Kade Brown Dominates Late To Win South Carolina 400 At Florence Motor Speedwayby racerx55 November 19, 2023 1 comment
By: Trish McCormack/TheFourthTurn.com
TIMMONSVILLE, S.C. – Coming off a string of wins at Hickory Motor Speedway, Kade Brown kept the momentum rolling by dominating late at Florence Motor Speedway to win the South Carolina 400 on Saturday night.
The 2023 South Carolina 400 saw a talented field of NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series Late Model Stock drivers competing for the win in the Crown Jewel event. Kade Brown entered the race as the Hickory Motor Speedway track champion earning multiple wins, including the Bobby Isaac Memorial and the Fall Brawl. He capped off a spectacular season by holding NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver, Kaden Honeycutt and Carson Kvapil at bay to win the prestigious South Carolina 400.
“That first 100 laps in, I felt like we used too much tire up, but we knew we wanted that clean air and to keep that front the entire time before the next stent and just keep the track position because we know that’s big here,” Brown said. “That’s exactly what we did. They were closing the gaps on the bottom, we couldn’t get down, so early on, we just strolled out to the front and just kept a consistent pace all race, and it 100-percent paid off.”
In the closing laps, Brown and Honeycutt went head-to-head. At one point, Honeycutt moved Brown to take over the top spot, but the favor was quickly returned.
“That was next level,” Brown said. “Honeycut was going to do what he had to do to win, and we were going to do whatever we had to do. It’s the South Carolina 400 – everyone is balls to the wall during whatever they can. I expected it, I was ready for it and I was also ready to return it back.”
Honeycutt, who finished second, found his way into the top-10 early in the race and was able to stay up front. After the competition caution Honeycutt charged his way to the top-5 and restarted on the inside of Brown on the final restart which led to a battle for the lead.
“I tried to run him (Brown) up the racetrack, but I certainly wasn’t going to push him off,” Honeycutt said. “I wanted to leave him a lane, and I did, but he just didn’t expect me to run him up. We made contact, and he ran right back into me in (Turn) 3 and used me, which I respect it – I have no issue with that at all because I started it.”
Reigning CARS Tour champion, Carson Kvapil, brought his car home in third after running just inside the top-10 for most of the race. Kvapil struggled all night with the handling and bumpy track surface as he tried to make ground on the high side of the track. At one point, Kvapil made his way to the lead but Brown was so much faster on the bottom of the track. As the laps ticked away, Kvapil had second-place in sight, but Honeycutt did a great job blocking Kvapil from making ground on the high side of the track.
“We got the lead on that restart with Kade (Brown),” Kvapil said. “I knew our stuff wasn’t good on the bottom. I just couldn’t pull the bottom. I was struggling all night. Once I got on the top, I was able to get momentum and pinched him off. I think if it would’ve gone green, we would have had a shot to win the thing. He had a good car, he got cleared but him trying to get by us being on the bottom, he wasn’t going to get by us. On the restart, he barely edged me at the line on one of the laps, and the caution came out, so they chose the top and I was just screwed.
“I was just basically waiting to get back to the top, and I got to the top behind the 10 (Kaden Honeycut). This place, there are a few bumps and stuff around it to where you can’t enter too high in some places, and in the corner, I just really couldn’t go any higher. You get airborne with the bumps. We did the best we could. We had a good run. I was glad to finish out the season with a good finish for the Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet.”
Josh Berry, who was racing for Kevin Harvick, Inc., with NASCAR Cup Series crew chief, Rodney Childers calling the shots finished fourth. Berry absolutely dominated the first half of the race.
Brenden “Buttebean” Queen rounded out the top-five.
Completing the top-10 was Landon S. Huffman, Jacob Heafner, NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt Jr., Connor Zilisch and Carter Langley.
Photo Credit: Hunter Thomas/TheFourthTurn.com