ALTAMAHAW, N.C. (May 6, 2019) – After a couple of heartbreaking races in which he had chances to win but fell victim to the vagaries of his competition, Josh Berry overcame an early spin and a very near miss to earn a CARS Racing Tour victory Friday night at Ace Speedway. JR Motorsports teammate Adam Lemke battled his way to a fifth-place finish as well, making it a very good weekend for the team.
Lemke, the 16-year-old Californian, had been solid all weekend long in his No. 98 Slick Products Chevrolet, staying inside the top 10 on the speed charts during Thursday’s practice sessions. In qualifying, the young driver overcooked the entry to Turn 3 and ended up 13th, but had confidence he could move up once the green flag waved.
On the start, he advanced into the top 10 and stayed there for the majority of the race. Since the bottom groove is the fast way around at Ace, Lemke had to deal with traffic and the inevitable contact that goes with it. A couple of check-ups ahead of him did some damage to the nose, which started to raise the temperature inside the engine bay of his Chevrolet. The temperatures stayed under the threshold for repairs, however, and he continued to hold pace. With 20 laps to go, Lemke turned up the wick and started passing cars, landing in the top five with 10 laps remaining. The field was spread out by that time and he could go no farther up in the order, but posted his second straight top-five finish in one of the best touring Late Model series in the Southeast.
Polesitter Ryan Millington finished second, followed by McCaskill, McCarty and Lemke.
Next up for the JR Motorsports team is twin 50-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series features for Lemke on Saturday at Motor Mile Speedway in Virginia, in preparation for the CARS Tour event the following week at the Radford, Va. speedplant.
Adam Lemke, driver No. 98 Slick Products/JR Motorsports Chevrolet team
“I think overall this was one of our better weekends of racing. We were consistent on both days, getting better every time we went out on the track. At tracks like Ace or Motor Mile, where you have to wrestle the car to get around people, that is something that I think I need to work on a little more. It’s a completely different type of driving compared to a track where you set them up instead of force your way into position. I don’t think I’m too far off though, because we were fast all day. We struggled with overheating issues because there was a big checkup on a restart and I bent the nose up a bit and Bryan Shaffer, my crew chief, said if the temp got over 250 we would have to pull off. The temperature stayed just below it the entire race. All in all, I think we had a great day of racing and both JR Motorsports cars finished in the top five.”