RPW Column: Jason Casey Finally Wins At Orange County; Takes Eastern States Pro Stock Championship
Column By: BOBBY CHALMERS / RPW – MIDDLETOWN, NY – Jason Casey was impressive in the Eastern States Pro Stock Championship Saturday at Orange County Fair Speedway from start to finish.
Casey led all 25 laps and never faced a serious challenge at any point during the event. However, a few late cautions made the second-generation driver sweat a bit, but he was able to bring his #324 home with the big $1,500 payday.
“Those restarts, I was nervous about,” Casey said. “I was like, come on, come on, because I had no idea where anybody was. I figured Luke (Horning) was right up my tail but I knew I couldn’t go any faster and still hold the bottom, so I knew this was all I had.”
Casey has always wanted to get a victory at Orange County, especially during Eastern States, and he finally was able to do it.
“This is just awesome in front of all these fans,” he said. “Eastern States has been a big one for us for a lot of years. I’ve come here every time they’ve run the Pro Stocks and I can’t thank Jordan (Sheehan) and everyone that put this event on enough. This is just a great racing surface and a great atmosphere and I’m happy we were able to get it done.”
Beau Ballard came home in second and really put on a show late in the going to get to the runner-up position in the main event.
“We were actually getting pretty free (loose) there towards the end,” Ballard said. “I lacked just a little bit of side bite to be able to stick with Jason but as slick as this track is, coming from seventh to second, I can’t complain.”
At some points, the field went three wide and even four wide which made all the drivers, including Ballard, stand up and take notice.
“It was pretty dicey,” he said. “When you’ve got a lot of good cars here, with all the fast guys starting up front, it makes it interesting.”
Track position was a big part of Ballard’s charge to the front.
“I just kept my nose clean and kept grabbing the bottom when everybody else was sliding out,” he said. “We just kept picking them off and got to second.”
Third place finisher on the day was Jason Casey’s father, Jay, who had a solid run in his #322 machine after coming on late in the 25-lap affair.
“The car started working a little later on in the feature,” Casey said. “I just didn’t have enough for Beau and nothing for Jason, but it was a good race for us.”
To put two cars from the same shop in the top three sure put a smile on the elder Casey’s face.
“It was fun today,” he said. “We had a lot of long green flag runs and there’s no damage on these cars and a good race track too. I’m very happy.”