Carroll’s maiden win in US speedway series

Will Carroll: breakthrough US triumph.

Will Carroll: breakthrough US triumph.

TEENAGE Warrnambool driver Will Carroll is keeping his expectations in check after scoring a breakthrough victory on foreign soil.

Carroll, 19, claimed his first win in the NASCAR Pro Late Model Series at New Smyrna Speedway, Florida, on Saturday night.

The 25-lap triumph, from Americans Rich Clouser and Cody Blair, came at just his fifth start racing in the development class.

Carroll had previously recorded a DNF, fourth, third and second before getting the better of his rivals on a memorable night.

The former sprintcar driver, who sold his V29 Maxim chassis to fund his move into asphalt-track racing, said he was rapt with the victory.

He qualified fourth and was in contention for a second-consecutive podium finish shortly after racing began.

“I was in third for the whole race until the last few laps. I got a run on the two guys in front of me and I took the lead with two laps to go,” he said.

But Carroll refused to let the taste of victory give rise to thoughts of a series triumph in his rookie year. His win has lifted him to the top of the standings.

“I think with the last race we weren’t that good but we were better than everyone else. There’s a lot more car speed to get out of it yet,” he said.

Carroll’s campaign at New Smyrna Speedway had its foundations as a go-kart driver in the south-west more than a decade ago.

The costs associated with racing on asphalt prompted him to switch to the clay and culminated with him contesting the 2014 Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic.

But he leapt at the opportunity to return to asphalt, this time in the United States as part of the Pro Late Model Series.

He drives the #81 ACR/X-Team Racing car. Team managers Henrique Cruz and Anthony Campi had been instrumental helping him make the transition overseas.

His experience racing sprintcars has also been beneficial, although there are few similarities between the two classes.

“It’s a lot different. You have to look after your tyres more. You have to have rubber at the end of the races. You can’t just go flat out,” he said.

Carroll will return to Australia next month for a two-week holiday. He wraps up his racing campaign in December.

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