Category Archives: Late Model

Matt McCall Officially Wins the 17th Annual Thanksgiving Classic at Southern National Motorsports Park

Matt McCall, along with family and crews, pose for a post race photo in victory lane Sunday evening at Southern National Motorsports Park. (Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com)

Lucama, NC – Matt McCall, fresh off the 2017 NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Season with Jamie McMurray, was fast all weekend in his Grant County Mulch Late Model Stock heading into the weekends 200-lap feature. Even after fully admitting to making a mistake during qualifying time trials, McCall was able to put down a lap that locked him into the show. Saving him from the mayhem that ensued in the 25-lap last chance qualifier.

McCall was a factor from the drop of the green all the way to the checkered. One can argue, however, that Philip Morris had the dominant early on in the race after he opened up a half straightaway lead over the field once he took the lead from Pulliam. However, after an eight-car invert, full contact racing, and ultimately contact with another competitor, Morris’ night ended much earlier than he had anticipated.

“We worked really hard to come here and it is always good and rewarding to get the trophy,” McCall said in victory lane. “It is really hard to come back into Late Model Stock race and know what pace to run but it sort of played into our hands there and I think we had a little more tire there at the end.”

After being fastest in most of the session both Friday and Saturday, McCall was only able to muster a sixth place starting position. He fully admitted in victory lane after the race that it was the guy behind the wheel that messed up, not the car.

“The guy holding the pedal messed up qualifying so I will take full credit for that,” expressed McCall. “I felt really good about the car. In practice it was really solid, we made some gains this year, fortunately, it was enough.”

Staying within the top five, or there about the first half of the feature, the eight-car invert played into the hands of McCall however as he was scored fourth when the yellow flag was displayed for the halfway break. We asked McCall what changes he and the crew made to the car as the first half was in the day and the second half was going to be at night.

“We didn’t touch it,” McCall told The Weekly Racer about the halfway break. “We put tires on it and fuel in it. We got a little lucky and got it here a couple weeks to test in the dark so I kind of knew what I thought we needed and it worked out.”

Results were finally made official from speedway officials more than two hours after the checkered flag waved.

“I thought I was in the lead,” McCall commented about the final restart that put him ahead of Johnson. “Every time we contested it they put us behind him so we will just see if they give it to us this time by getting into the right spot. It is always weird with Late Model Stock racing and there aren’t really any loops it’s all visual. Maybe it would have made a difference, maybe it wouldn’t, we were pretty good at the end.”

2017 Thanksgiving Classic Results;

  1. #51 Matt McCall
  2. #44 Justin Johnson
  3. #27 Tommy Lemons Jr.
  4. #07 Bradley McCaskill
  5. #5 Lee Pulliam
  6. #22 Bobby McCarty
  7. #26 Peyton Sellers
  8. #4 Jonathan Findley
  9. #21 Mike Darne
  10. #9r Alex Brock
  11. #41 Sam Meyer
  12. #9 Charlie Watson
  13. #55 Mark Wertz
  14. #82 Cameron Burke
  15. #99 Layne Riggs
  16. #63 Tyler Matthews
  17. #2 Robert Powell
  18. #90 Terry Carroll
  19. #9 Devon Dodson
  20. #03 Brenden Queen
  21. #24 Colin Garret
  22. #18 Jason York
  23. #01 Philip Morris
  24. #5 Adam Resnick
  25. #1 Juan Gonzalez
  26. #24 Mason Diaz
  27. #17 Stacy Puryear
  28. #19 Cameron Bowen
  29. #33 Ryan Haddock
  30. #46 Thad Moffit
  31. #22 Grayson Cullather
  32. #82 Will Burns

Mini Tyrell Victorious in Saturday Night Portion of 2017 Thanksgiving Classic

Mini Tyrell backs up is P2 finish from Friday with a win in Saturday’s portions of the 2017 Thanksgiving Classic. (Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com)

Lucama, NC – Mini Tyrell, the 13-year-old two-time Shenandoah Late Model track champion, put the final cherry on top of an incredible weekend by ending up in victory lane in Saturday’s portion of the 17th Annual Thanksgiving Classic presented by Solid Rock Carriers.

After earning the pole position earlier in the afternoon during group qualifying, Tyrell held onto the race lead for the first sixteen circuits before Friday night’s winner, Jamie York was able to get by the Manassas, Virginia driver. The top four drivers, in fact, were all right nose to tail for a little more than half the race until a caution was displayed on lap forty-five. From there it was mostly downhill from there.

The old saying in racing that ‘cautions breed cautions’ was certainly proven to be correct as things started to go downhill fast for a couple of drivers. Jamie York found himself to be on the wrong end of one of those deals after his night was finished earlier than the team planned when he was involved in a crash following the evening’s first restart.

Clay Jones, who had battled his way up to the front of the field, almost had his night come to a screeching halt after he spun in turn four battling hard with Paul Williamson – who had been leading the race at the time. Williamson and Jones were both sent to the rear their involvement in bringing out the yellow. Tyrell would inherit the lead and held off several challenges for the lead after a handful of restarts.

Tyrell’s family and crew were emotional in victory lane and for good reason.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better weekend,” Tyrell told The Weekly Racer in victory lane Saturday night. “Being able to learn so much running with some of these guys and holding them off is just truly incredible. We lost a good friend a couple months ago that was like a brother to me, his birthday is Monday and I knew he was riding with me. I was just praying with about five laps to go that he would get me through it and sure enough he did.”

The victory comes just one day after Tyrell finished second to York in Friday nights “Dash for Cash” 40-lap feature and put a bookend on one of the biggest weekends in his young career.

“They [Tyrell’s crew] gave me an awesome car this weekend and we were just riding there for the first fifty laps just trying to conserve things,” Tyrell went on to say. “Unfortunately we got into the back of Jamie York and messed up the front end of the car a little bit, sorry to him for that but that’s just racing. Fell back to fourth trying to recover from that but was able to battle back to the front and lead the way the rest of the night.”

Gary Ledbetter Jr. took the victory in a thrilling 50-lap Street Stock feautre. Michael O’brien certainly did his fair share of making things interesting when he took things three wide a couple of times battling with Ledbetter in lap traffic. Gary Ledbetter Sr., Gerald Benton, and pole sitter Curtis Pebbles rounded out the top five finishers.

The 2017 Thanksgiving Classic will wrap up later this afternoon, as the green flag will wave for the 125-lap Super Late Model and 200-lap Late Model Sock features. Danny O’Quinn Jr. (SLM) and Lee Pulliam (LMSC) will lead their respective fields to green. Grandstands will open at 9:45 AM. An on-track autograph session is scheduled for 10:15 AM when the first green flag waving at approx. 12:00 noon.

 

Saturday Night Limited Late Model Results;

  1. #81 Mini Tyrell; 75
  2. #15 Clay Jones; 75
  3. #25 Jacob Borst; 75
  4. #29 Paul Williamson; 75
  5. #17 Jason Meyers; 75
  6. #28 Justin Gill; 75
  7. #26 Karl Budzevski; 75
  8. #28 Tyler Horne; 75
  9. #2 Joshua Yeoman; 75
  10. #05 Alex Flemming; 75
  11. #55 Aaron Champion; 75
  12. #07 Robert Arch; 56
  13. #22 Eric Winslow; 48
  14. #1 Jamie York; 47
  15. #91 Chris Elliot; 47
  16. #55 Gerald Benton; 47
  17. #16 Rusty Daniels; 45
  18. #21 Kevin Jefferys; 20
  19. #14 Akinori Ogata; DNS
  20. #31 Wayne Goss; DNS

Lee Pulliam Will Lead the 2017 Thanksgiving Classic Field to Green on Sunday Afternoon

Lee Pulliam rockets down the front stretch during final practice Saturday afternoon at Southern National Motorsports Park in preparation for qualifying time trials. (Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com)

Lucama, NC – Lee Pulliam, who had his 2016 Thanksgiving Classic ended early after contact between himself and Matt McCall earned the right to lead the field to the green flag with a 15.407-second (93.464 mph) lap of record earlier in the afternoon during single-car qualifying. 2016 winner, Tommy Lemon Jr., 2017 Hampton Heat winner, Bobby McCarty, Mike Darne and Philip Morris will round out the top five starters.

“We had a good car all weekend,” Pulliam said.  “The guys have been working hard.  We had a couple different packages that we tried yesterday.  We feel pretty good about it and think we’ve got a good piece for the race.  I don’t normally like predicting results, but I think we’ve got a good shot at it.  Hopefully, we can be in the right place at the right time.”

Others posting times fast enough to guarantee themselves a spot in the 2017 Solid Rock Carriers Thanksgiving Classic was Matt McCall, Bradley McCaskill, Mason Diaz, Peyton Sellers, Jonathan Findley, Justin Johnson, Brenden Queen, Cameron Bowen, Layne Riggs, and Jason York. The rest of the field will be set with a 25-lap Last Chance Race Sunday morning.

Grandstands will open at 9:45 AM. On track autograph session will begin at 10:15 AM and run ill 11:30 AM with the green flag scheduled to wave at noon.

 

2017 Thanksgiving Classic Qualifying Order

1 5 Lee Pulliam 15.407
2 27 Tommy Lemons Jr 15.447
3 22 Bobby McCarty 15.465
4 21 Mike Darne 15.470
5 01 Philip Morris 15.474
6 51 Matt McCall 15.477
7 07 Bradley McCaskill 15.494
8 24 Mason Diaz 15.522
9 26 Peyton Sellers 15.547
10 4 Jonathan Findley 15.548
11 44 Justin Jonhson 15.555
12 03 Brenden Queen 15.656
13 19 Cameron Bowen 15.660
14 63 Tyler Matthews 15.692
15 99 Layne Riggs 15.702
16 18 Jason York 15.754
17 9 Alex Brock 15.760
18 82 Will Burns 15.772
19 41 Sam Meyer 15.794
20 17 Stacey Puyear 15.800
21 55 Mark Wertz 15.831
22 9 Devon Dodson 15.843
23 24 Colin Garret 15.868
24 90 Terry Carroll 15.871
25 2 Robert Powell 15.923
26 22 Grayson Cullather 19.936
27 91 Justin Carroll 15.953
28 33 Ryan Haddock 15.958
29 46 Thad Moffit 15.975
30 82 Cameron Burke 16.009
31 5 Adam Resnick 16.062
32 82 Mike Ganoe 16.082
33 15 Noland Pope 16.181
34 9 Charlie Watson 16.184
35 28 Jason Barnes 16.219
36 1 Juan Guanzalez 16.248
37 9 Rodney Boyd 16.450
38 16 Rusty Daniels Prov

Jamie York Scores First Career Limited Late Model Win Friday Night at Southern National

Jamie York Celebrates in victory lane at SNMP after winning Friday night’s “Dash for Cash” LLM feature. (Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com)

Lucama, NC – Jamie York, of Reidsville, North Carolina, scored his first career Limited Late Model win Friday night at just 17-years-old in the 40-lap “Dash for Cash” feature to kick off the 2017 Thanksgiving Classic.

York set quick time earlier in the afternoon with a time of 16.038-seconds (89.787 mph), just three-hundredths of a second quicker than 2017 Shenandoah Speedway track champion, Mini Tyrell. He and Tyrell, along with Renfrow would gap themselves from the rest of the field leaving Alex Flemming to be the early entertainment after starting from the back after serving a penalty after qualifying.

However, a lap twenty-one caution would bunch the field up and almost have a major outcome of the finish. Tyrell was able to work his way under and around York to lead a handful of laps. York was just a little bit faster and would take the lead back just four laps later. Even after a late race caution bunched the field up one final time, York was able to hold off charges Tyrell and Flemming. Clay Jones would cross the start-finish line in the fourth position after starting from the rear while Renfrow would be regulated to a fifth-place finish after struggling on both restarts.

 

2017 Charger track champion, Jonathan Kornegay lead all 40-laps in the Charger feature over Michael Obrien, Jeremy Bohne, David Warren, Jeff Rogers, and William Haynie.

Day two of the 17th Thanksgiving Classic presented by Solid Rock Carriers gets underway on Saturday with qualifying to determine the top-12 starters in the Late Model Stock Car feature race, which headlines Sunday.  Super Late Models will also qualify.  Following qualifying, feature racing will get underway with Bandoleros, Legends, Southern Lightning Modifieds, Mini Stocks, U-CARs, Street Stocks, Any Cars and a 75 lap Limited Late Model feature.

Qualifying for Saturday’s races gets underway at 1:20pm, Late Model qualifying (for Sunday’s races) will begin at 2:30pm and Saturday night’s features will commence at 4:30pm.

More information about the 17th Thanksgiving Classic presented by Solid Rock Carriers » http://snmpark.com/thanksgivingclassic

 

 

Limited Late Model Dash for Cash Results;

  1. #1 Jamie York; 40
  2. #81 Mini Tyrrell; 40
  3. #05 Alex Fleming; 40
  4. #15J Clay Jones; 40
  5. #07 Ronald Renfrow; 40
  6. #17 Jason Myers; 40
  7. #25 Jacob Borst; 40
  8. #22 Eric Winslow; 40
  9. #55 Alex Champion; 40
  10. #29 Paul Williamson; 40
  11. #16 Rusty Daniels; 40
  12. #16b Brandon Jones; 38
  13. #91 Chris Elliott; 31

Green Flag Set to Wave on 17th Annual Thanksgiving Classic at Southern National Motorsports Park

Frontstretch and grandstand area at Southern National Motorsports Park (Andy Marquis/SNMP photo)

The 17th Thanksgiving Classic presented by Solid Rock Carriers gets underway on Friday night and runs through Sunday with a total of 775 laps of racing for the 11 divisions which will compete. The schedule for this weekend can be found below.

With Thanksgiving dinners wrapped up, some of the best drivers and their families in the Mid-Atlantic region will converge on the .400-mile high-banked oval of Southern National this weekend. Philip Morris, who was victorious in the first recorded Thanksgiving Classic, looks to continue his hot streak this year and will be making his return to the North Carolina Speedway. He will be one of the drivers to keep an eye out for one Sunday.

Lee Pulliam, newly crowned NASCAR Whelen All-American Series National champ, and Brenden Queen are looking for strong outings this weekend in the Late Model portion of the show. Pulliam, coming off of a disappointing finish in last years classic as well as at Myrtle Beach Speedway, Pulliam will be looking for victory lane one final time this year. Brenden Queen, who was forced to start at the rear of the field last weekend at Myrtle Beach one-week prior and fought his way back up to the fourth position, will be looking to improve his finishing position from last year.

NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series crew chief Matt McCall will be making his return to Southern National this weekend. McCall, who is no stranger to victory lane, will be looking to finally check The Classic off his checklist. In 2016 McCall finished third to Lemons and Queen after contact with Pulliam battling for the lead on a late race restart.

The IMCA style Modified’s will be making their return as well with a 40-lap feature on Saturday night along with one of two Limited Late Model features of the weekend. Brandon Clements will look to pick up another dominant victory in the Mini Stock feature after coming back from what should have been a race-ending crash the month prior at the Spooktacular.

Other divisions racing this weekend will be the INEX Legends and Bandos, Chargers, UCAR, Street Stocks, as well as Super Late Models. The Weekly Racer will be on the road Friday afternoon and will provide coverage all weekend long on our Twitter feed (@theweeklyracer)

 

Friday, November 24th: Bandoleros (20 laps), Chargers (40 laps), Legends (25 laps), Limited Late Model Dash (40 laps). Green flag at 8:15pm.

Tickets: Adults – $15; Seniors, active military, and students (with ID) –$12; Kids 6-12 – $5; Kids five and under – FREE.

 

Saturday, November 25th: Bandoleros (20 laps), Legends (30 laps), Southern Lightning Modifieds (40 laps), Mini Stocks (50 laps), U-CAR (30 laps), Street Stocks (15 laps), Limited Late Models (40 laps). Green flag at 4:30pm.

Tickets: Adults – $20; Seniors, active military, and students (with ID) – $15; Kids 6-12 – $5; Kids five and under – FREE.

 

Sunday, November 26th: Late Model Stock Car Last Chance Qualifier (25 laps), Super Late Models (125 laps), Late Model Stock Car feature event (200 laps). Green flag at 12pm.

Tickets: Adults –$25; Seniors, active military and students (with ID) –$20; Kids 6-12 – $10; Kids five and under – FREE.

3-Day Tickets: Adults –$45; Seniors, active military and students (with ID) – $35, kids 6-12 –$20.

 

Previous Winners

1998 — Philip Morris

1999 — Scott Riggs

2000 — Frank Deiny, Jr.

2001 — Kirk Leone

2002 — Brandon Butler

2003 — Denny Hamlin

2004 — Jamey Caudill

2005 — Jamey Caudill

2006 — Deac McCaskill

2007 — Denny Hamlin

2008 — Joey Coulter

(SNMP closed 2009-2011)

2012 — Greg Edwards

2013 — Ronnie Bassett, Jr.

2014 — Brayton Haws

2015 — Lee Pulliam

2016 — Tommy Lemons, Jr.

Josh Berry Finds Redemption in Myrtle Beach Speedway Victory Lane

Josh Berry shakes the monkey off his back and parks it in victory lane after winning the 2017 Myrtle Beach 400 after coming up one position short the year before. (Charlie Alexander/TheWeeklyRacer.com)

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina – This time a year ago Jr. Motorsports driver Josh Berry had a different feeling and set of emotions running through his mind, body, and sole if you will.

For those that don’t remember Berry, along with JRM teammate Christian Eckes, were racing hard side-by-side in the closing laps of the Myrtle Beach 400 where Eckes made contact with Berry as the pair powered off turn four. The contact sent Berry into the wall and ended his shot at the victory. The 2017 edition of the race proved to have the same undertones, however, Berry was on the good end of the deal.

The Late Model Stock portion of the Myrtle Beach 400 dual weekends has never failed to produce some of the best racing of the year, in TheWeeklyRacer.com very humble opinion. This race easily stacks up as a candidate for Race of the Year, if that was something that we handed out at the end of the year – maybe that is something we should look into doing this year.

With just a little bit different format this year, fifty-seven cars took to the speedway earlier in the afternoon for single-car qualifying where NASCAR officials introduced a little bit of a twist for drivers and teams. Each car would get two laps. If the team felt like they left something on the table they could let officials know they would like to spin the roulette wheel so to speak. The team would have 45-seconds to make adjustments to the car and then go back out for one lap and that one lap was your time.

Josh Berry was also the man of the hour during the qualifying session earlier in the afternoon laying down a 20.400-second lap around the just over half-mile oval. Berry was the only driver the lay down a sub .500-second lap. Timothy Peters, Tyler Hughes, Jake Crum – who both would eventually retire early from the feature – and Justin Milliken rounded out the fastest five starters and were among the top sixteen drivers to be locked into the feature. Current track and national champion, Lee Pulliam, was forced to essentially spin the roulette wheel after an issue during qualifying. The one lap he was able to put down was good enough for ninth quick.

Things did not take long to heat up on the racing surface as some of the best in the business went to war per se on the worn out asphalt of Myrtle Beach. Several drivers from Jake Crum, Lee Pulliam, Timothy Peters, David Roberts, and eventually Josh Berry all had their hand in the cookie jar for the lead.

However, after what some would call interesting and others would argue exciting, final one hundred laps, it was the No. 88 of Josh Berry who took the checkered flag, the gigantic trophy, and check for $10,000 back to his race shop. Oh, yea, not to mention Berry won a fishing trip for himself and his crew along with a brand new chainsaw.

“The first half of the race we just to manage it and see what we had,” Berry said in victory lane. “Our goal was run the first half and make the car better for the second half and if hopefully if things fell our way we would be up front. We were a little bit too loose the first half, made some good adjustments at the break and I think I was able to conserve my tires better than the first part of the race. It ended up coming down to me and Timothy [Peters] at the end of the race and I was better than him.”

It was certainly no cakewalk for Berry, ended up beating Peters – who had just flown in from Miami where he raced in the truck series season finale the night before – on a late race restart where he ended up spinning his tires and allowing Berry to jump out to the lead.

“We took off and he was kind of able to clear Chad [McCumbee] but I could tell a couple of runs before that he was starting to get a little loose up off the corner,” Berry said. “I thought it was going to come down to him [Peters], Lee and us but Lee ended up going to the back with his issue so it just came down to Timothy and me. I really felt like we were able to save a little more than him and we were able to get away from him there the last couple of laps.”

With just how tight the field was running from first all the way back to fortieth you would have to think that in the back of your brain that you would be thinking about all the happened one year ago. We ask Berry what was going through his mind in the closing laps as he tried yet again to seal the deal at Myrtle Beach.

“Yea, it’s weird. The second half of the race just has a tendency to thin out. It was a little like last year and it came down to just me and Timothy and it was just like that last year really,” Berry went on to say. “I just ended up on the wrong side of it then. Either way, hats off to all of these guys at Jr. Motorsports. They work their butts off building racecars. It means a lot to get them into victory lane. It has turned into a pretty big day for those guys and tomorrow [Sunday] is going to be a pretty big day for Dale too so it means a lot to be able to bring him a Myrtle Beach 400 win.”

 

Myrtle Beach 400 Late Model Stock UNOFFICIAL Results

Pos. Car Name Laps
1 #88 Josh Berry 225
2 #12P Timothy Peters 225
3 #16M Chad McCumbee 225
4 #03 Brenden Queen 225
5 #41 Sam Mayer 225
6 #27 Tommy Lemons Jr. 225
7 #2S Myatt Snider 225
8 #02 Justin Milliken 225
9 #00 Shane Lee 225
10 #18G Ty Gibbs 225
11 #15 Ryan Millington 225
12 #97 Greg Edwards 225
13 #12G Trey Gibson 225
14 #7 Justin Crider 225
15 #26 Peyton Sellers 225
16 #44 Justin Johnson 225
17 #18R David Roberts 225
18 #25 Kevin Leicht 225
19 #61 Justin Hicks 225
20 #30 Brian Vause 225
21 #60B RA Brown II 225
22 #1 Michael Faulk 225
23 #36 Neil Meredith 225
24 #70 Stuart Ricks 225
25 #16H Colby Howard 224
26 #23 Dexter Canipe Jr. 224
27 #11W Lucas Williams 224
28 #24B Blaise Brinkley 224
29 #88P Charles Powell III 223
30 #51C Matt Cox 215
31 #46 Thad Moffit 212
32 #51 Blair Addis 203
33 #5G Cole Glasson 202
34 #2P Brandon Pierce 202
35 #01 Jake Crum 201
36 #5P Lee Pulliam 201
37 #17B Bryant Barnhill 200
38 #98 Stefan Parsons 183
39 #8A Anthony Alfredo 130
40 #99 Layne Riggs 125
41 #63 Chris Throckmorton 68
42 #8H Tyler Hughes 59
43 #83 Jeremy McDowell 14

Veteran Josh Berry Wins First CARS LMSC Tour Championship

Josh Berry accepts CARS Tour trophy at South Boston. (Photo: CARS Tour)

Mooresville, NC – The season-ending AutosByNelson.com 250 at South Boston brought an end to one of the closest points battles in CARS LMSC Tour history. JR Motorsports driver Josh Berry found himself in the middle of the points battle, as he trailed leader Layne Riggs by only four points in the standings while keeping a small five-point advantage over his JR Motorsports teammate Anthony Alfredo in third.

Berry needed a flawless weekend during the series’ first visit to South Boston in order to overtake Riggs and earn his first CARS LMSC Tour championship. However, the weekend proved to be a struggle for the CARS Tour veteran, as he nearly lost control of his car during the second round of qualifying, which relegated him to an eighth-place starting spot. Although Berry had a comfortable advantage over Alfredo, who was starting 20th, Berry would have to find the speed to chase down Riggs, who was starting on the outside of the front row.

Riggs proved to have one of the strongest cars in the field early on, as he quickly overtook polesitter Philip Morris for the lead on the first lap of the race. Despite losing the lead a few laps later, Riggs was able to constantly challenge Morris and race winner Deac McCaskill during the opening laps of the race, while Berry struggled to work his way up to the front, and found himself in seventh place when the first caution came out.

Berry got the break that he needed on the following restart when Riggs’ transmission broke going into the first turn, which forced the 15-year-old rookie to retire from the race, effectively knocking him out of the championship. Berry, who never cracked the Top 5 during the entire race, only had to contend with Alfredo for the championship and was able to secure the championship from his teammate by only a few points.

“It’s awesome to win a championship for Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Kelley Earnhardt,” Berry said. “They’ve been really good to me, and they’ve always been big supporters. I think this is my third or fourth championship for them, but a touring championship is obviously a big deal. There are a lot of different racetracks, and a lot of work went into this, so I’m really excited to win this championship and check it off the list, and I’m going to enjoy it and get ready for next year.”

Berry’s championship in the CARS LMSC Tour adds another chapter to his brief, but illustrious career in Late Models. Berry got his start in Late Model racing in 2011 at South Boston Speedway, where he made 19 starts and earned one victory, which placed him fourth overall in the track’s final 2011 standings. Since 2012, Berry has been a regular at both Motor Mile Speedway and Hickory Motor Speedway, where he has won over two dozen races between the two tracks and has one track championship at both facilities.

Berry’s success on short tracks eventually convinced Dale Earnhardt Jr. to start fielding a part-time Xfinity car for him, with Berry finishing 12th in his series debut at Iowa in 2014. Berry has made five more starts in the series since his debut with JR Motorsports and Obaika Racing, earning a career-best finish of seventh in the 2015 Virginia 529 College Savings 250 at Richmond Raceway. Berry has expressed interest in running more Xfinity races, but a lack of sponsorship and a commitment to Late Models has prevented him from being more active in the series.

In 2015, Berry began to make select appearances in both divisions of the recently formed CARS Tour, but quickly found his place in the CARS LMSC Tour, where he won three out of the four races he started. Berry carried the momentum he established from 2015 into 2016, where he won five more races and finished in the Top 5 in all of his starts. However, Berry ultimately forfeited his shot at the CARS LMSC Tour championship when he missed the 2016 Summertime Showdown at Orange County due to a commitment with the Xfinity Series, but Berry still managed to finish third in the standings to Deac McCaskill.

Berry would have several new challenges to face for the 2017 season, such as an increased schedule, new tracks and competitors, and dealing with the loss of his long-time sponsor Speedco. However, Berry was able to overcome the adversity and knocked off four more victories in the 2017 CARS LMSC Tour season to secure his first championship in the series, including a season sweep at Concord Speedway. Berry believes that he and his team met all of their goals for the 2017 season, and is proud of the hard work they put into his car despite some of the struggles they faced.

“In 2016, it seemed like things came a lot easier for us,” Berry said. “You just have to learn not to take things like that for granted. We had a lot of ups and downs this year, but at the end, I’m excited to be the champion, and hopefully, we can contend for the championship next year.”

There are many unknowns for Josh Berry going into 2018, but he does plan to return to the CARS LMSC Tour next year with the hope of becoming the first repeat champion in the series’ brief history. Berry has also expressed interest in competing in other divisions next year but added he is still trying to work out many details.

“Right now I’m not exactly sure what I have lined up for next year beyond the CARS Tour,” Berry said. “I can definitely say that I have a few things in the works, but I guess we’ll have to just wait and see.”

The 2018 CARS Tour season will introduce a variety of changes to the schedule and competition for Berry and his competitors, including inaugural visits to Wake County Speedway, Ace Speedway, Kingsport Speedway and Carteret County Speedway. The CARS Tour will also not return to Concord Speedway for the 2018 season, which was a track that Berry was undefeated at during his career in the series. However, Berry is looking forward to the changes and tribulations that the 2018 season will bring him, and remains confident that he will once again be one of the drivers competing for a championship when the season concludes at South Boston next year.

For additional information on the CARS Late Model Stock Tour and the CARS Super Late Model Tour visit www.carsracingtour.com. Be sure to stay active and social with the tour by liking “CARS Tour” on Facebook, following @CARSTour on Twitter, and scrolling through photos on Instagram cars_tour. Additional series information can be obtained by calling the CARS Tour series office, located in Mooresville, NC, at 704.662.9212.

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