Gary Ledbetter Jr. Leads Flag To Flag To Win His Fourth New Year’s BASH At Dillonby Hunter Thomas January 6, 2019 0 comments
DILLON, S.C. – Gary Ledbetter Jr. started on the pole and led flag to flag on Sunday to capture his fourth New Year’s BASH victory at Dillon Motor Speedway.
After two quick cautions to start the event, Ledbetter took off and set sail around the quarter-mile track in the Mid Atlantic Street Stock’s (M.A.S.S.) most prestigious event of the season. By lap 55 at the halfway break of the 109-lap race, it was evident that Ledbetter and Frank Kimmel II, who started second were going to be the class of the field.
In the final laps on the 9th annual New Year’s BASH, Ledbetter had to survive multiple late-race restarts as the action heated up. Kimmel could stay with Ledbetter through Turns 1 and 2, but nearly every time the field reached the backstretch, that’s where the gap significantly lengthened. Much like his 2012 victory in the 2nd annual running of the event, no one could get around Ledbetter for the lead.
“I always feel like if I can get through (Turns) 1 and 2 pretty good, I’ll be alright. That’s the only key so long as nobody knocks you sideways and other than that, you’re pretty good if you get through (Turns) 1 and 2.”
At the end of the night, it was Ledbetter celebrating his fourth (2012, 2013, 2017 and 2019) New Year’s BASH win in Victory Lane. The North Carolinian was very humbled in his celebration following the dominating performance. He said that the win was “pretty special”.
“It’s pretty special to win this race,” Ledbetter said. “To lead it flag to flag, it’s pretty special. This is our biggest race of the year, it has been for nine years, and I’ve been very fortunate to be in good cars and win them. When they’re really good, if you start up front, you finish up front. I’ve been really fortunate.”
Finishing second on Sunday night was Frank Kimmel II, son of 10-time ARCA Racing Series champion, Frank Kimmel. Ledbetter knew as soon as Kimmel qualified second that he was going to be one of the guys to beat. During the race, the two drivers raced each other hard be very respectfully.
“When them guys come in here, that’s who we know we’ll have to beat because of their experience and technology and everything they’ve got too,” said Ledbetter about racing Kimmel on Sunday. “It just all worked out. I think he was too free. Like I said, we were pretty good, and it makes it more special when you can outrun teams like that, because you know what kind of caliber team they are.”
Chuck Barnes finished third, while Jeff Sparks and Wayne Locklair rounded out the top-five.