In his rookie year in the late model division at Wake County Speedway, Stephen Ford has competed in every race this season and racked up a total of four Top 5 finishes with one of those coming this past Friday. Although he is a rookie in the late model division, He is no stranger to the track. For the past few years he regularly competed in the Legend car division at the speedway and still competes in legends cars on dirt.
We asked Stephen about the transition from Legends to Late Models and he said, ” I believe the biggest adjustment has been that the car is a little bigger than a legend and will handle a lot better. I’ve learned that I still have to be up on the wheel every lap and get everything you can out of the car each lap.”
Ford qualified 5th in the Kid’s Ride-Along Night which featured a 60 Lapper for the Late Models. The night started off with Clay Jones leading the field to green alongside Zachary Marks. Jones would continue to show the way until lap 28 where Marks would take over the race lead. On lap 32 Alex Fleming would get turned by the #21 of Kevin Jefferys. After that the race saw a surge of cautions. At lap 38 Dylon Wilson went a spin after some contact as Zachary Marks continued to lead. At lap 44 the yellow would come out once more after Clay Jones went for a spin off the front bumper of Fleming.
After the string of cautions the field would reshuffle with Marks still in the lead followed by Cory Walker and Stephen Ford.
Ford was able to make his way by Cory Walker and take over the 2nd position. As he rode in 2nd, Clay Jones made his was from the back of the field up to 3rd and would try to make his way around Stephen. As the laps winded down the entire field began to loose grip and slide around the track. Drivers complained about fluid coming from the #17 machine of Marks but officials cleared him to continue despite the issue.
With 5 laps to go Clay Jones had reeled in the #86 of Stephen Ford, but at the end of the race Ford was able to fend off some hard challenges from Jones and come home a career best 2nd place finish
When asked about being able to hold of Clay Jones at the end of the race Ford said, “Being able to hold off Clay was a real big accomplishment for it to only be my fifth race in a late model. He has helped me out a lot also to help me get a little bit better.”
Wake County Speedway will be back in action Friday July, 14th