Nathan Carroll scored his first career victory Saturday, after a thrilling battle with Las Vegas winner Mike Smith. Carroll led a race high 158 laps, while Smith was able to take the top spot for 15 laps.
Despite Smith’s low lap led count, he and Carroll remained locked side-by-side for much of the second half of the race, swapping the lead as many as seven times officially (even more during each lap). Carroll would eventually take the lead for the final time with less than 10 laps to go, with the help of lapped traffic slowing Smith momentarily. Barecci Velasquez finished in third, with Joey Taylor and Simeon Bolds rounding out the Top-5.
Carroll’s win was not only his first, but it was also a hometown win for him as well. “First off, I want to thank my guys. Outstanding car this afternoon, and Phoenix of all places. I watched so many races here. This was pretty much my backyard,” Carroll said in victory lane. “We battled so hard for so many damn laps (with the #7). My heart sank when he got by, but we battled back. It was exhilarating but exhausting. Once we got back by, I knew I wasn’t going to let him around me again.”
One caution slowed the race, with Chris Hausen’s #25 car losing power and stalling on the front stretch. He’d continue, finishing 40th, four laps down to the leaders.
The series joins the Corvega Cup Series at Auto Club Speedway next week.