Matt Craig Wins Thrilling Throwback 276 At Hickory; Bubba Pollard Fights After The Raceby Hunter Thomas August 4, 2019 1 comment
HICKORY, N.C. – Matt Craig held off a hard charging Brandon Setzer and Bubba Pollard to win the Super Late Model feature of the CARS Tour’s 3rd annual Throwback 276 at Hickory Motor Speedway.
Craig started the on the pole and led the majority of the 138-lap race. In the closing laps, Craig and Pollard battled it out for the lead; however, as the laps diminished, Craig began to take Pollard’s proffered lane away, and that allowed Setzer to eventually move into the second position. Craig set sail to win the race.
“It’s a huge crowd tonight,” Craig said. “This race is becoming a marquee event in Super Late Model racing, and it was really awesome. The way we won it was probably the best thing, beating Bubba. No one has beaten Bubba for a while now. I think that feels pretty good, and it shows everybody that we’re here to play, and we’re ready to run the big races.”
Following the checkered flag, Pollard punched Matt’s father, Jeff Craig multiple times prior to the Victory Lane ceremony. Law enforcement quickly got the situation under control. Pollard continued to have words with various individuals, but eventually, the tempers subsided. The word around the pits is that Jeff flipped Pollard off. Matt Craig says that the two drivers have raced each other very hard in the past, but at the time, he didn’t exactly know what Pollard was upset about. Craig just believes that the two teams are hardnosed, competitive rivals.
“I’m not really sure,” Craig said about the reasoning behind the tempers. “I felt like I never roughed him up. I felt like he started the roughing up, and he roughed me up all the way to the checkered. I was just able to stay out in front of him. I mean, we’ve had some past races where I roughed him up, he roughed me up, so I don’t know, a little rival going on.”
Setzer, who finished second, believed that he had a winning car, but it took him too long to get around Pollard for the runner-up position.
“I think we were a tick better,” Brandon Setzer said. “We just couldn’t get around Bubba. He was tough on the top, and I was a little better on the bottom, but anytime I got under him, I’d get loose. I don’t know if it was just trying to pitch it down or side force or whatever, but I just couldn’t make the pass, and I finally got around him with like two (laps) to go or something.”
Setzer is a Hickory native, living just about five minutes from the racetrack. Although he didn’t capture the win, Setzer was very pleased with the strong showing in front of the hometown crowd.
“It’s awesome,” Setzer said. “It sucks not to get a win. We’ve been really successful here in the past. I’ve won quite a few races. It just sucks not to get back into Victory Lane when I feel like I had the best car.”
Tate Fogleman and Donnie Wilson rounded out the top-five. Completing the top-10 was Jared Fryar, Corey Heim, Kodie Conner, Carson Kvapil and Nolan Pope.
The next race on the schedule for the CARS Super Late Model Tour is the Thrifty Tire-Puryear Tank Lines Mid Atlantic Classic at Orange County Speedway in Rougemont, North Carolina on Saturday, August 24.