Monthly Archives: June 2016

Drivers Say Trophy Important As The Check In Thunder Road Harley-Davidson 200

Photo: South Boston Speedway Facebook

Photo: South Boston Speedway Facebook

South Boston, VA. – When it comes to this Friday’s Thunder Road Harley-Davidson 200 at South Boston Speedway forget about all the extra money added to the purse. Late Model Stock drivers say this is one race where hoisting the trophy in Victory Lane is as important as cashing the check.

“This is really a big event. There’s a lot of excitement around it,” said Matt Bowling, who has won four times at South Boston this season and leads the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national points race. “Every driver brings their best to this race which makes it really tough to win. I’ve finished second in it twice, so I really want to make it happen this time.”

Racing is at the heart of Friday’s big pre-July 4th event but there will be lots of other cool things going on.

Crystal Day, Nashville recording artist and South Boston native, will perform patriotic songs during the on-track Fan Appreciation event before the race. There will be the spectacular postrace fireworks display that has become a tradition at South Boston.

And of course there are the added bonuses for the drivers that have caught the attention of so many competitors in the region. The Late Model field will be gunning for $3,000 in bonus money on top of the $5,000 to-win in the longest race of the season. In addition, the Limited Sportsman pole winner will receive a $300 bonus and the Budweiser Pure Stock pole winner will receive a $100 bonus.

The winner of the Budweiser Pure Stock race will be awarded the Clark Daniel Memorial Trophy in honor of the long-time Pure Stock supporter who died earlier this year.

“I’d say this is the biggest race of the year beside the big Martinsville race in the fall,” said Bobby McCarty, who has one South Boston win this season and is sixth in points. “With the crowd and the fireworks, this is the one all the drivers definitely look forward to.”

Peyton Sellers understands the importance of Friday’s pre-July 4th race. He won it back in 2005, the year he captured the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national championship. He’s still looking for a second win in the prestigious race.

“This race is a great way to measure your progress. It’s the midway point for everyone and you’ve got guys getting better each week and guys that have leveled out for whatever reason,” said Sellers, winless at South Boston this year, but fourth in points. “It’s one of our few shots at a 200-lapper to prepare for big races later in the year. It should be a good opportunity for the fans to see some fireworks on and off the track.”

Friday’s race is the longest and richest Late Model race of the year at South Boston Speedway and headlines a four-race card. The night’s action will also include a 100-lap Limited Sportsman Division race, a 50-lap race for the Budweiser Pure Stock Division and a 15-lap race for the Budweiser Hornets Division.

Immediately following the final race of the night, fans will witness the largest fireworks display in the area.

Advance tickets are $15 and will be available at the South Boston Speedway office until 5 p.m. on Thursday, June 30. Tickets at the gate on race day will be $20 for adults and $10 for youth ages 7-12. Kids ages six and under will be admitted free with a paid adult.

Grandstand gates will open at 4:30 p.m. and the first race of the night will get the green flag at 7 p.m. For those who cannot make the trip, we will have you covered on our Twitter feed with LIVE updates as soon as we pull in and get set up. Which should be right as qualifying gets underway.

LEMONS, CRAIG CAPTURE FIRST CAREER CARS TOUR WINS AT GREENVILLE

📸 Kyle Tretow / CARS Tour

In his best top fuel dragster impression, Matt Craig burned down the Hoosier tires on his No. 54 car after capturing his first career CARS Super Late Model Tour powered by VP Fuels win in the Leftturns and Sunburns 200 at Greenville Pickens Speedway on Saturday night (📸 Kyle Tretow / CARS Tour)

EASLEY, SC – Saturday night’s Leftturns and Sunburns 200 at Greenville- Pickens Speedway saw two drivers take home their first career wins in the CARS Tour. Tommy Lemons picked up his long-awaited breakthrough victory in the CARS Late Model Stock Tour, while Matt Craig cruised to victory in the super late model race.

 

SUPER LATE MODEL RECAP

The CARS Tour Super Late Model Tour powered by VP Fuels event was all about Matt Craig and the No. 54 C&C Boiler Chevrolet. After rolling out as the final car in qualifying, Craig snatched the Mahle Pistons Pole from Cole Timm and led the field to green with Timm to his outside.

Craig quickly shot out to the lead and began to control the pace of the event until the first caution of the evening flew on lap 19. Stephen Leicht lost control of his Jani-King Chevrolet while racing with Tate Fogleman on the backstretch and made hard contact, nose-first, with inside wall that ultimately ended his night.

Another caution on lap 31 for Jody Lavender’s stalled car in turn two set up a restart that would be the lone test for Craig on the night. Soon after the field resumed competition, Harrison Burton discovered a way around Craig on lap 38. The lead for Burton was short lived, however, as Craig motored past Burton nine laps later and began to pull away on lap 47.

Craig’s lead continuously grew over the final 53 laps. Cole Timm, Zane Smith, Brandon Setzer and Anthony Anders all surged forward late in the race as they attempted to chase down the No. 54, but their efforts fell short as the event went green to the finish and no one ever made a serious challenge to Craig’s dominance.

Craig cruised to victory with a 5.569 second margin of victory, the second-largest in CARS Super Late Model Tour history. Timm, Anders and Smith were the next trio to the stripe, while point leader Raphael Lessard rounded out the top five finishers.

“That thing was amazing. I can’t thank everyone who’s helped me enough, especially my dad for all the time he’s spent at the racetrack. I can’t thank Shawn and Jason enough and I really need to thank Clay Rogers and Gary Crooks,” Craig commented in Edelbrock Victory Lane. “There’s no way I’d be where I am today without their help, just how to drive them. When I first started driving these things, I didn’t like them at all and I was ready to go back to a heavy car like ARCA or ProCup used to run. They taught me how to drive them and with a little bit of luck, I’m just happy to be here.

“When I was behind Harrison, I was just playing with him. I wasn’t even pushing it. I was probably running 10%,” he continued when asked about how hard he was using up his equipment. “Every now and then, I’d gas up and point inside of him a little bit to let him know what’s going on, but then I was riding and I was getting kinda bored. So I just hammered down coming off of four and passed him, it was a great race.

“I had a few prayers in the last ten laps. I was leading a race like that a few weeks ago and a caution came out. That’s your worst nightmare. But this is a great thing to go on the resume, there are a ton of great guys here to race against and it really means a lot, it’s really special to me.”

 

CARSTour3

📸 Kyle Tretow / CARS Tour

LATE MODEL STOCK

For the eighth time in his 15-race CARS Tour career, Deac McCaskill led the field to green and led the opening third of the race until Chad McCumbee took his turn at the point beginning on lap 30.

A couple of late-race crashes, the worst of which eliminated Craig Stallard, Justin Carroll and Robert Tyler from the event, set up a series of restarts that ultimately played a pivotal role in the outcome of the 100-lap race.

The final caution of the night for Will Burns’ wrecked car on the back straightaway put the No. 27 of Tommy Lemons to the outside race leader Chad McCumbee. When the green flag fell, it was an all-out dash to turn one, and ultimately the finish, with Lemons prevailing from the outside lane off of turn two on lap 92.

Lemons stretched his lead over the final eight laps to claim his first career CARS Late Model Stock Tour win in 15 career starts with McCumbee also finishing a career-best second. Dylan Hall brought home a third place finish in his debut with the tour, while  Josh Berry and rookie Chase Purdy rounded out the top five.

“This is a big win right here,” said Lemons in Edelbrock Victory Lane. “This is a brand new car and it’s only been run in the CARS Tour this year. We’ve been really fast with it in the race and have been struggling in qualifying and we finally got it figured out. It’s just bad to the bone right now.

“I learned a little bit on the outside on those restarts late in the race with worn out tires,” he continued when asked about the pass for the lead. “I just wanted it. We kinda gave one away at Tri-County two weeks ago and I just felt like we had to go get it today. This doesn’t really change what we come to the racetrack for. We come for trophies and as long as we get those, we’ll be there at the end for the championship.”

 

ADDITIONAL NOTES OF INTEREST:

  • Deac McCaskill’s Hedgecock Pole Award average is unheard of in modern motorsports. In 15 CARS Tour events, he has laid claim to the top starting spot eight times. Not only have the accomplishments been worth over $2000 in bonus money, but his pole-start average, to liken it to baseball, is .533. His overall winning average, however, is .133 after winning twice in his career, both coming at Southern National Motorsports Park.
  • Greenville-Pickens is known for its history within short track racing and launching careers of the sport’s pioneers and legends. On Saturday, the CARS Tour wrote its own chapter of Greenville history with numerous drivers capturing their career best finishes in the event. Two super late model drivers captured their career best finishes (Craig, Anders), while no fewer than six late model stock drivers could make the same claim (Lemons, McCumbee, Hall, Purdy, J. Burns, Howard), all finishing inside the top ten.
  • Chase Purdy was a nominee for “heartbreak of the race” in the late model stock car feature. While running third, Purdy suffered a flat tire during the lap 78 accident that forced him to come to pit road to change it. In the final 22 laps, Purdy knocked off eleven cars, clawing his way to a final finish of 5th.
  • By unofficial calculations, the championship battles are quickly heating up as the CARS Tour crosses the halfway point on the season. On the late model stock side, it’s a three-way battle between McCaskill, Berry and Lemons, all of whom are unofficially separated by nine points entering race six. On the super late model side, Lessard leads Setzer, Houff and Timm with a collective separation of only 11 markers.
  • In the spirit of hard-nosed, heated-temper short track racing, the CARS Tour leads the way in intensity-driven moments that have kept fans talking and has led to brewing rivalries. After 15 events in series history, the HANS toss tally has already climbed to three. Last season, Rich Gould started the trend after chucking his safety device at Clay Jones during an event at Orange County Speedway, while this season Justin Crider and Will Burns have both launched their own projectiles at fellow competitors. On Saturday, Burns’ wrath was directed at Crider after the two got crossed up late in the going at Greenville, ending with Burns’ car in the inside wall. All device-throwing incidents occurred either with safety personnel on-site of the accident or under red flag conditions.

 

THE FINISHES:

CARS Late Model Stock Tour
Leftturns & Sunburns 200
Greenville Pickens Speedway – June 25, 2016
POS NUM DRIVER LAPS REASON OUT
1. 27 Tommy Lemons, Jr. 100
2. 95 Chad McCumbee 100
3. 4 Dylan Hall 100
4. 88B Josh Berry 100
5. 41 Chase Purdy 100
6. 08 Deac McCaskill 100
7. 12 Austin McDaniel 100
8. 5 Jeremy Burns 100
9. 16 Colby Howard 100
10. 1 Christian Eckes 100
11. 88 Chris Davis 100
12. 98 Stefan Parsons 100
13. 7 Justin Crider 100
14. 31 Thomas Beane 100
15. 28 Chris Hudspeth 100
16. 74 Ronald Hill 74
17. 82 Will Burns 91 Accident
18. 42 Craig Stallard 78 Accident
19. 57 Justin Carroll 78 Accident
20. 88T Robert Tyler 78 Accident
21. 07 Hayden Humphrey 0 DNQ

 

 

CARS Super Late Model Tour powered by VP Fuels
Leftturns & Sunburns 200
Greenville Pickens Speedway – June 25, 2016
POS NUM DRIVER LAPS REASON OUT
1. 54 Matt Craig 100
2. 57 Cole Timm 100
3. 97 Anthony Anders 100
4. 77 Zane Smith 100
5. 99 Raphael Lessard 100
6. 6 Brandon Setzer 100
7. 17 Quin Houff 100
8. 12 Harrison Burton 100
9. 31 Kyle Grissom 100
10. 56 Gus Dean 100
11. 58 Tyler Ankrum 100
12. 16 Lucas Jones 99
13. 7 Jody Lavender 99
14. 8 Tate Fogleman 49 Mechanical
15. 25 Stephen Leicht 19 Accident

Tyler Hughes Wins Back-to-Back at SNMP – Declared Winner Monday Afternoon

Lucama, NC – For Tyler Hughes racing in North Carolina does not seem to want to come easy for the Maryland native. Two weeks now in a row now the driver and his crew have faced some type of adversity. Now of course you will have that in this sport but an electrical issue that could have taken you out of the features all together one week and a post race technical inspection the following is not something a team wants to see happen week in and week out that is for sure.

After splitting a set of races the prior week with Louis White, Hughes found himself yet again on the road traveling to Southern National Motorsports Park. Leaving most of the electrical problems back home this weekend, Hughes entered the twenty plus car field feeling pretty good about the car, the crew, and himself. “The car was decent,” Hughes spoke about the car during practice. “We worked hard on it all day just fine tuning. We didn’t want to get to far away from what we had the week before. We still had a small miss but it was only little pops, nothing major that we were going to worry about.”

Apparently the fine-tuning was just what the car needed because he would go on to set the pole in euro style qualifying with a time of 15.790 (91.197 mph). Michael Fose, Tyler Matthews, Ricky Jones, III, and Clay Jones would round out the starting five.

“By fine tuning I knew we had a decent piece,” Hughes told The Weekly Racer this afternoon after an announcement was made about the official results. “But I didn’t know how good of a car we actually had until we started racing in that first race.” Good enough to lead wire to wire and pick up his second win in that many visits to SNMP in 2016. After, lets call it an unlucky start this season at Dominion Raceway, the back to back wins is something much needed for the team as a reminder they still have what it takes to win.

David Polenz, Louis White, Tal Davidson and Ricky Jones rounded out the top five. Brenden Queen, Clay Jones, and Michael Fose completed the top eight – the importance of that can be found bellow.

An eight-car invert was set for race number two later on in the evening as the sun went down and the track cooled off. A note to make, sixth place finisher Brenden Queen, had to give his third place starting position up after a fire broke out under the hood of the car as he was leaving the scales forced the team to the back up car and to the back of the field for the start of race two.

With twin races running in the sun and then under the moon we asked Tyler if the crew went to work during the break to change things on the car to make it any better. I think he was pleasantly surprised when swapping some tires around was all that was needed.

“We inspected tires and moved them around to where we felt it would benefit us the most for race two,” Huges commented about the adjustments. “It didn’t take us to long to get back up to the front and into the lead either.”

Hughes would go on to win the second feature of the evening and grab what he thought was going to be his third victory at the high-banked oval. Chris Chapman – who at one point was the division points leader – would finish second followed by Louis White, Clay Jones and Brenden Queen.

I am just so proud of this whole team for how hard we have worked and how much effort has gone into making the cars fast.” Hughes said about his team. “For only our second season of working together I cant think of anything better than to win four races in nine starts.”

The wins certainly did not come easy this weekend for Hughes as he learned at the completion of the night that one of the fellow competitors in the field had protested his motor. The team was ordered to submit their heads for further inspection. The team removed them from the car and a representative from G2 Racing along with the protesting team meat with officials in the tech shed. After the initial inspection passed the party that filed the protest requested further measurements to be taken which the track did not have the tools to complete. The heads were then taken to the NASCAR R&D center, which they had no issue with and officially handing the win over the Hughes.

“We let the head tech official keep the heads and take them to the R&D center,” Hughes told use over the phone Monday evening. “They went through every single test they could run and check on the heads and we got the phone call telling us we were 100% legal. Protest can become heated between teams sometimes but this was all 100% professional. From my team, to the track officials, to the protesting team, we all worked together and in the end, got rumors cleared up.”

Hughes went on to explain he is happy to show people what they do is by the book and that is what his team is about. They want to be known as a humble, fair, and fast competitor and Hughes hopes that message was delivered this past weekend.

Official results have not been made available just yet from the track however I plan on updating this story at a later date if I can get my hands on a copy. Southern Nationals next even will be July 9th for the Pro Late Model 100-lap feature. Chargers will run twin 35’s along with a 25-lap INEX Legend race and a 20-lap Bando feature. For more information on the track look them up on Facebook or check them out on the web – www.snmpark.com.

Louis White Find Himself Back in Victory Lane at Southern National Motorsports Park

IMG_8623Lucama, NC“We were sitting around at the shop last night working on the car, changing some stuff to go to East Carolina and practice in the next week or so. About 9:30 we decided we would come over here and race so it was a last minute decision.” Not a bad way to spend your Saturday when you were not really planning on racing to begin with, coming home with a check and some hardware.

It was all but the Louis White show, if it were for not race number one winner Tyler Hughes trying to mix things up early. Making one heck of a cross over move out of two on a early race restart – after Connor Hall went around in turn two – after getting a better jump than the guys in front of him. Hughes would give it all he had on the ensuing second restart but falling just shy of leading a lap and having to fall in line with Louis, where he would spend most of the race.

There was great racing all over the track in the second Late Model feature and final race of the evening with guys like Brenden Queen fighting through the field from around tenth all the way up to third. We also saw a battle pretty much from flag to flag for what seemed to always be the seventh position. Matthews found himself in some heavy racing trying to fight for every point he could earn. Along with the guys like David Polenz and Anthony Alfredo who made real strong runs late in the race.

Had a bit of a scare and what was almost the third caution of the night afterRobert Arch, running the #18 car tonight, went for a ride of his own down the backstretch. The incident happened right behind the tech shed so our vision was obscured. He was able to keep the car rolling, despite the heavy front-end damage and limp the car back to pit road and keep the green flag out on the field.

Even thought Tyler Hughes dominated the first race of the evening he had nothing for the car of Louis White who went on to grab the victory. We caught up with Louis after the race to talk to him.

“The car was pretty good in that second race,” White said in victory lane. “We made some adjustments on the car and changed some tires around and starting up front makes a big difference.”

Coming off of a hard fought sixth place in the first race, White took a good portion of the blame on why the team had to start so far back in the first place.

“We first got here today I was real good,” Louis went on to explain. “When we went out there to qualify the driver screwed up and I had to start in the back. We had to go work our way back up while trying to save some tires for the second race and it worked out pretty good.”

Louis also went on the mention the seven-car invert that put him on the front row was a huge factor in helping him win that second race. Louis has run four races now with friend Bradley McCaskill’s photo on the hood. So far he has won 50% of his races. We asked Louis, as he is on a bit of a hot streak if he will be back here next week for another set of twins, those plans seem to still be up in the air.

“We are not sure just yet where we are going to run,” White told us. “I am going to talk to these guys and see what they want to do. Trying to win that championship down there [East Carolina Motor Speedway] one more time before I call it quits. I would hate to tear the car up and not be able to make that, its up to the guys though.”

 

Late Model Stock Results

P1 #7 Louis White; 40
P2 #8 Tyler Hughes; 40
P3 #03 Brenden Queen; 40
P4 #54 Michael Fose; 40
P5 #44 T.J. Barron; 40
P6 #24 Mason Diaz; 40
P7 #38 Ricky Jones, III; 40
P8 #5 Anthony Alfredo; 40
P9 #33 David Polenz; 40
P10 #63 Tyler Matthews; 40
P11 #15 Omar Jurado; 40
P12 #77 Malik Koonce; 40
P13 #29 Paul Williamson; 39
P14 #18 Robert Arch; 27
P15 #25 Kate Dallenbach; 22
P16 #77b Connor Hall; 14
P17 #07 Adam Murray; 13
P18 #4 Jonathan Findley; 6
P19 #24 Melvin Langley; 1

*results have not been made official*

Tyler Hughes With Emotional Win at Southern National Motorsports Park

IMG_8640Lucama, NC – You couldn’t have asked for much better weather coming into this weekend in southeastern North Carolina not only for Fathers Day but also for the Schools Out 200 here at Southern National Motorsports Park. Interesting enough, the top two in points here at The Park were not in attendance, of course as we know Bradley McCaskill still recovering from his injuries. Hearing reports that Chapman was at Caraway with NASCAR Sprint Cup crew chief, Matt McCall.

Tyler Matthews set the quick time earlier in the afternoon during European style qualifying with a time of 15.875 (90.709 MPH), Matthews’ first career pole at Southern National. Brenden Queen, Mason Diaz, Tyler Huges, and David Polenz would make up the rest of the starting five.

Took Hughes just ten laps to get his machine around Matthews and take the top spot. It was no looking back from there for Hughes; he was out hunting for trophies. Pretty solid racing would take place behind him as Louis White made a pretty solid charge towards the front while Brenden Queen – who entered the night seventh in the national points, found himself going the wrong through the field.

There was nothing anyone had for Mr. Hughes however who found himself in victory lane and the subject of a seven-car invert. We caught up with Tyler in victory lane.

“We were chasing an electrical issue,” Hughes said in victory lane. “It just kept backfiring. We got the car set up pretty well this morning in practice and only had to make minor tweaks this afternoon. We found some spark plugs who’s electrodes were bent down so it wasn’t going off the right fire. We replaced all the spark plugs and it pulled through during the race when we needed it to.”

Tyler Hughes, out of Maryland, making the trip down to Southern National this fathers day weekend we know it had to of been great to get a win for your father, specially after he has been dealing with colon cancer. We had to ask him how it felt to do that for his father.

“Yea that was just awesome specially with it being fathers day,” Hughes said. “I am just really glad I can get the win for him today especially with his logo on the hood and he is all smiles and that’s all that matters to me. Just hope we can go on and get another win in the second race.”

Tyler told us the car felt just a little free coming off the corners so the team thinks they might tighten the car up a little bit but other than that the car felt pretty good for race number two.

 

Late Mode Stock Results:

P1 #8 Tyler Hughes; 40
P2 #63 Tyler Matthews; 40
P3 #24 Mason Diaz; 40
P4 #77 Connor Hall; 40
P5 #53 Michael Fose; 40
P6 #7 Louis White; 40
P7 #44 T.J. Barron; 40
P8 #38 Ricky Jones, III; 40
P9 #03 Brenden Queen; 40
P10 #33 David Polenz; 40
P11 #25 Kate Dallenbach; 40
P12 #4 Jonathan Findley; 40
P13 #18 Ronald Renfrow; 40
P14 #15 Omar Jurado; 39
P15 #29 Paul Williamson; 27
P16 #07 Adam Murray; 24
P17 #77 Malik Koonce; 21
P18 #24 Melvin Langley;
P19 #5 Anthony Alfredo; 1

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