16-year-old Jonathan Findley appears destined to score a breakthrough victory at some point this season and that could be followed by even more victories and possibly a championship.
Findley scored a pair of second place finishes in Saturday night’s twin feature races at Southern National Motorsports Park but, even before that, he has shown glimpses of greatness this season. Throughout much of the Jerry Moody Memorial, Findley was in contention for the win before getting tangled up with Haley Moody in a late race restart – ending both drivers’ chances for a win. Findley bounced back and appeared to be on his way to a victory on Saturday night until a late race restart proved to be his undoing.
Findley was in the lead until teammate Andrew Grady perfected a bump-and-run maneuver to get by. Findley had one more run at Grady but was forced to lift to avoid wrecking his 21-year-old teammate, allowing Grady to score the victory and leaving Findley disappointed with what could have, and maybe should have, been his first career Late Model victory.
“We should have won the last won,” Findley said after the race. “Just, things happen in racing. It’s a shame. The car was really good in the second half. We were just waiting for the caution to come out. Saved my tires, got a good restart then, on the last restart, we just got screwed on it.”
While Findley was disappointed, he knows that he and his team, with cars being prepared by former Old Dominion Speedway champion Mike Darne, are in contention for the track championship at Southern National and on the verge of that first win.
“We went through a big change in the offseason,” Findley stated. “We changed the setup in the car completely and it seemed to really bring it to life. It’s just gotten a lot better every week we come out here. I’ve gotten better, learned more. We’re just waiting for that first place finish.
Findley’s consistency and newfound confidence has the 16-year-old poised to be Late Model racing’s next breakout star. He current sits tied for second with Grady in Southern National’s championship standings – three points behind points leader Rusty Daniels.