Nolan Pope Earns First CARS Tour Victory In Thrilling Fashion

Lee Faulk Racing and Development’s Nolan Pope used a last-lap pass to earn his first CARS Late Model Stock Tour victory on Saturday night during the tour’s first visit to Florence Motor Speedway.

Pope started the 125-lap race from fifth, but faded to the tail of the field early in the race and began conserving his tires. He rode there for most of the race before eventually picking off positions as the laps began to wind down.
With 10 laps left Pope really turned on the afterburners, quickly dispatching Chad McCumbee for second before setting off in pursuit of race leader Timothy Peters. He caught Peters with a few laps left and began challenging for the lead.
Pope got to the inside of Peters coming to the white flag and they raced side-by-side through turns one and two and down the backstretch. Through turns three and four Pope was able to rotate on the bottom of the track, allowing him to pull ahead of Peters and beat him to the checkered flag by a car length.
The victory puts a cherry on top of an important week for Pope, who became engaged to his girlfriend last Saturday. 
“Me and my crew chief Nick Hughes made a plan. We were going to save what we could and try to stay up there at the front, but obviously that didn’t happen in the beginning. They wanted to go a little faster than I did,” said Pope, who led only the final lap of the race.
Perhaps the most shocking part about Pope’s victory was he had no idea that his pass on Peters was for the victory because the Lee Faulk Racing and Development team didn’t relay that information to him.
“Nobody said anything to me,” Pope said after the race. “I crossed the line and everybody was screaming. I didn’t even know until I crossed the line. I knew it was close. I knew we were in the top-three, but I had no idea he was the leader.”
The victory is the second of the season in CARS Tour competition for Lee Faulk Racing and Development. The team also won at Virginia’s Dominion Raceway with Jonathan Findley in August.
“I just can’t thank everybody enough at Lee Faulk Racing. This is huge,” Pope said. “We had a good car when we unloaded and I knew today we had a good car when we qualified fifth. We definitely showed it at the end.
“I just have to thank everybody on the team, my mom and dad, my grandma and grandpa, Tonya McCallister and her team at MPM Marketing, just everybody. We couldn’t do it without any of them.”