Curtis Lanier Outduels Steve Sullivan In Closest Finish In Carteret County Speedway History

Curtis Lanier Outduels Steve Sullivan In Closest Finish In Carteret County Speedway History

by April 6, 2021 0 comments

PELETIER, N.C. – Opening Day at Bobby Watson’s Carteret County Speedway was one for the history books with the closest recorded finish in speedway history in one feature and a military sweep of the top two positions in another.

Curtis Lanier’s surge past Steve Sullivan on the last lap of the first of two U-CAR features propelled him to his first win at the speedway, just weeks removed from a win at Coastal Plains Raceway Park in Jacksonville.  While Sullivan was the dominant driver, Lanier would go on to lead only one lap – the money lap.

The finish was so close at a .004 margin of victory that Lanier did not know he had won when they took the checkered flag.

“I didn’t know, I really didn’t know,” Lanier said in victory lane.  “I pushed as hard as I could.  Steve had a little issue there.  We ran hard on the outside and made it happen so that was good, really good.  I ran up a half a groove a lap or two before and it seemed to hold for me so I stuck it on the outside and said ‘hold on.’”

The victory for Lanier was his third overall in a U-CAR and his first at Carteret County.  He had wins prior at Southern National Motorsports Park and Coastal Plains Raceway Park.

While Sullivan settled for second, by inches, he would go on to win later in the afternoon over Lanier in the second act of a U-CAR Double Feature.

“This car is like a rocket man,” Sullivan said.  “It’s on a rail.  I wasn’t trying to take anything away from Curtis and them, those guys have been working on their cars religiously and they’ve really found a good spot with that car.  I’m glad that we’re racing that close together.  It was a good time.”

Abby Jolly had her best effort to date, finishing third in both features over her younger brother Dustin.

Military excellence

United States Marines Zac Reimer and Neil Mason stole the show in the Battlefield Tire Pros Mini Stock feature, sweeping the top-two spots in front of an enthusiastic and patriotic crowd.

Reimer picked up the victory after an engaging duel with Travis Miller in the early laps of the race before Miller was sidelined with mechanical issues.  Following Miller’s retirement from the race, Reimer drove away from the field in dominant fashion to score the win while Neil Mason made a late race pass on Andrew Jackson to move to the runner-up spot.

“Neil, Andrew, they came up from U-CAR not too long ago, I’ve helped them out, they’ve helped me out and I honestly can’t complain,” Reimer said.  “Two months ago, this car was destroyed in Dillon (South Carolina) and it took a lot of work to get back to where it was and we’re just going to keep making it better.”

Mason took his runner-up finish in stride and, like Reimer, thanked the fans for their support and talked about the comradery amongst Carteret County Speedway’s competitors.

“My goodness, [Reimer and Miller] were fast man,” Mason said.  “Every single person on this frontstretch has been in my garage helping me work on this car, competitors, so I appreciate all the hard work to them too and my team.  There’s nothing cooler than looking up in the stands and seeing all this.  It’s local short track racing but, as a kid, I dream about racing in front of fans and being up there looking down on the track wondering what it would be like.  I have my little boy here and my family and everything.  It’s pretty cool and the support of everybody out here.  I’m glad the fans are back, it’s awesome.”

Reimer reiterated what Mason said.

“When the American people support the military, that’s the biggest thing for us because there are some out there that don’t,” Reimer stated.  “I appreciate every single one of you and God bless.”

Fryar goes wire-to-wire

Defending Solid Rock Carriers CARS Tour champion Jared Fryar reigned supreme in the opening round of Carteret County Speedway’s Fast Five Late Model Series, leading every single lap of the 100-lap Late Model race.

While Fryar made it look easy at times, he had to hold off some tough challenges from Zach Lightfoot at the initial start of the race and after the lone competition caution that took place at halfway.  The win was his first at Carteret County Speedway in only his third start at a track he enjoys due to its challenging nature.

“It was awesome,” Fryar said.  “Car was on rails.  We struggled a little bit last year, which was the first time I’d been here.  I ran two races and learned a ton and came back and applied everything we learned off those two races and put it into one here and it showed today.  I just can’t thank everybody behind me enough.  To compete for wins is awesome and it feels so good to get a win here and get my name on the wall.”

The wall Fryar mentions is the wall on the frontstretch at Carteret County Speedway which lists the name of every Late Model race winner at the track as well as the names of the defending division champions – something that has grown to mean a lot to racers who have competed at the Crystal Coast gem.

Fryar also used the race to gain some valuable track time prior to the CARS Tour’s $30,000-to-win Old North State Nationals at Orange County Speedway in Rougemont, North Carolina later this month.

“This is a different animal,” Fryar said of the track.  “It’s different than anywhere we go to.  I’m just happy we put it into one and can sit on pole and win the race, feels good.  I know we needed this.  It will be big momentum going into the [Old North State Nationals] in a couple of week.”

Virginia racer Zach Lightfoot finished in the runner-up spot in his second Late Model start at Carteret County Speedway.

“We had a pretty good race,” Lightfoot said.  “We just rode a little bit the first half, let [Fryar] do his thing and then, the second half, our car started fading.  He had a real good car, congratulations to that whole team.”

Lightfoot also said his intentions are, as of now, to compete for the track championship at Carteret County Speedway as well as run in all five rounds of the Solid Rock Carriers Fast Five Late Model Series.

Tim Allensworth finished in the third position while Brandon Clements and T.J. Barron rounded out the top-five.

Other winners: Andrew Warner (Bomber), Josh Eubanks (Champ Kart), and Adam Mattice (Jr. Mini Cup).

The next race at Bobby Watson’s Carteret County Speedway will be the Spring Showdown on Saturday, April 17th at 3pm.



  1. Andrew Warner
  2. Duane Walker
  3. Tyler Stalls
  4. Joey Vereen
  5. Shawn Wilson
  6. Allen Rose
  7. Roy Combs

Champ Kart

  1. Josh Eubanks
  2. Alex Stoltz
  3. Tyler Foster
  4. Sean Wales
  5. Todd Grinolds
  6. Justin Tucker
  7. Mike Tyndall

Jr. Mini Cup

  1. Adam Mattice
  2. Alexis Steffan
  3. Summer Sullivan
  4. Mylah Provost
  5. Carsyn Gillkin

Late Model

  1. Jared Fryar
  2. Zach Lightfoot
  3. Tim Allensworth
  4. Brandon Clements
  5. T.J. Barron
  6. Clint King
  7. Dylan Newsome
  8. Paul Williamson
  9. Daniel Vuncannon
  10. Chris Burns
  11. Boo Boo Dalton

Mini Stock

  1. Zac Reimer
  2. Neil Mason
  3. Andrew Jackson
  4. Duane Walker
  5. Travis Provost
  6. Matt Alley
  7. Andrew Deal
  8. Carmen Odum
  9. James Horner
  10. Travis Miller

U-CAR Race #1

  1. Curtis Lanier
  2. Steve Sullivan
  3. Abby Jolly
  4. Dustin Jolly
  5. Ricky Houser
  6. Rudy Toler
  7. William Slape
  8. Morgan Odum
  9. Joe Lanier
  10. Brian Hutcherson

U-CAR Race #2

  1. Steve Sullivan
  2. Curtis Lanier
  3. Abby Jolly
  4. Dustin Jolly
  5. Ricky Houser
  6. Rudy Toler
  7. William Slape
  8. Morgan Odum
  9. Joe Lanier

For more information about Bobby Watson’s Carteret County Speedway, visit the track’s official website at“like” Carteret County Speedway on Facebook or follow @carteretcoswy on Twitter and Instagram.

Source: Carteret County Speedway

Story by: Andy Marquis

Photo Credit: Eric Creel

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