Diaz, Findley prevail in Late Model duels at Southern National

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LUCAMA – Northern Virginia drivers and teammates Mason Diaz and Jonathan Findley each scored victories at Southern National Motorsports Park on Saturday night.

Diaz started on the pole in the first of two Late Model Stock Car races and led wire-to-wire to score the victory, his second career win in a Late Model, over his Mike Darne Racing teammate Jonathan Findley while Rusty Daniels finished third. In the second race, after a full-field invert, the two drivers again charged through the field, with Findley taking the lead on lap 17 and never looked back.

“Me and Findley swapped positions for both races,” Diaz said after the races. “Team-wise, we can’t get any better than that, 1-2. For points season, we’re having a great start. So far, every race, we have a podium finish of some kind and we got another win on weekend. We gained points and hope for the best for this season. I can’t thank Mike Darne Racing enough for giving me a fast car out of the box. It’s been fast all year.”

Jonathan Findley’s victory in the second race was vindication for the 2015 track champion. Two weeks prior, he had scored podium finishes in twin races but victory lane had eluded him.

“It was a good night overall,” Findley said. “First one, got a little tight. I was still running them down but ran out of time. Second race, we got through the field pretty good and got to halfway, still had the lead and took off from there. Pretty good night. It feels good. To come out here a month ago and get wrecked and come back here a month later and have three seconds and a win feels pretty good.”

Diaz finished second in the second race while Paul Williamson finished in third.

Colt James dominated in the 100 lap Fast Five Pro Late Model Series feature, but a mid-race challenge from Spencer Bayston was almost his undoing. On a lap 56 restart, Bayston attempted to execute a bump-and-run maneuver on James, but the defending Pro Late Model champion held on to the lead and drove away to score the victory.

“I don’t know if he thought that was his one shot,” James remarked. “I mean, I guess it happens, he’s a rookie. Pretty much just drove it hard for 10 laps. Didn’t want to give them a chance at a bump-and-run. Just wanted to get out of here clean.vGetting ready for Bristol next, so really pumped about that. I felt like I had a good car.”

Spencer Bayston went on to finish second while Will Bristle finished third in his first Pro Late Model start.

Chris Floars picked up his second consecutive victory in the Legends division while Ethan Johnson continued his dominance in the Bandolero division, remaining undefeated at Southern National Motorsports Park in 2017. The Charger and Mini Stock features were rained out and will be made up at the next race on Saturday, May 27th.