Ashton Tucker Captures SLMS Finale at Petty Raceway; Gosbee Crowned Inaugural Series Champion
Series Release/Photo by Tanya Everett
(September 30th, 2023) – After an inaugural Super Late Model Series season that saw bad luck and uncharacteristic results for Ashton Tucker (#2) and the Brad Silliker Motorsports team, they put their competition on notice heading into 2024 with a statement victory during Saturday’s Old Fashion Meat Market 150. Leading twice for 115 laps, Tucker would set a torrid pace in the final half of the race, lapping up to the top 8 and winning by 5.5 seconds.
Tucker started sixth and would work his way up to the lead by making the pass on Lonnie Sommerville (#23) around the lap thirty mark. After the races second and final yellow on lap 46, Sommerville and Tucker would exchange the lead again, before Tucker made what would turn out to be the race winning pass. It started to appear as though a rematch from August’s ReCar 150 at Speedway 660 was shaping up, as Tucker faced several challenges from Cory Hall (#83), but over 104-lap green flag run to the finish he would eventually pull away and never look back to earn his first career Super Late Model Series victory.
Hall would cruise comfortably to a second-place finish, with Lonnie Sommerville (#23) fighting off a fierce PEI charge to claim the final podium position to bookend the 2023 season with third place finishes. Robbie MacEwen (#40) would wind up in fourth, with Darren MacKinnon (#18) completing the top five.
A heated battle for sixth entertained between Jarrett Butcher (#54) and 2023 Super Late Model Series champion Dylan Gosbee (#16). Gosbee entered the feature needing to finish 15th or better to clinch the championship, and he would do better than that as he would cross the line seventh behind Butcher.
With an eleventh-place finish, Hudson Weston (#43) earned the Castrol Rookie of the Year award over his fellow rookie class. Weston came through the field after going to the back early to wrap up what was a come-from-behind Rookie of the Year crown in 2023.
Only two cautions slowed the Old Fashion Meat Market 150. On lap nine (9), contact between Hudson Weston and Ian Rasmussen (#81) sent Rasmussen spinning, which collected several cars including Dustin Tucker (#52), who received the worst damage. The second caution came on lap forty-six (46) for contact between Kevin Moore (#88) and Ryan Messer (#1).
Hall, MacKinnon, and Brady Creamer (#10c) in his SLMS debut all scored heat race victories to start the day, but Kenny MacKenzie Jr (#85) would earn the EIT Race Radios Pole Award with a +3 alongside Lonnie Sommerville.
Chris Hughes (#32) accepted the Sackville Service Station Pole Challenge prior to the green flag. Slated to start eighth, Hughes took a $1000 bonus to start the race dead last. An extra bonus was on the line to finish top three, however, Hughes would fight hard and put up a valiant effort, en route to a thirteenth-place finish.
Twenty-six (26) competitors were in attendance for the Old Fashion Meat Market 150. The race took just under 1 hour and 16 minutes to complete.
Final points – which will soon be live on SLMS.ca – will see Dylan Gosbee claiming the inaugural championship by twenty-two (22) points over Robbie MacEwen. Cory Hall will leap over Ryan Messer to claim third with his runner-up result.
This concludes the 2023 Super Late Model Series season. On behalf of the management of Oyster Bed Speedway, Petty International Raceway, Speedway 660, and the staff of the Super Late Model Series, we thank everyone for the incredible support of the inaugural season. Plans are already underway to make 2024 even bigger and better! As always fans are encouraged to find the Super Late Model Series on social media at @SLMSeries on Facebook, Instagram, X, YouTube, and on our website at SLMS.ca.