Smooth and Steady: Lattomus Wins First Career USAC EC Feature at Lincoln

Smooth and Steady: Lattomus Wins First Career USAC EC Feature at Lincoln
Smooth and Steady: Lattomus Wins First Career USAC EC Feature at Lincoln
Smooth and Steady: Lattomus Wins First Career USAC EC Feature at Lincoln

Abbottstown, PA, June 4th, 2022. Nick Fillman, USAC ECSC.

Fifteen year-old Preston Lattomus, from Lewes, Delaware scored his first career victory with the Rapid Tire, USAC East Coast Sprint Car Series, presented by Capitol Renegade on Saturday night at a packed Lincoln Speedway, over current points leader Briggs Danner.

Nash Ely and Kyle Spence lead the field to green for the twenty-five lap feature event, with Ely getting the early race lead over Carmen Perigo who had slid into the runner up spot early on in the feature event. At the completion of lap two Perigo and Ely were side by side at the line with Ely leading entering turn one and two. Perigo was able to get a better drive off of the corner to take the lead down the back straightaway and officially take the lead on lap three of the feature event.

Most drivers were sticking to the bottom side of the speedway early on in the feature event with the exception of Kyle Spence who was able to make the cushion work early in the feature event, and Alex Bright who had fallen back to outside of the top ten early on from his 7th place starting spot.

Briggs Danner who started the feature event in the eighth place spot was working his way forward, and was up to the sixth place spot by lap five. On the same lap, Spence had found a middle lane in turns one and two and off of three and four that allowed him to sneak by Nash Ely, and begin to close in on race leader Carmen Perigo.

On lap twelve of the feature event, Spence and Perigo were side by side at the line for the race lead, with Spence having the advantage at the line for the race lead. While the battle for the lead was side by side at the line, and the leaders entering turn one and two, the red flag had to be displayed for a flipping Kody Swanson in turns three and four.

Kenny Miller lll, and Steven Drevicki had fought for the bottom, slowing the progress of Ed Aikin. Aikin hopped the right rear of Drevicki and shot up the race track, which was directly into the path of Alex Bright. Bright got over the right rear of Aikin and shot up the track, with Swanson hopping the right rear of Bright and flipping in the middle of turns three and four. Swanson would be ok, but faced an early end coming off of a top five run the previous night at Williams Grove.

On the restart, Spence tried to pull away from the field, but Perigo and the rest of the top five hung tight with Spence as the preferred line around the speedway was on the bottom lane. Preston Lattomus had utilized a solid restart to work to the inside of Ely on lap fourteen, before moving into second on lap fifteen.
Lattomus had moved up a lane off of the bottom to the middle side of the speedway, and was using a diamond line to work to the underside of drivers to pass for position. Another driver who had found the same line to use was Briggs Danner, who had moved into the top five, and into fourth on lap sixteen.

While Danner continued to march forward, Lattomus quickly drew in on the back of race leader Kyle Spence, as the two were side by side for the race lead in a dead heat on lap seventeen. Lattomus ultimately took the race lead away from Spence down the backstretch and was the new race leader at the line on lap eighteen.

The top five remained relatively unchanged with the exception of Briggs Danner who had picked off Ely, Perigo, and finally Spence on lap twenty-four and take over the runner up spot.

Try as he might on the final lap, Danner could do nothing with the rookie Lattomus, who went on to pick up his first career victory over Danner, Spence, Perigo, and Nash Ely.

The rookie driver from Delaware made just one start with the series in 2021, at the Georgetown Speedway in October. Since then, Lattomus has moved into a family operation and has been finding the limits of a sprint car. With some solid top ten runs early, coupled with two major flips at the Bridgeport Speedway, and at the Port Royal Speedway in early April. The team debuted a new XXX chassis at the Selinsgrove speedway and has been building speed in the three races since the switch.

Briggs Danner came away with two runner up finishes, which while disappointing for the six time feature winner, ended up being a consistent building block toward the team working for their first career series championship.

Third place was a nice rebound for Kyle Spence following a mid pack effort thanks to contact with the wall on Friday night at the Williams Grove Speedway. The 600 sprint ace has been re-learning the ropes behind the wheel of a sprint car, following a season long absence in 2021. Spence racked up the top ten runs in his rookie year in 2020, en route to a top ten points run.

Carmen Perigo had yet another solid run inside the top five of the Rapid Tire, USAC East Coast Series, but was unfortunately was not able to grace victory lane yet again. Perigo has been all over the top five in recent years, and his first victory will no doubt come. Look for Perigo to be in action in both the sprint car and Silver Crown series car this coming week during Eastern Storm.

Rounding out the top five was Nash Ely, who no doubt utilized home track advantage on Saturday at the Lincoln Speedway. Ely has shifted focus from being a full time competitor with the wing off, to competing weekly with the wing on, running 358 sprint cars weekly at Williams Grove and Lincoln. Despite the winged events outnumbering the wingless ones in 2022 for Ely, he found himself with a great top five effort on Saturday after damage from heavy contact with the wall Friday at Williams Grove ended a top ten run for the team.

Up next is a very long and extended break for the series as multiple teams and drivers will be running next week’s USAC National Sprint Car Series annual “Eastern Storm” drivers Briggs Danner, Alex Bright, Steven Drevicki, Joey Amantea, Kenny Miller lll, and Carmen Perigo will be in action, along with part time and former series drivers Tim Buckwalter and Austin Graby. While USAC EC teams for Tim Hogue and his 39 car, as well as the Christopher Dyson #20 will be in action with hired guns from the Midwest behind the wheel.

The series will return to action on July 4th weekend, with a return visit to the Bridgeport Speedway in Swedesboro, NJ as a great way to kick off the holiday weekend. Until then, stay tuned to our social media pages for news, photos, and much more throughout the rest of the season!

USAC East Coast at Lincoln Results:

Heat 1 (10 Laps, All qualify, 3 Invert): 1. 20K Kody Swanson, 2. 5G Briggs Danner, 3. 21 Carmen Perigo Jr, 4. 19 Steven Drevicki, 5. 12w Troy Fraker, 6. 21K Tommy Kunsman Jr, 7. 83 Bruce Buckwalter Jr

Heat 2 (10 Laps, All qualify, 3 Invert): 1. 23M Kenny Miller lll, 2. 23B Preston Lattomus, 3. 7 Ed Aikin, 4. 7B Aidan Borden, 5. 90 Colin White, 6.83s Billy Ney, DNS: 5a Zach Allman

Heat 3 (10 Laps, All qualify, 3 Invert): 1. 20 Alex Bright, 2. 22 Kyle Spence, 3. 3BC Nash Ely, 4. 17B Christian Bruno, 5. 67 Jason Cherry, 6. 42 John Fraker, 7. 76 Mike Smith

Feature Event (25 Laps): 1. 23B Preston Lattomus, 2. 5G Briggs Danner, 3. 22 Kyle Spence, 4. 21 Carmen Perigo, 5 3BC Nash Ely, 6. 23M Kenny Miller lll, 7. 7 Ed Aikin, 8. 19 Steven Drevicki, 9. 17B Christian Bruno, 10. 21K Tommy Kunsman, 11. 20 Alex Bright, 12. 83 Bruce Buckwalter Jr, 13. 90 Colin White, 14. 67 Jason Cherry, 15. 7B Aidan Borden, 16. 76 Mike Smith, 17. 12W Troy Fraker, 18. 83s Billy Ney, 19. 20K Kody Swanson, 20. 42 John Fraker.

Lap Leaders: Nash Ely (1-2), Carmen Perigo (3-11), Kyle Spence (12-18), Preston Lattomus (19-25).

Vahlco Wheels Hard Charger: Bruce Buckwalter Jr (19th-12th) +7

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