Tag Archives: East Carolina Motor Speedway

Wesley Johnson Kicks off 2018 with a Win

Robersonville, NC – Thomas Burbage looked like he was the man to beat early on through both morning practices but the 2017 track champion couldn’t find the top spot once qualifying rolled around. Wesley Johnson ran the fastest lap out of the seven cars on hand with a 15.055 second lap, Burbage ran a 15.061.

Once the green flag flew Johnson showed how strong he would be for the 50 lap feature. Burbage tried making a move on the first lap but could not get the leader out of the best line. Starting last in the field Rusty Daniels started his push to the top-3.

Former track champ Jeff Shiflett moved into second place seventeen laps in and Daniels followed him and took third pushing Burbage back to 4th. It looked like Burbage maybe guessed wrong on the setup for the race. At almost the halfway mark Daniels was able to move into second place and looked at a big 2.7 second gap to close on Johnson who enjoyed everyone battling behind him.

With eight laps to go Daniels cut that lead down to just a second but as the leaders started going through lapped traffic Rusty couldn’t get by that easily. Johnson’s lead stretched out enough for him to be able to cruise the last couple of laps to start his season off with grabbing a win.


In the charger division Jeremy Bohne won the opener after a caution filled but entertaining race where it looks like some rivalries might have been born.

The street stock division saw Jesse Council, who took 2017 off, lead from green to checkers after a very fast qualifying lap laid down earlier in the day.


Late Model Results:

1. Wesley Johnson

2. Rusty Daniels

3. Jeff Shiflett

4. Thomas Burbage

5. Justin Gill

6. Maddy Ryan -1

7. Kenneth Mercer -42

S02E11 – 2018 Season and Series Previews from the Mid Atlantic

The guys get back together for the first time in 2018 to talk about the recent races in the national series, ARCA, as well as the K&N Pro Series East season opener in Florida. We also take a look at six different tracks schedules throughout the Mid-Atlantic region along with the CARS Tour. Jesse announces he will be spotting full-time for #TeamRacingVirginia driver Grayson Cullather in the CARS Tour LMSC program.

Facebook: The Weekly Racer

Twitter: @shorttrackrpt@theweeklyracer@justten_2@VaughanJD

Email: podcast@theweeklyracer.com

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/TheWeeklyRacer.com)

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 https://www.facebook.com/tyler.matthews.731572.

Thomas Burbage Wins Fourth Annual Ronnie Barnett Memorial and East Carolina Motor Speedway Championship.

Thomas Burbage dials in the #9 Oak Ridge Metals machine during the second round of practice at East Carolina Motor Speedway. (Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com)

Robersonville, NC – A typical race season for any driver, in any division, is never easy. Going through the heat of the summer battling other like-minded individuals all gunning for the same thing.  Throw in a broken shoulder towards the end of an already hot and grueling summer and you really have your hands full with a racecar. Thomas Burbage, however, was not going to let that get in the way of his season.

As the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series points came to a close so did the individual track points. For the fourth year in a row, East Carolina Motor Speedway hosted its Ronnie Barnett Memorial race to close out the season. Burbage, from Washington, North Carolina, was the fastest man in town winning his ninth pole of the season needing just one lap to do so. Wesley Johnson, a recent winner at East Carolina under Limited Late Model rules during the 6th Annual Mischa Sell Memorial race, and Maddy Mulligan would qualify in the top three.

Burbage continued his domination of the weekend picking up the victory leading all 50-laps of the feature. Wesley Johnson would work his way around Louis White in the closing laps for a second place finish. Jeff Shiflett would also benefit and earn the final spot on the podium. Burbage’s six wins at East Carolina was enough to allow him to clinch the 2017 Late Model track championship, his second career track title and first under the NASCAR banner, and punch his ticket to Charlotte.

“I definitely want to thank my crew – my racing family,” Burbage told The Weekly Racer. “The guys that 150% made this a reality and definitely my sponsor Oak Ridge Industries and Kevin Boyd for keeping my dream alive.  I want to thank my best friend Chris Smith for busting his tail at the shop by himself while I’ve been injured.  He stepped up and told me that he would do everything in his power to help me win this championship if that’s what I wanted to do and here we are.  Pretty sweet to do it with one arm tied behind your back.”

After he and his wife welcomed their new baby boy into this world Burbage had a freak accident prior to race weekend where he broke his shoulder, grabbing the win at the Ronnie Barnett Memorial along with the championship was just the ending to a wild and crazy year he needed.

Burbage will look to take some time off from the race car to allow his shoulder to fully heal. He told us that he has all intentions to run Carteret in October with the hopes of running the Thanksgiving Classic at Southern National Motorsports Park or even Ace Speedway.

The 602 Tour Puts on a Show at ECMS Along with the Mischa Sell Memorial

Robersonville, NC — The 602 Super Limited Tour made a stop at the tight and technical East Carolina Motor Speedway for their 4th race of the year. Along with the 75 lap 602 Tour race the track also played host to the 6th Annual Mischa Sell Memorial Race.

In group qualifying for the tour race Andrew Durham ran the fastest time of 15.907 to grab on the pole. He went on to roll a two for an invert so Jimmie Brewer would lead the field to the green.

Right off the bat the tricky exit of turn two claimed Blake Shupe before a lap was even completed. Once the race got under way Brewer showed a lot of speed but Durham would never fall back too far. Rock Harris sat in third waiting for something up front to happen for him to capitalize on and move up. Twenty five laps in and the leaders were already up to the fifth place car. While battling through that lapped traffic Durham took the lead on lap-31 after Brewer was slowed down. After putting the fourth place car a lap down on lap-45 the caution came out for Kirk Sheets spinning out of turn-4 and his radiator dumped everything it had on the track.

The damage done to Harris’ ride late in the race.

On the restart Durham and Harris stayed in the low line with Brewer choosing to go high. Coming back to complete the first green flap lap Harris makes it three wide and takes the lead into turn one. Brewer gave Harris a couple shots from his bumper as the leader kept it glued to the bottom of the track. This kept going on along with Brewer pushing Durham to his limits as he tried to take second place back. With under five to go Durham pushed too hard and ended up wrecking Harris giving him a lot of right side damage. Harris was sent to the rear and Durham kept his position but Rock was able to take the cone and start up front. Durham held on to the win with Harris not far behind him in second and the drivers talked it out before the interviews, which is always good to see.

Andrew Durham in Victory Lane at East Carolina Motor Speedway after winning the 4th 602 event of the year.

Mischa Sell Memorial

Nine limited late models entered the 6th Annual Mischa Sell Memorial race. East Carolina regulars Louis White, Wesley Johnson, and Kenneth Mercer decided to take a stab at it along with the great limited driver Ross “Boo Boo” Dalton.

In qualifying White won the pole running a 15.418 second lap, Johnson ran a 15.503 for second, and rounding out the top-3 was Maddy Ryan running a 15.545.

Maddy Ryan didn’t waste much time trying to grab second place from Johnson six laps in but she couldn’t complete the move. A few laps later she tries to keep Dalton behind her but gets bumped and falls back to sixth. With this going on behind them White and Johnson run away pretty quickly and Dylan Ward found himself up to third place.

Forty-one laps in and Dalton got by Ward for third place as White found another gear and started pulling away from Johnson. The field started to get really stretched out at this point but have no fear, some REAL debris was on track and that yellow flag flew in the air. They restarted the race with White and Dalton on the front row but they would be under the caution again for Jac Creed hitting the wall in turn-4.

All the drivers took the same spots for the restart and Dalton again fell into second place for a few laps until Johnson was able to grab the position back. Right behind them Maddy had worked her way up to fourth after passing Kenneth Mercer with 36 laps to go. Five laps later Johnson made it up to White’s bumper and they ran close for the next 11 laps until Johnson grabbed the lead. At this point White looked to have nothing left and Dalton started creeping closer to him but could never fully close the gap.

Wesley Johnson takes the checkers with a huge gap over White to win the 6th annual race.

Wesley Johnson in victory lane for the 6th Annual Mischa Sell Memorial Race.

602 Tour Finishing Order
1. Andrew Durham
2. Rock Harris
3. Robbie Brewer
4. Jac Creed
5. Melvin Langley
6. Richard Trotter
7. Wesley Thompson
8. Kirk Sheets
9. Blake Shupe

MSMR Finishing Order
1. Wesley Johnson
2. Louis White
3. Ross Dalton
4. Maddy Ryan
5. Dylan Ward
6. Kenneth Mercer
7. Wayne Goss
8. Melvin Langley (DNF)
9. Jac Creed (DNF)

Tyler Matthews Takes the Checkers in Physical Late Model Feature

Robersonville, NC  ̶̶  Eight NWAAS late models came to the high banked 3/8 mile oval in Southeastern North Carolina for a 50 lap feature. Thomas Burbage set the fast time in qualifying with a 15.088 second lap and defending NC and ECMS champ Tyler Matthews qualified second with a 15.207 second lap.

Burbage would lead until eleven laps in when Matthews passes Burbage up as he seemed to struggle and was falling backwards. Wesley Johnson wound up in second place but couldn’t gain any ground on Matthews. At lap-25 a competition caution was thrown and Burbage would set up behind Matthews for the restart.

Burbage runs Matthews hard into the corner shoving him up high and causing mayhem behind him coming out of two. Louis White ended up rear end first in the turn-3 wall after already wrecking in almost the same spot earlier in the day and Wesley Johnson had a flat tire and stopped on the front straight to not damage the track or car.

After a brief red flag period to get the cars off the track safely the race restarted with Burbage out front, Matthews in second, and Jeff Shifflett trying to get by Tyler. Farther back Johnson was coming through the small field quickly after getting a new tire mounted on his machine. On lap-42 Ryan Haddock spun out and set up a restart that most could have predicted would be crazy.

Matthews falls in behind Burbage and dumps him going into turn-1, payback for earlier in the race. Burbage turns it around and starts going BACKWARDS on the race track in an attempt to wreck Matthews on the front stretch after the caution is out. He gets sent to the end of the longest line and Matthews keeps his position. Burbage made quick work of everyone in front of him and finished second behind Matthews, and then he tried wrecking him again after the race was finished. Matthews took the longest Kuliwicki victory lap I’ve ever personally seen and ended up nose first towards Burbage. In victory lane Burbage was visibly upset but track promoter John Vick was able to calm him down eventually. Wesley Johnson was able to finish third after having his tire go flat and starting at the rear.

Street Stocks

Mike Cooper qualified on the pole with a 16.534 second lap. As the green flag flew Travis Roberson made quick work of Cooper passing him on the outside and jumping out to a second and a half lead. James Horner gets by Scott Lawrence on lap-10 for fourth position and by lap-15 the field was stretched thin. Lawrence came down pit road to end his race on lap-22 and two laps later Horner also has some problems that ended his day. Roberson cruised the rest of the way to take the checkers.

USAC Speed2 Eastern Midgets

Nine USAC midgets came together for a very fast and entertaining 35 lap feature. Brandley Riethmeyer ran a quick 15.067 second lap to grab the pole over two time 2017 winner George Kurtz. Riethmeyer led until lap-19 when Chris Lamb worked his way from starting fourth to take the lead passing Kurtz and Jessica Bean in the process. Lamb would cruise to the win with Kurtz and Bean finishing second and third.
Late Model Results

1. Tyler Matthews
2. Thomas Burbage
3. Wesley Johnson
4. Jeff Shifflett
5. Ryan Haddock
6. Travis Roberson
7. Chris Perry
8. Louis White

Race Weekend Heating Up in the Mid-Atlantic – LIVE Coverage from Langley and East Carolina

Hopefully, the old saying “April Showers Bring May Flowers” is true so racetracks in the Mid-Atlantic are not plagued with rain showers. Three NWAAS tracks – Dominion Raceway, Larry King Law’s Langley Speedway, and East Carolina – gear up for more weekly action the first weekend of May with Late Model Stock Cars headlining the night.

The Weekly Racer will be providing LIVE updates via our Twitter feed from East Carolina and Langley Speedway this evening. Coverage will begin approx. 4:30 PM EDT with qualifying at Langley Speedway. As usual, we will inform you of the Fast Five Qualifiers in the support divisions with lap-by-lap coverage from the Late Model division.Racing is scheduled to get underway at both tracks at 7:00 PM. Follow our Twitter feed for all of the action tonight along with LIVE video coverage on FansChoice.tv.

Racing is scheduled to get underway at both tracks at 7:00 PM. The Weekly Racer will be your one-stop feed for everything you need to know about both Late Model races, the twin Modified features at Langley, along with other support divisions determined later in the evening.

Make sure you take a look bellow for race day schedules for both Larry King Law’s Langley Speedway & East Carolina Motor Speedway.


The CARS Tour will also be in action tonight at Hickory Motor Speedway. You can watch all the action LIVE, along with the Late Model Stock Car lock-in race for Bristol at http://www.carstour.tv on demand.


Performance Plus Night Race Day Schedule

  • 5-6:30 PM FAN ZONE STAGE – Crazy X

Practice Order

  1. LMSC – 3 Practices
  2. Modifieds – 3 Practices
  3. Super Streets – 2 Practices
  4. Pro Six – 2 Practices
  5. UCAR – 2 Practices
  6. Winged Karts – 2 Practices
  7. Enduros – Practice after the final LMSC practice

Qualifying Order

  1. Winged Karts
  2. UCARs
  3. Pro Six
  4. Modifieds
  5. Super Streets
  6. LMSC

Race Line Up

  1. Trip Anderson Realtor Winged Karts 20 laps
  2. Larry King Law Modifieds 33 laps
  3. Old Skool Video Games Super Streets 40 laps
  4. Riverside Paper Pro Six 30 laps
  5. Taylor Waste Services LMSC 100 laps
  6. Carroll’s Automotive UCARs 25 laps
  7. Larry King Law Modifieds 33 laps
  8. Bojangles Enduros 30 laps

*subject to change


McDonald’s I’m Lovin’ It 220 at East Carolina Motor Speedway

Qualifying – 5:15 PM

  1. UCAR
  2. USAC Midgets
  3. Charger
  4. Street Stock
  5. LMSC

Race Order – 7:00 PM

  1. UCAR – 25
  2. USAC Midgets – 35
  3. Bando – 15
  4. Charger – 30
  5. Street Stock – 30
  6. Late Model – 60
  7. Bombers – 20
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