Category Archives: Southern National Motorsports Park

Robbie Babb Dominates Renfrow Heating and Air Modified Feature

Robbie Babb dominates 2016 Thanksgiving Classic. Celebrates in victory lane with brother Jimmy Babb. (Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com)

Robbie Babb dominates 2016 Thanksgiving Classic. Celebrates in victory lane with brother Jimmy Babb. (Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com)

Lucama, NC – Modifieds… small wheelbase, small tires but big motors! A division that I have grown to fall in love with through the three years of covering short track racing. Twelve cars qualified for this years event, a record high since the inception of the race, and quite honestly on of the largest car counts of the entire season. Southside Speedway’s Kyle Wood was actually the fastest earlier in the afternoon during euro style qualifying laying down a lap of 16.023 seconds or 89.871 mph.

Babb however had other plans once it was time to go racing. Kyle Wood led the field into one where drivers were very careful with the throttle working to get through the first lap. With just a little more experience with the rack and weather conditions that Wood, Robbie Babb was able to clear the #19 out of two and that was all Babb needed and immediately worked on opening up a comfortable lead.

Some good racing took place in Babb’s rear view mirror with Jimmy Humblet working his way through the field. Tyler Davis, who also made the trip from Southside Speedway was looking to make moves around the 2016 Dominion Raceway champ Chris Humblet for the fourth position. The race was only slowed by one caution period for debris in what looked to be turn four right after the #5 of Webb pulled off the racing surface.

When it was time to get back to racing Kyle Wood made sure to give Babb a run for his money as the field sailed through turns one and two. Babb however was able to take the lead back down the backstretch. Matt Carter used the restart to his advantage and took the third spot away and immediately pushed for second. As the laps clicked off Carter inched closer and closer to Woods nerf bar and would have possibly been able to take the second position had he had just a few more laps.

“This was a last minute decision that we were even going to come,” Babb said in victory lane. “Been dealing with work and some family stuff but we were able to put everything back together in a week. Dealing with the used tires and only coming here once a year is a bit of a learning curve, we just tried to stress that to some of the other guys. Give it some time and some laps to get the car under your feet.”

Each year the Thanksgiving Classic is going to provide one constant – cold weather. This of course helps horsepower but hurts grip as it takes tires longer to warm up. We asked Babb if running The Classic in the past was that much of help in tonights victory.

“Well I am getting old so this cold weather kind of helps us,” Babb laughed in victory lane. “The motors run real good but on the flip side to that in this cold weather your tires don’t heat up like they should so you deal with some grip problems, other than that it was a good show.”

 

Renfrow Heating & Air – 40 Laps

1) #44 Robbie Babb
2) #19 Kyle Wood
3) #78 Matt Carter
4) #77 Hunter Slayton
5) #11 Jimmy Humblet
6) #60 Bobby Geary
7) #00 Tyler Davis
8) #20 Chris Humblet
9) #15 Andrew Fortin
10) #17 Jamie Walmock
11) #5 JR Webb
12) #12 Tim Maxey

Annual Thanksgiving Classic at Southern National Looking to be Quite the Weekend

Cars lined up on the front side of pit road at The Park. (Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com)

Cars lined up on the front side of pit road at The Park. (Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com)

Lucama, NC – For some the Friday after Thanksgiving means early mornings, wild and crazy shopping and deals that will make your head spin. Great, if your into the long lines and crazy people fighting over the last “hit” toy, coffee machine, or some just insane size TV that makes no sense to even have. For others, it still means early mornings, and a little bit of head spinning – maybe even some head scratching – but in our case its around the high bank 4/10-mile oval that is Southern National Motorsports Park.

For the past few years teams from all over the east coast convene to Kenly, North Carolina to compete in what has become one of the bigger races of a season – the Thanksgiving Classic. This year the three-night event will play host to over 11 different divisions driving a total of 740 laps, or just about 300 miles of total action. Lets just say if 2016 is anything like that’s year, then you would be crazy if you missed any of the action.

Three fantastic features with one being a team style race in the Legends division will headline Friday night. Street Stocks will run a 50-lap feature followed by a 40-lap Legends race – their first of two on the weekend. The night will be capped off with a 50-lap feature for the Charger division.

Saturday will be another action packed day with final practice for both the Late Models & Super Late Models before they are sent on the track for their qualifying time-trials and heat races. That’s not all folks, a six division card is on deck to include the South East Mini Stock Tour, the second round of the Inex Legends Cup, Modifieds, UCAR, Limited Late Models, and the fan favorite Bomber division! Not to mention one lucky fan will win a ride in the Bojangles ride-a-long car with a driver to be determined later.

Sunday afternoon will wrap up the 2016 edition of the Thanksgiving Classic with to not to be missed features. First up will be a 125-lap Super Late Model feature. Just to give to a little reason not to miss this race, in 2015 the top ten cars stayed on each other like they were hooked together by chains. Brandon Setzer was victorious last year; will he be present in 2016 to defend his title?

The 200-lap Late Model feature was just as spectacular as the SLM feature with nose to tail and door to door racing going on from the front to the back. Most notable was the battle between two time NWAAS regional champion Mark Wertz and ARCA Series winner Myatt Snider staying glued at the bumpers. Snider would ultimately prevail ahead of Wertz to grab the runner up spot. Secondly would be Lee Pulliam checking off the Thanksgiving Classic off the list of races not won. To make things even more special, Pulliam grabbed the victory just days after wife LeAnne was hospitalized after a scary car crash. We would like to point out that she was at the speedway to not only root on her husband but to be there in victory lane.

Racing is set to get underway this evening at The Park around 7:00 PM. For a full list of this weekends events, as well as information on tickets, please visit the tracks website at www.snmpark.com. The Weekly Racer will have LIVE coverage of select events on our Twitter feed (@theweeklyracer) Saturday as well as both features on Sunday. We will attempt to go LIVE on Facebook Saturday evening if cell service permits.

CARS Tour Championship to Be Decided at Southern National November 12th

Mooresville, NC 9/6/16– After a pending forecast forced CARS Tour officials, for the second time this season, to make the call to postpone the action at Southern National Motorsports Park over the Labor Day weekend the 2016 season will end at the same place it started. The 4/10th mile track in Lucama, NC will decide the 2016 championship battle on Saturday November 12th.

The Sophomore season for the CARS Tour kicked off the year on April 3rd and saw Deac McCaskill and Quin Houff pick up there sole victories so far this year. Since that time McCaskill has held the Late Model Stock Car points lead, however; Tommy Lemons Jr. is just twelve points back with three events remaining. Houff on the other hand sits third chasing down Brandon Setzer and Super Late Model championship leader and rookie Raphael Lessard. Lessard has a fifteen point lead over second and twenty-four point lead over Houff.

Championship weekend at Southern National will kick off with an optional test day on Friday November 11thfollowed by race day on Saturday November 12th. With cooler temperatures expected that time of year qualifying will roll off at 1:15pm followed by a 3pm green flag on the 250 lap season finale.

With the 2016 season hitting the home stretch CARS Tour officials have been focused on finalizing a 2017 schedule. Expected release date will be sometime between the Myrtle Beach race on September 17th and the Hickory event set for October 29th. Drivers, teams, and fans can expect new tracks with new excitement for the 2017 season.

For more information and to stay up with all the latest news and information on the all new CARS Late Model Stock Tour and the all new CARS Super Late Model Tour visit www.carsracingtour.com or contact the series directly at 704-662-9212. You can also follow the tour along on Twitter @CARSTour and stay connected via the tours Facebook page by liking “CARS Tour”.

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*

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