up through the field and into the third position. With only 50 laps to go, pole sitter, Greg Edwards led the way, followed by Travis Swaim, Tyler English, Tommy Lemons and Josh Berry.

“I felt like we had a pretty good car,” Berry said. “I think honestly those cautions at the end kind of hurt us, because that little bit long run we had going, I think me and Lee Pulliam were really kind of rolling into those guys up front, and then those cautions at the end kind of hurt us, but like I said, it was a fun race.”

The caution came out once again on Lap 151 when Just Milliken went hard into the Turn 1 wall. Immediately, his car bursted into flames, but the track crew quickly put the fire out. Milliken walked away under his own power.
Justin Crider and Matt Piercy got together in Turn 1 to bring out the caution on Lap 171. Luckily everyone was able to avoid Piercy, and his was able to get back going with little to no damage.

There was a massive pile-up on the fronstretch that brought out the red flag 10 laps later on Lap 181. It all started when Myatt Snider began to slide sideways out of the exit of Turn 4. With nowhere to go, everyone else plowed into each other. Drivers involved included David Garbo, Dylan Hall, Deac McCaskill, Blake Stallings and an array of others. During the caution laps, Trey Gibson’s car went up in smoke.

“I guess the second to the last restart, there was a lot of dirt in that top groove from that accident,” Edwards said. “I thought they had it cleared off good, but when we went to take off, it started to spin, and then Josh (Berry) got into the back of me and picked the rear tires up, and I just spun (tires) all the way down the front straightaway, and Travis (Swaim) was able to get a run on me.”

The field restarted on Lap 188, but the caution quickly came out when Matt Piercy spun exiting Turn 4 on Lap 191. Travis Swaim and Josh Berry brought the field down for the final restart of the night on Lap 196.

“I don’t know if it was me or the track, but I kept spinning the wheels on the outside,” Swaim said. “I just never could get a good restart. I was going to go to the outside, and T.J., my spotter made the call at the last second to go to the bottom, and it was the right call.”

Travis Swaim took off and held on for the victory. Greg Edwards finished second, and Lee Pulliam who won the Myrtle Beach 400 last year rounded out the top-three. Tommy Lemons Jr. finished fourth, and Josh Berry was shuffled back to fifth.

“It was a good night,” Swaim said. “We fell back to fifth in the first segment and kind of judged that on how good our tires were going to be for the second half, and then when the cautions started coming out, we wanted to stay up front, and the cautions just fell our way, and we just had an awesome race car, and I just can’t thank my guys enough.”

When asked how it felt to finally when the Myrtle Beach 400, Swaim said, “I don’t know. I really am still in shock. This is something that’s going to sink in real nice.”

Myrtle Beach 400 Results:
1. #21 Travis Swaim
2. #97 Greg Edwards
3. #6 Lee Pulliam
4. #27 Tommy Lemons, Jr.
5. #88 Josh Berry
6. #23 Payton Ryan
7. #1 Brandon Setzer
8. #41 Brayton Haws
9. #44 Justin Johnson
10. #28 Chris Hudspeth
11. #20 Sam Yarbrough
12. #07 Spencer Davis
13. #32 Randy Porter
14. #5 Tyler English
15. #98 Todd Gilliland
16. #77 Alex Yontz
17. #60 RA Brown
18. #34 Matt Bowling
19. #31 Kaz Grala
20. #50 Jamey Caudill
21. #7 Justin Crider
22. #8 Kyle Plott
23. #2 Myatt Snider
24. #03 Robert Sterling
25. #25 Matt Piercy
26. #18 David Roberts
27. #72 Dennis Holdren
28. #89 Robert Tyler
29. #4 Dylan Hall
30. #46 Brandon Gdovic
31. #71 Blake Stallings
32. #34 Matt Waltz
33. #12 Trey Gibson
34. #10 Nick Smith
35. #08 Deac McCaskill
36. #81 David Garbo, Jr.
37. #02 Justin Milliken
38. #9 William Byron
39. #58 Tyler Ankrum
40. #51 Matt Cox
41. #00 Shane Lee
42. #75 Brian Vause

Hunter Thomas
Hunter Thomas is a journalist who grew up in Darlington, S.C. His first motorsports-based endeavor was working as the Public Relations Director at Dillon Motor Speedway in Dillon, S.C., and his journalism start came while he was freelancing at his hometown newspaper, the News & Press while in college.

Hunter has been working within the NASCAR industry since 2010, and throughout the years, he has done everything from PR/Marketing for drivers and teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, to working at Rockingham Speedway. As a journalist, Hunter has covered everything from regional short tracks to NASCAR, ARCA Racing Series, World of Outlaws, Red Bull Global Rallycross, NHRA and much more.

Follow Hunter Thomas on Twitter by following, @HunterThomas08

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