Monthly Archives: January 2018

Carolina Mini-Stock Challenge Coming to Southern National Motorsports Park

Brandon Clements powers off turn four at SNMP during Saturday’s Mini Stock practice during the 2017 Thanksgiving Classic. (Justin Kern/

LUCAMA, NC – Southern National Motorsports Park will host the Carolina Mini-Stock Challenge Series on Saturday, May 5th – making the North Carolina based tour’s first trip to the Lucama, North Carolina track.

In addition to hosting the series, Southern National Motorsports Park will also adopt the series’ rules in the Mini Stock division for 2018.  The change would put every track in the Eastern North Carolina region on the same rules package.

“We’re excited about the Carolina Mini Stock Challenge coming to Southern National,” track owner Michael Diaz said.  “It’s great to have a series where all the tracks work together.  Adopting their rules package, I feel this is the best thing for our Mini Stock racers.”

The Carolina Mini Stock Challenge will headline the May 5th race, which also features racing for Limited Late Models, Legends, Bandoleros and Any Cars.

The 2018 season gets underway on Saturday, March 3rd with the Dogwood 225 featuring 150 laps of Late Model Stock Car racing as well as Mini-Stock and Bandolero racing.

More information about the 2018 season at Southern National Motorsports Park will be released in the upcoming days and weeks.

For more information about Southern National Motorsports Park, check out SNMP’s website at, “like” Southern National Motorsports Park on Facebook or “follow” @SNM_Park on Twitter.

Tyler Matthews Set to Make 2018 Truck Series Debut with MDM Motorsports at Martinsville

Tyler Matthews celebrates in victory lane at East Carolina on a Sunday after noon in September 2016. (Justin Kern/

It was announced earlier today that Richlands, North Carolina native and 2016 North Carolina state Late Model Champion, Tyler Matthews, will be making his Camping World Truck Series debut later this year in the No. 99 truck for MDM Motorsports at Martinsville Speedway. Matthews, who currently competes in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model Stock series, earned Rookie of the Year honors for North Carolina in 2015. He continued his rise through the stock car ranks the following year after winning both the Southern National Late Model track championship, he also finished third in points at his home track of East Carolina Motor Speedway – all while working on his degree from East Carolina University.

2017 would bring Matthews even more success as we would go on to win seven races and collect nineteen top fives, twenty top tens all in twenty starts en route to yet another track championship, this time at Carteret County Speedway, Matthews found himself, however, in a rather precarious position coming into 2018 after his Late Model was destroyed following a wreck at Carteret.

“That is kind of how this whole thing got started,” Matthews said in an interview with The Weekly Racer. “We took a step back to see where we wanted to go from there. I do plan on running some of the bigger Late Model races. This is a great opportunity with a really good team.” Matthews told The Weekly Racer once we caught up with him. “I owe everything to my parents and the people behind the scenes getting this deal together. They have believed in me since day one and now it is up to me to get it done.”

The three-race deal will kick off later this year at Martinsville Speedway here in Virginia. The following two races are set for Iowa and Gateway Motorsports Park where Matthews should get approval to run some of the bigger tracks on the Camping World Truck Series schedule.

“We are approved for 5/8 tracks,” Matthews went on to explain. “After Martinsville, we will get approved for Iowa and after Gateway, we should be approved to run the bigger mile and a half’s. Once we get approved for those we plan to run a few more races during the second half of the year. This team has had a lot of success with several different drivers. So I feel good about of chances to run well out of the gate.”

Matthews will certainly have his hands full making the jump from a stock car to a heavier, more powerful race truck, however, Matthews is keeping himself focused and setting smart goals for himself as he takes on this next step in his racing career. We also asked Tyler if there was any added pressure coming into a program that Monster Energy Cup Series driver Bubba Wallace took to victory lane towards the end of the 2017 season.

“You always want to win,” Matthews said. However, I would be really happy with some consistent top ten runs and keeping my nose clean. I want to learn as much as I can. I would say more confident because you know the team and the equipment is capable of winning but there is definitely some high expectations there.”

 To learn more and keep up with Tyler Matthews in 2018, make sure to follow him on his facebook page

Cullather Joins Jumpstart Motorsports for CARS Tour Title Run

Grayson Cullather prepares to get behind the wheel of his Late Model Stock Car. (Photo: Dinah Marie Photography)

Grayson Cullather is coming off his best season in racing in 2017 where he broke through for his first career Late Model win at Southside Speedway and turned heads with a 12th place finish at Martinsville Speedway in the prestigious ValleyStar Credit Union 300.

Cullather is now looking to take his racing program to the next level.  He will join Tommy Lemons, Jr’s Jumpstart Motorsports for the 2018 season with eyes on the CARS Tour full time.  Cullather already has a pair of top ten finishes in the CARS Tour after competing in the QDMA Duels at Dominion Raceway last year.

His 2017 performances coupled with his new ride have Cullather looking forward to a big season of racing.

“We had a great 2017 season,” commented Cullather.  “Getting a win at Southside in the season finale and going to Martinsville and running like we did was great.  We’re looking forward to moving to the CARS Tour and working with Tommy (Lemons) this season.”

Cullather and his family made the decision to go to Jumpstart Motorsports after careful consideration of their options for the 2018 season.

“We fell in love with his operation and how awesome Tommy is,” continued Cullather.  “I’ve still gotta thank Chris Edwards and my entire Southside team and car owner Greg Holt for all they did for me and for all the stuff we accomplished together.  I’m looking forward to getting into one of Tommy’s cars and seeing where we stack up.”

Lemons is also looking forward to having Cullather behind the wheel of one of his cars.

“I didn’t know much about Grayson but I had seen his Martinsville results,” said Lemons.  “A mutual acquaintance gave me his dads number and said he may be interested in running with us this year, so I called him and they came down to the shop and looked at what we had to offer.”

“We hope to be a stepping stone for Grayson’s career as he continues to move up the ladder.  It’ll be really cool to look back and be able to say he raced for us when he makes it to the upper echelon of racing.”

Cullather has chosen to compete in the CARS Tour because of the exposure that the series offers.

“The exposure is great,” said Cullather.  “You look at William Byron and Christopher Bell coming through there on there way to NASCAR’s top series.  Plus you race a different track every week and that gives you so much more experience and really prepares you more for the big races like Martinsville and Myrtle Beach at the end of the year.”

Cullather is hoping to run in the top five and compete for wins in the CARS Tour. He will also run a select number of NASCAR Whelen All-American Series races including the Virginia Triple Crown which includes the 200-lap race at South Boston Speedway, the Hampton Heat at Langley Speedway and the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 at Martinsville Speedway.  Plus he plans to compete in Denny Hamlin’s Short Track Showdown at Langley Speedway as well as the Myrtle Beach 400 at Myrtle Beach Speedway and the Thanksgiving Classic at Southern National Motorsports Park.

Cullather additionally will be bringing his spotter Jesse Vaughn along with him to Jumpstart Motorsports.  The two have worked together for much of the last two seasons despite Vaughn having spotter duties in other series.  Cullather says it was important for him to have Vaughn with him this season.

“He’s one of a kind,” Cullather said of Vaughn.  “He gives me the right info at the right time and really keeps me where I need to be behind the wheel. No other spotter gives me the information like he does.”

Vaughn is also excited about working with Cullather full-time in the upcoming season.

“Grayson and his family have taken me in like family,” commented Vaughn.  “I’ve worked with all kinds of big name drivers and this is the most excited I’ve ever been.  He has a lot of talent. I gave up a spotting job in the K&N Series because I believe in Grayson and want to work with him.”

Cullather will be looking to make a name for himself this season and he’s put the pieces and parts in place to make that happen even against the toughest competition in Late Model Stock Car racing.

For more information on Grayson Cullather check out his Facebook page at

Ep. 10 – Best Moments of 2017


With co-host Jessie Vaughn absent for a while, TWR founder and content manager Justin Kern goes through his top moments of 2017. Taking the last number of the year, Justin looks back at the top 7 TWR moments of the year. In addition, he briefly talks about the news of Myrtle Beach, Southern National, and NASCAR putting the new Chevy “Upgrade” (Chevy Spec) into the rule book for 2018


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