Honeycutt Banks $15,000 Orange County Payday

Honeycutt

Kaden Honeycutt celebrates in victory lane Friday night at Orange County Speedway. (Will Bellamy/Racing America photo)

ROUGEMONT, N.C. – A timely redraw and the lane choice that came with it paid out a trophy and a five-figure payday to Kaden Honeycutt Friday night at Orange County Speedway.

Honeycutt led the final 100 laps of the Rogers Heating & Cooling Orange Krush 200 for late model stock cars at the three-eighths-mile oval, pulling the No. 1 pill during the halfway break to move to the race lead from the runner-up starting spot, which allowed him to choose his lane for the ensuing restart.

The Texas native elected to fire off from the top groove, a decision that allowed him to take a lead he wouldn’t relinquish the rest of the way.

Though four yellow flags during the second half forced restarts that allowed those behind him to close up and challenge, Honeycutt never flinched en route to a $15,000 winner’s check.

Honeycutt, who is running a partial schedule in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series this season for Niece Motorsports, ultimately took the checkered flag .947 of a second in front of veteran Deac McCaskill.

“Deac ran me so clean,” noted Honeycutt after the race. “You have to do whatever it takes to win the race, right? I wasn’t mad about getting a little bit of fender damage; it was just an awesome race.

“He’s one of the best ever here, but I knew once I was able to clear him, I could take away his line and pull away at the end.”

It marked Honeycutt’s first late model stock car win since Oct. 7, 2022, in a zMAX CARS Late Model Stock Tour event at Ace Speedway in Altamahaw, N.C.

“I needed this so bad,” Honeycutt said of the victory. “Just for myself and my family. I haven’t won a late model stock race since 2022 at Ace. I needed this so bad for confidence and also for these guys. Knowing we can do this on a week-to-week basis, especially in [the] CARS Tour since they’re coming back here in April. We’ll have a really good baseline to go off of and I think we’ll be able to make some more noise.”

After Honeycutt ran second behind polesitter Bobby McCarty for the first half – which ran caution-free – the 20-year-old tipped that being able to control the race after inheriting the lead was key to the win.

Honeycutt

Kaden Honeycutt takes a victory lap around Orange County Speedway. (Will Bellamy/Racing America photo)

“I knew the lane choice would be huge,” said Honeycutt. “If I had drawn a two, it was going to be extremely hard to get the lead from the bottom. To be able to have lane choice and lead the rest of the race was definitely huge, for sure.

“I know Bobby was probably a little bit better than we were, so we probably still have some work to go back and do, but we can work off this and know what to do when we come back here the next time.”

McCaskill knew after the race that track position was what ultimately scuttled his chances at the victory late, but had nothing but praise for Honeycutt’s effort.

“I was a little too free on exit to get that good run on him,” said McCaskill. “I could get under him, but I was just squeezing in that gas and trying not to bust the rear tires loose. He was up top with that momentum. I’ve been on both sides. It’s really tough to pass [in these cars]. If I had been in front of him, it would have been hard for him to pass me as well. Just track position kind of cost us there.

“Hats off to Kaden. He gets around here really well,” McCaskill added. “He reminds me of the first time Josh Berry came here. Those guys adapted to it really well. [The] people that can do that, they’re race car drivers. Kaden has his name out there, but I hope he can land something really big. He’s working hard at it and he’s a heck of a wheelman.”

After redrawing the eight pill during the break, McCarty fought his way back through traffic to a third-place finish. Kade Brown and Camden Gullie closed the top five.

Friday night’s Orange Krush 200 was held to raise money for the Ward Burton Wildlife Foundation, featuring the charity’s namesake competing in his return to racing along with his son, NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Jeb Burton.

Jeb crossed sixth ahead of Trevor Ward, Terry Dease, Timothy Peters, and Chase Burrow, while Ward Burton ended up 15th, one lap behind the leaders at the finish.

Coverage of Friday’s race was provided via livestream through Racing America.

The finish:

1. 17-Kaden Honeycutt, 2. 08-Deac McCaskill, 3. 6-Bobby McCarty, 4. 23-Kade Brown, 5. 01-Camden Gullie, 6. 27-Jeb Burton, 7. 77w-Trevor Ward, 8. 06-Terry Dease, 9. 51-Timothy Peters, 10. 00-Chase Burrow, 11. 87-Mike Looney, 12. 77s-Blake Stallings, 13. 15c-Logan Clark, 14. 15p-Stacy Puryear, 16. 2-Ward Burton, 17. 31-Andrew Patterson, 18. 95-Sam Yarbrough, 19. 29-Brent Crews, 20. 04-Ronnie Bassett Jr., 21. 82-Barry Beggarly, 22. 75-Landon Huffman, 23. 11-Buddy Isles Jr.

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About Jacob Seelman

Jacob Seelman is Motorsports Hotspot’s News Editor and Race Face Digital’s Director of Content, as well as a veteran of more than a decade in the racing industry as a professional, though he’s spent his entire life in the garage and pit area.

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