Special from Speed51.com – Three months ago, Carson Hocevar put on a comeback for the ages when he recovered from a flat tire to win the Show Me State Showdown at Lebanon I-44 Speedway. No late-race heroics were needed Sunday night, as Hocevar dominated the 100-lap event to score his third ARCA/CRA Super Series win of the season.
The 17-year-old took the lead from fellow Michigan racer Michael Simko around lap 25 and set sail on the field for the rest of the race. It was in similar dominating fashion that he showed pre-flat tire back in late May, making it stick through the checkered flag. Only this time, he made it a littler easier on himself.
“It’s cool to be able to come back pretty much right where we left off in sort of dominant fashion,” Hocevar told Speed51. “Last time we made it a little bit harder on ourselves, to be able to come back and just kind of control the pace and to have that good of a car made my job a lot easier for 100 laps.”
The biggest threat to Hocevar’s race was during a string of restarts just after the two-third’s mark of the event, when he had Simko and Travis Braden breathing down his neck. He felt like he had his hands full for a few laps following the green before he was able to check out.
“I had to be pretty good on the restarts especially; he was pretty good fired off so I had to be on my A-game and not make any mistakes and keep trekking away. I felt like he faded back a little bit and it was just controlling the pace from there.”
Saturday night’s visit to victory lane marked Hocevar’s third Super Late Model win of 2020 after going winless last season. He now heads to his home track at Berlin Raceway for the Money in the Bank 150 next Saturday, where he is the 2017 Super Late Model track champion.
“I feel good going back to Berlin. That’s right at home so to be able to have some momentum. The last race I think I ran was the Redbud so right now we’ve gone back-to-back. To be able to go back home with some momentum is going to be huge.”
It was a career-best run for runner-up Michael Simko, who started on the pole after the invert. It topped his previous best of third, which came at Toledo Speedway in 2018.
With two more races until the finale, it gives him a boost of momentum going into Toledo.
“The No.14 was the class of the field all weekend. I had a really good car in practice, we unloaded really well,” Simko said. “I’m still terrible at qualifying but luckily it worked out for me this weekend because we got to start on the front row after the inversion. Just a dynamite effort for all my guys.”
Travis Braden finished third, with former series champion Cody Coughlin and Colorado racer Mark Neff rounding out the top-five.
Click here to watch a replay of the Labor Day Twin 100’s on Speed51.TV.
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51 National Correspondent – Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo Credit: Speed51/Melissa Strahley
ARCA/CRA Super Series – Lebanon I-44 Speedway Results:
- Carson Hocevar
- Michael Simko
- Travis Braden
- Cody Coughlin
- Mark Neff
- Brett Robinson
- Logan Runyon
- Mason Keller
- Josh Brock
- Jaren Crabtree
- Trevor Cristani
- Jimmy Fohn
- Greg Van Alst