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PENSACOLA, FL – Twenty-four hours after a night of frustrations in New Smyrna, Matt Craig righted the ship Friday at Five Flags Speedway.

The Kannapolis, N.C., resident is one of the south’s top Late Model drivers. However, it’s rare to see Craig at Pensacola’s high banks until the Snowball Derby rolls around.

He made his first career Pro Late Model start at Five Flags count on Friday by sweeping the Allen Turner Hyundai Pro Late Model Twin 75s, dominating the 22-car field and putting his disappointing result Thursday at New Smyrna Speedway firmly in his rearview.

“I thought I had burned the tires a little bit too much in the first race,” said Craig, who was also the fast qualifier (17.007 seconds). “Turns out, we still had enough for another 75 laps. It was hooked up. I couldn’t ask for much more.”

While he blew the doors off his rivals in both races, Craig was unstoppable in the second 75-lapper. He lapped all but four cars in the finale, maintaining a full straightaway lead and winning by more than 4.5 seconds.

Allen Turner Hyundai PLM Series points leader Chris Davidson finished second and Dakota Stroup rounded out the podium in the nightcap. Kyle Plott and Jake Garcia finished runner-up and third, respectively, in the opener.
Craig showed no mercy all night and was rarely challenged. In the opener, Craig took the lead from Justin Bonnett on Lap 35 and pulled away from the competition for the remaining 40 laps.

“The car was on rails right there,” Craig said. “This was a lotta fun. It’s fun to win here and it’s my first time to win at Five Flags.”

In his first appearance at the famed half-mile asphalt oval since his fiery accident at the Snowflake 100 in December, Bonnett rebounded in the second 75 lapper with a fifth-place finish after coming away with a 12th-place result in the opener.

Earlier in the afternoon, Bonnett had a special gift for Russell Brooks, the Five Flags official who rescued Bonnett from his burning car at the ’Flake. Bonnett presented Brooks with the door panel from that car as a gesture of his appreciation.

Five Flags Speedway Release – Story by Chuck Corder

Photo courtesy of Brandon Zumbach

Stay tuned to superlatemodel.com and stay on top of all the super late model action from Five Flags Speedway leading up to our coverage of the 53rd Annual Snowball Derby.


Allen Turner Series – Pro Late Model Twin 75’s
Feature Two Results – 75 laps

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Allen Turner Series – Pro Late Model Twin 75’s
Feature One Results – 75 laps

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Allen Turner Series – Pro Late Model Twin 75’s
Qualifying Results – Time Trials

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For more information on the Allen Turner Pro Late Model Series and Five Flags Speedway visit 5flagsspeedway.com.

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