Tag Archives: Brenden Queen

KERN: Racing Heating Up for Several Virginia Drivers Early in 2019

It is hard to believe that it is already that time of year again – Race Season! Seems like just yesterday we were telling you about the final chapter of the 2018 season and crowning champions. Here we are just hours away from what we can call the “official” green flag of the year down at the World Center of Racing – others may simply call it Daytona. In just a few short hours ARCA will drop the green flag on their season and go racing for 200-miles and you won’t have to look but too far to see some local names that TWR is very familiar with.

At this point in the game – yes I know that we are a little late to the game per se but this winter was a little different for us here at TWR – I am sure everyone reading this has seen the news about Hampton Roads natives Connor Hall and Brenden Queen getting “the call” and will be racing this afternoon in easily the biggest race of their career. Both Hall and Queen were down at Daytona a few short weeks ago during the ARCA open test following IMSA’s Rolex 24 Hour race for Vizion Motorsports, along with fellow Late Model driver from North Carolina Paul Williamson, obviously impressing those in the garage. Hall, after presenting a deal to Chad Bryant Racing will be piloting the No. 22 Ford while Queen will be in the No. 36 Toyota for Vizion Motorsports.

For those race fans that may not follow the ARCA Series enough, the race will be televised LIVE later this afternoon on FOX Sports 1 at 4:30 PM EST. Not going to be home to watch? Pull the race up on the FOX Sports App! Hall will also be competing in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East season opener Sunday night at New Smyrna.

You can see what these drivers had to say about getting the chance of a lifetime in an article published yesterday from our friends at Race22 >> Several Late Model Stock Car Drivers Set to Compete at Daytona

Hall & Queen, however, are not the only Virginia drivers spending some time in the Sunshine State. 2013 & 2017 Langley Speedway INEX Legends Champ Spencer Saunders; 2018 INEX Semi-Pro Road Course National Champ Carter Weedon, just to name a few, will all compete in the 2019 Winter Nationals at Citrus County Speedway.

Five races over the course of a week for drivers from all over to not only prove they are the best but to also get a head start on the INEX national points. Something one driver we mentioned above has kept in the back of his mind for the last couple of weeks.

“We have been doing this quite a while,” Saunders told The Weekly Racer as the final touches were being made to the car before loading her up. “We won the 2011 Virginia State Semi-Pro championship, won a race of champions that same year in Vegas, took the 2013 and 2017 track championships at Langley Speedway, the only thing missing from our resume… a national championship. With the year-end national event being held at Carteret County Speedway in October and if we come out of Florida in good shape, I would say yes, we’re going to make a serious run at a national title”

First Saunders will need to get through the weeklong event where the confidence is running rather high through the Saunders Motorsports camp.

“I think the ultimate goal for our team is to go down there and win a couple of races and represent Langley Speedway and the 757 the best way we can,” Saunders commented. “In all reality, if we go down and ran top five or top three and contended for wins every day that we are on track I would be absolutely thrilled with that. I haven’t seen an entry list but I have heard the Pro division is pretty stacked so we are going to have to be on top of our game all week long. I think we have prepared the best car we can and I think we have good enough equipment to go run with the best.”

Defending Semi-Pro Road Course Champion Carter Weedon is another VA driver making the trip down to Florida for the winter nationals; however, he will be making the trip UP to the Pro division. Weedon is going into the week looking to find himself in the tech shed every race and earn a top five finishing position in the points standings.

“I want to make it into tech every race,” Weedon said. “Our goal is to place in the top five in the points standings at the end of the week. The competition in Pro especially is going to be tough.”

Races are scheduled all this week starting later this afternoon with open practice only. Going off of information given to us by a couple of the race teams, official points races will be held on Monday, Tuesday (doubleheader), Thursday, and Friday. Wednesday is scheduled to be an off day or potential rain day. All races, for that matter, will be streamed LIVE from the fine folks over at LegendsNation.com.

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.

ValleyStar Credit Union 300 Staff Picks & Schedule: Who Should You Be Watching?

Lee Pulliam

Pulliam, looking for his fourth national title, after dominating at tracks that did not follow suit with the SPEC motor that some Virginia tracks opted to allow. Martinsville is one of the hold outs for the motor so Pulliam might have an edge in the motor game and won’t have to swap in a different motor.

 

Timothy Peters

After the sudden closing of his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team the Danville, VA driver wasted no time coming back to the late model scene. With trips to multiple tracks in the region to get back up to speed Peters will be ready to get his first grandfather clock.

 

Bobby McCarty

With a sixth-place finish in the first leg of the triple crown at South Boston and a win in his first trip to Langley Speedway for the second leg Bobby McCarty has set himself up well for a strong run at the Virginia Triple Crown title and a win at Martinsville Speedway.

 

Josh Berry

A fan favorite in the region and always a strong competitor will be another driver hungry for the checkers and grandfather clock. Sitting just four points out of first place in the CARS Tour Berry can continue a great season with a win in the ValleyStar Credit Union 300.

 

 

Ryan Repko

Qualifying third in his Martinsville debut and put on a racing clinic in his heat race, opening up almost an entire straightaway lead. He would ultimately finish the 25-lap heat race in the fifth position and transfer to the feature. Working to pass cars and save tires, Repko eventually ran into issues that took him out of contention. With another year of Late Models under his belt we think you should keep a close eye on this driver under the lights.

 

Tommy Lemons Jr:

The two time ValleyStar Credit Union 300 winner can never be counted out at the biggest late model race in the country. Tommy knows what it takes to wheel it around the paperclip and will be in position by the end to try and get his third grandfather clock.

 

Kres VanDyke:

With a forty starts this season, VanDyke was able to collect twenty-five wins, the most of any drivers in the top fifty in the nation. Thirty-four top fives, thirty-eight top ten finishes along with the Tennessee state champion. VanDyke has run well in previous ValleyStar Credit Union and proved he was quick during the Thursday night test.

 

Dark Horse

Brenden Queen – After a track championship in 2016 at East Carolina Motor Speedway Butterbean finished with a solid 5th place in points at Langley, finished second in the Hampton Heat, and finished fourth in the W.O. Grubbs 150 at Dominion. Riding that momentum can set this driver up for a huge win at Martinsville.

Nick Smith – After dominating the 2016 season at Dominion Raceway and winning the track championship, Nick Smith returned to his home track of Langley Speedway this season and earned two wins after dealing with more bad luck than anyone can shake a stick at. Smith had an incredible run earlier in the season at South Boston Speedway and followed that up with top-five finish during the Hampton Heat, proving to everyone the Hampton, VA driver knows how to be there at the end of a long race.

 

 

 

ValleyStar Credit Union 300 Schedule

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 21

Campground opens

 

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 22

9:00 AM                               Ticket Office Opens

10:00 AM                             Haulers Enter

10:00 AM – 6:00 PM              Registration

10:00 AM                             Garage Opens

2:30 PM                                Inspection

4:00 PM                                Fan Gates Open

4:00 PM – 7:00 PM                 Practice

8:00 PM                                Pole Qualifying

9:00 PM                                Ticket Office Closes

 

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 23

11:00 AM                             Registration and Ticket Office Opens

12:00 PM                              Garage Opens

1:30 PM                                Drivers’ Meeting (Media Center)

2:00 PM                                Fan Gates Open

2:30 PM – 3:30 PM                Autograph Session on the Frontstretch

4:00 PM                                Qualifying Races (4 x 25 Laps)

8:00 PM                                Feature Race (200 Laps)

Phillip Morris Takes Home the Big Check in the W.O. Grubb 150

Thornburg, VA – The story at Dominion Raceway Thursday was all about points. Lee Pulliam made his debut at the track hunting for some late season national points as he holds a one point lead over second place this season, he is trying to get his fourth national championship. The track championship is also very close with Tyler Hughes and Doug Barnes battling hard all season long.

The 2016 national champion qualified on the pole running a 15.247 second lap to beat out Morris by .012. Pulliam would start fifth and Hughes out ran Barnes by 6 spots and started on the outside of row three. But they do things a little different at Dominion Raceway, and Bowling pulled a six out of the redraw bag which put Hughes up front for the green flag.

Hughes enjoyed the lead with no pressure from behind for the opening thirty laps until Morris was able to navigate through the cars between them like it was nothing. As they first started catching lapped traffic Morris kept cutting into the lead but the caution would erase it fully with Colin Garrett spinning out off of turn two.

The green flag flew with an even hundred alps remaining in the race and Hughes cleared Morris, he tried the high line with the cone choice, fairly easily. Fourteen laps into the run and Morris had shaken Sellers off from his rear and was no focused 100% on Hughes. Morris was able to nose in to the inside and they raced door to door for a lap until Hughes pulled back ahead and the caution came out for the second time, this time for 2016 track champion Nick Smith getting a tap to his rear and spinning out. Under this caution Lee’s crew tried to fix his ailing car several times and he eventually got caught two laps down.

The front row stayed the same for this restart with Hughes low and Morris high. They didn’t waste much time as they went three wide along with Sellers for the lead, Morris ended up winning out on the risky move on lap 80. Hughes put up a fight for the next couple of laps, peaking inside of Morris a few times but couldn’t get past the four time national champ. Sellers made some contact with Hughes in his pursuit for second but it got them both out of line and Bowling took over the spot. Not long after that the biggest wreck of the night put a lot of damage on several cars with Jeff Oakley, Michael Hardin, Barnes, and Hughes all taking hits.

Morris liked the high line and chose it again, but as the leader this time. He cleared Bowling on the restart and Sergio Pena worked his way by Bowling for second and Brenden “Butterbean” Queen also worked up to fourth place getting by Sellers. Behind them Barnes and Hughes ended up battling each other for seventh position and with 35 laps to go even made it three wide while passing a slower car, these two left nothing on the track. Nine laps later they are still side by side but the caution came out for Chris Johnson’s car losing a motor. A rough ending for Johnson who had come from 23rd to 6th at this point.

The next green flag run was short lived as Puryear got caught up again and this time it ripped off most of his body work and the red flag had to come out to get everything up.

For the next restart Morris again went high and Pena and Queen chose low. Morris showed how strong his car was on this restart setting his fastest time of the race as second through fifth all ran side by side and completely checked on them. Barnes and Pena traded second position for a few laps while they were side by side but Barnes would eventually fall back to fifth with Hughes and Queen getting by him.

Morris took the checkers with no pressure from behind him to win his second big trophy of the year, with his first being the South Boston leg of the triple crown.

After the race Morris had nothing but praise for the racing at Dominion, “I want to race here all the time, I keep telling the guys. They think its close and I’m only an hour away but every where we go is three hours but I just love this place. I just wanna keep coming here, you can really charge the corners here and it makes for some really great racing.” He also mentioned why the racing is so good, “That guy in the 8 car [Tyler Hughes] we had a good battle out there, he was running pretty good. It’s kind of weird, it’s hard to get away from anybody because you got some drafting going on too so you get a little bit of everything. I’ve run some of the Xfinity series, truck series, and its a little bit of everything so any driver that is looking to go up they want to come here because you can learn a lot more at this race track.” The team plans on using this momentum going forward to finish out the year strong and use the lessons learned this year for a possible run next season at the national title.

We also caught up with a very happy Sergio Pena, “We did a lot better than expected, coming into this race we weren’t sure if we were gonna run it or not it was kinda last minute. We came to practice with a set of tires that had a 100 laps on them so to come home second surpassed all of our expectations. Qualified kind of bad to be honest, qualified 16th and fortunately had Sam on the spotters tower for me kind of guided me through the crazy traffic that was out there. Had a couple lucky breaks with cautions that fell at the right time and I’ll tell you what before we knew it half way through the race we were right up there with Peyton Sellers, Phillip Morris, and Matt Bowling…some of the best names in the country, the best names in the country, and to come home second behind Morris I’ll take that as a win its just unreal. Just want to thank you to Sam Beatie and Joe, these guys work on this car very hard and it wouldn’t be possible without them so I just want to say thank you to those guys.”

 

Unofficial Results

  1. Phillip Morris
  2. Sergio Pena
  3. Tyler Hughes
  4. Brenden Queen
  5. Doug Barnes
  6. Peyton Sellers
  7. Cameron Burke
  8. Timmy Phipps
  9. Stacy Puryear
  10. Colin Garrett
  11. Dustin D Storm
  12. Chandler Sherman
  13. Jeff Oakley -1
  14. Matt Bowling -17
  15. Eddie Johnson -25
  16. Chris Johnson -26
  17. Richard Storm -28
  18. Lee Pulliam -48
  19. Michael Hardin -61
  20. Mike Ganoe -72
  21. Nick Smith -78
  22. Logan Jones -81
  23. Billy B Morris -139

Matt Bowling Sits on the Pole in Stacked Field for W.O. Grubb 150

Thornburg, VA – 2016 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series champion Matt Bowling set fastest time in the late model qualifying session with a 15.247 second lap to beat out Phillip Morris who has two wins at the track so far this year. National points leader Lee Pulliam qualified fifth behind Nick Smith and Eddie Johnson.

The late models will be running 150 laps with no break or competition caution tonight.

We will also be covering the Dominion Stocks tonight for their 35-lap race right before the late models. Bobby Curtis is on the pole in that division after running an 18.014 in their session. The points leader, Richard Powers, qualified fifth.

 

Late Model Qualifying Results

  1. Matt Bowling – 15.247
  2. Phillip Morris – 15.259
  3. Nick Smith – 15.387
  4. Eddie Johnson – 15.477
  5. Lee Pulliam – 15.421
  6. Tyler Hughes – 15.368
  7. Michael Hardin – 15.421
  8. Jeff Oakley – 15.434
  9. Peyton Sellers – 15.460
  10. Billy Morris – 15.463
  11. Brenden Queen – 15.471
  12. Doug Barnes – 15.495
  13. Colin Garrett – 15.551
  14. Stacy Puryear – 15.567
  15. Logan Jones – 15.590
  16. Sergio Pena – 15.636
  17. Cameron Burke – 15.636
  18. Timmy Phipps – 15.657
  19. Dustin D Storm – 15.665
  20. Richard Storm – 15.731
  21. Mike Ganoe – 15.807
  22. Chandler Sherman – 15.923
  23. Chris Johnson – 15.928

Dominion Raceway to Kick-Off Virginia Race Week with the W.O. Grubb 150

Thornburg, VA – Dominon Raceway announced on Tuesday evening that Hermie Sadler will be the MC for the night of the W.O. Grubb 150 that will help kick off the Richmond race weekend for the second year in a row.

Along with the special MC some out of town drivers will be running for the big prize along with state and national NASCAR points that could decide both the state and national titles. Lee Pulliam is fighting for his fourth NASCAR Whelen All-American Series title, which would tie him up with Phillip Morris for most national titles in the series, where he has a one point lead over Trevor Huddleston out of California. Morris has a sizable lead in the state race over Peyton Sellers who is also on the entry list and has a few DR wins on the season already.

The 150-lap race will be one of the biggest winning purses in the region for late model racing giving the winner $10,000 for taking the checkers. As an added bonus, anyone who enters the W.O. Grubb 150 who also runs The Big 1 will qualify to win an extra $2,000 if they win the second 150-lap race. Both races will have no competition cautions or a break and all caution laps will count.

To help fill the line-up out on the night the INEX Legends and Bandos will run again after taking a break for a couple race weekends along with the UCARs and Dominion Stocks. The pre-race ceremonies look to start off at 6:55 with the green flag flying at 7:00 PM.

 

Preliminary Entry List
#01 Sergio Pena
#01 Phillip Morris
#03 Brenden Queen
#4 Timmy Phipps
#5 Lee Pulliam
#5 Billy Morris
#7 Michael Hardin
#07 Richard Storm
#8 Tyler Hughes
#11 Jeff Oakley
#12 Nick Smith
#16 Chandler Sherman
#17 Scott Puryear
#24 Colin Garrett
#24 Chris Johnson
#25 Robert Bruce
#26 Peyton Sellers
#51 Ray Terczak
#57 Eddie Johnson
#77 Logan Jones
#82 Mike Ganoe
#82 Cameron Burke
#83 Matt Bowling
#88 Doug Barnes

2016 Snap Shots and Year End Review

year-end-review-photoWow, yet another year as come and gone and boy what a season it provided. 2016 proved to be a year of ups and downs for both the race teams and us here at The Weekly Racer. However, just like most race teams, with some hard work, long nights, and a lot of faith, we were able to pull off some pretty cool things this year. We set out on a mission to grow our audience again and reach more folks that love short track racing and boy let me tell you what, we meet that goal and surpassed it!

TWR hit the road in 2016 with the hopes of visiting some new race tracks and the staff did just that. Dominion Raceway & Virginia Motor Speedway* in Virginia along with Carteret County Speedway, Boman Gray Stadium, and Dixieland Speedway in North Carolina were all new short track shows we brought you to this year. Granted we put a little asterisk next to Virginia Motor Speedway as every time we attempted the trip we got rained out, there is always 2017 though.

2016 saw the rise of Facebook LIVE streaming which TWR took full advantage of bringing our readers as close to the action as wifi and cell service would allow it. The following and request we got for races from those who were most of the time from a different state were truly amazing. Not to mention seeing some of the highest numbers in viewer traffic means we are doing our job to bring you to some of the best short-track racing in the country!

We look forward to 2017 being yet another record year as Eric Church would say. We are excited to bring you monthly podcasts with guests from all over the circuits. New tracks, new series and hopefully new writers with fresh opinions and stories from the sport we love. Bellow are just a few ‘Snap Shots’ from 2016 that we here at The Weekly Racer would like to highlight in no particular order. Every year around this time we have spotlighted paint schemes or races, this year we want to highlight moments that stuck out to us. What are you 2016 Snap Shots, feel free to leave a comment!

 

Louis White Wins the Battle – Brenden Queen Wins the War

Photo: Casey Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com

Photo: Casey Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com

Chevy -vs- Ford, Pearson -vs- Petty, Earnhardt -vs- Gordon are just some of the rivalries we have seen over the years in this crazy sport we love. Some forged from nothing while others were forged from the unspoken respect towards each other. Sometimes you just have a difference of opinion or a different viewpoint on a certain incident. Other times it’s just good ole’ Old School -vs- New School.

2016 witness a birth of a new rivalry on the high banks of East Carolina Motorspeedway, amongst those that have continued for years, between two racers, who in our very humble opinion, are not much different other than the year they were born. Louis White of Plymouth, North Carolina has been racing longer than Brenden Queen of Chesapeake, Virginia has been on this earth but when the two came together, it was a battle like no other.

Yes, these two had plenty of run-ins, both literally and figuratively, on the racing surface throughout 2016 but I’m pretty sure they both had the same mentality; Let’s get this championship and don’t let my guys down. Fans and drivers alike witnessed plenty of vinyl exchange on the weekends and words exchange throughout the week. Particularly when the two, along with several others, were involved in one of the wildest wrecks I have seen in my ten plus years going racing.

Our snapshot that we want to take away from these two this year is exactly what’s pictured above. Two men, putting everything on the line for the sport they love for their friends, family, and sponsors, to come together and show each other respect during the last race of the year. Louis White ended up winning the final race of the season – which was actually his second Ronnie Barnett Memorial win – with Queen finishing second the points spread that was enough for Queen to secure the track championship. Though Louis White won the “battle,” Queen was able to win the “war,” Louis White asked Queen to take a victory lap with him. White sporting the checkers and Queen sporting the American flag just like his favorite NASCAR driver Brad Keselowski – which ironically enough is the boyfriend of Louis Whites daughter and father of his grandchild.

 

 

Thrilling K&N East Finish at Dominion Speedway Debut

If there were awards to give out here at The Weekly Racer for best finishes, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East finish at Dominion Raceway on Memorial Day weekend would certainly be among the top contenders. Making their debut at the newly opened 4/10-mile, high banked oval, Spencer Davis and eventual champion Justin Haley put on one hell of a show for the fans in attendance on Memorial Day weekend.

Our snapshot was the last half of the last lap where Justin Haley made every attempt possible to steal the victory away from Davis. In one of the closest finish in K&N East history, Davis edged out Haley by just .005 seconds. Just about everyone in the complex were on their feet as the two entered turn three knowing the shot was coming. The two made contact coming down the front stretch and it was a drag race to the finish line. Easily one of the top finishes we witnessed in 2016.

The sight around the track mirrored much like the Xfinity race at Talladega where two drivers were waiting on the front stretch for NASCAR to review the finish and declare a winner. I cannot imagine what it was like for either of the drivers sitting there, facing each other still strapped in their cars waiting. This race will certainly go down as one of the closest races The Weekly Racer was involved in.

 

Bradley McCaskill’s Road to Recovery Leads to Victory Lane

llm3

If you have been following short track racing in the Mid-Atlantic then you know Bradley McCaskill’s journey through 2016 wasn’t the easiest, to say the least. McCaskill was involved in a pretty bad wreck earlier in the summer at East Carolina Motor Speedway that left him with burns all over his body. Spending the rest of summer on the road to recovery it was great news just to hear the McCaskill was able to get back home to his business and more importantly his family. Things didn’t stop there for McCaskill though. With the help from his family, doctors, and some support from the racing community, McCaskill was able to return to what he loved, racing.

Our snapshot is from the Saturday night portion of the Thanksgiving Classic. McCaskill all but dominated the Limited Late Model feature in a car prepared by Louis White and found his way back to victory lane. McCaskill made a very strong statement in his return to Late Model racing, his win came on the heels of not only making it into the prestigious Martinsville race but earning a top twenty finish. To be able to watch McCaskill dominate the way he did and celebrate in victory lane with his family and Louis White should be a reminder to never give up and always keep fighting.

 

Christian Eckes Edges Teammate Josh Berry in Thrilling Last Lap Pass

For the second year in a row, we were able to make the trip down to Myrtle Beach Speedway for the annual Myrtle Beach 400. A “post season” Late Model feature, much like Martinsville and SNMP, bringing some of the best in the business to one track for 200-laps of door-to-door action. We almost picked the entire race as our snapshot with the amount of true racing that was going on throughout the entire field. We figured it would be a good idea to pick just one moment from that weekend for the interest of time.

The last lap battle between JRM teammates Josh Bery and Christian Eckes was one for the record books. If you weren’t there or didn’t see our Tweet after the race we have included the link above for your viewing pleasure. Much like the finish in the K&N series at Dominion, 200-laps of racing came down to just inches as Eckes edged out Berry at the line after the two bounced off of each other. Was truly one of the most thrilling finishes that we have witnessed since being on this side of business.

 

Mike Looney Holds of Late Model Greats to Win Martinsville

Casey Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com

Casey Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com

If you are a Late Model fan and Martinsville as a whole is not one your annual snapshots then you are doing something wrong. Year after year over eighty cars make their way to the famous paper clip half mile speedway located in Ridgeway, Virginia all with different goals in mind; making the feature, finishing top 20, or winning that famous grandfather clock. It is a race like no other in the Mid-Atlantic and anyone in the racing community understands this. To win here in a Late Model is putting your name down in history.

It was a fairy tale story for Mike Looney this past October when he took the Late Model community by storm. Showing impressive speed during the test session a couple weeks prior to running towards the front all day long. Looney locked himself into the 200-lap feature by winning the pole award the day before. Not something out of the ordinary right? A small team doing everything in their power to make sure they make the show, there is no way they will be competitive come race time. Wrong!

Of course in a 200-lap race, you will have your different leaders as some drivers will push harder at different segments. Mike Looney, however, was like that mosquito bite that will just never go away. Keeping his car in one piece, for the most part, all day long and being a factor there at the end. This is like a three-part snapshot if you will for us here at The Weekly Racer. The first coming from the somewhat shock of Looney winning the pole, followed by the run he gave previous race winner Lee Pulliam there at the end when the two made contact, followed by the knee he took next to his car in victory lane

 

 

Nick Smith’s Twelve Win Season Earns Him Dominion Speedways Very First Title

smith-championship-celebration

Photo: Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com

To win a race in a Late Model Stock Car here in the Mid-Atlantic is one thing, to win twelve of them en route to your first Late Model championship is something else. Nick Smith did just that this year at newly opened Dominion Raceway located in Thornburg, Virginia. Averaging more than eighteen cars on a given weekend it wasn’t always cake and ice cream so to speak for the Hampton, Virginia driver. Racing with the likes of Jeff Oakley, Trent & Doug Barnes, along with a few visits from 2016 NWAAS National Champ Matt Bowling.

Some wins were pure domination, others probably had a lot to do with luck, and a few ended in the tech shed. However, the moment for us that made this a memorable snapshot was the moment pictured above, the moment you figure out you are the champion. See, the final race of the season was an interesting one at Dominion Raceway. It was a total of 150-laps broken down into three segments along with two different inverts – something we haven’t really seen done in Late Model racing before. Even though Nick Smith was unable to win that particular battle that evening and bring his win total to thirteen, he was able to score enough points to secure the very first Dominion Raceway championship.

The moment the announcement was made the champagne went flying and Smith was able to celebrate with his family, friends, and crew.

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