Tag Archives: East Carolina

Thomas Burbage Leads Flag-to-Flag at East Carolina for First Win of 2017

Thomas Burbage, and crew, celebrate in victory lane Saturday night, April 15, 2017, at East Carolina Motor Speedway after leading all 50-laps from the pole. (Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com

Thomas Burbage, and crew celebrate in victory lane Saturday night, April 15, 2017, at East Carolina Motor Speedway after leading all 50-laps from the pole. (Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com

Robersonville, NC – Thomas Burbage, who has been around East Carolina Motor Speedway most of his life, found himself in control of his own destiny Saturday night as he put on a racing clinic at the high-banked 3/8-mile speedway in Robersonville. Burbage was the fastest car in the late afternoon qualifying time trial session posting a quick lap of 15.150 seconds or 93.861 mph. Tyler Matthews, the 2016 North Carolina state champ took the green flag to his outside just six-thousandths of a second off the pole.

Once it was time to get down and dirty Burbage hammered the throttle and cleared the field going into turn one. Matthews stuck on the outside had Louis White to deal with on his inside. Louis was able to get the position by the time the field came back around to complete the first lap. Wesley Johnson used the top groove to his advantage to get around previous East Carolina champion Jeff Shiflett.

While all of that went on behind him Burbage had opened up over a full second lead over the field and did not appear to be looking back at all – slowly increasing his lead lap by lap. It took a couple laps for Matthews to get around White for the second position. Once he made the pass he set his sights on the #9 of Burbage – to his dismay, it did not look like anyone was going to be able to touch the nine car. In fact, Matthews had a huge check up going into turn three as they were working lap thirteen that allowed Louis White to make final pass for the second position.

Other than Jeff Shiflett getting around the 12 of Wesley Johnson for the fourth position and a slip up from Kenneth Mercer that allowed Ryan Haddock to take the position, it was a rather calm race. Burbage was able to open up just over a three second lead over White. Louis did close the gap down to about a second and a half as the race came to an end but, it was an easy trip to victory lane for the Oak Ridge Metal’s machine of Thomas Burbage.

“Man it feels great to be back in victory lane,” Burbage said after the race. “You never know when you’re going to win the next one and when you do you got to celebrate as hard as you can. This is just like the big leagues, we don’t take these wins for granted and when we can get them it’s a pretty cool deal.“

Burbage is coming off a lackluster fourth place finish on opening night after showing speed during qualifying that night. This past Saturday, however, Burbage was not going to be denied from his pole and his win.

“We worked our tails off today man,” Burbage explained. “All the way from eight o’clock this morning to now. It paid off for sure, we made some big swings this morning and found some stuff that we didn’t know anything about. It was pretty refreshing to find some speed and something that would last until the end of the race.”

 

Street Stocks

Travis Roberson found himself out front of one of the more interesting Street Stock races when the checkered flag flew at East Carolina Motor Speedway. Roberson, who was the second fastest of seven cars who showed up this weekend, jumped out to an early lead once the race finally got underway and never looked back. After five attempts to go green Roberson was clear of Mike Cooper by turn two and really turned the burners on.

You would have thought the full moon was out down here in Robersonville after trying to get this one started from jumped stars to stalled cars and spins. It seemed that Jesse Council, who was subbing for Jamie Tucker in the #77 has the worst luck on the night after being involved in a couple of the cautions. Ultimately, Council’s night would be finished early after contact was made with Ed Lane who spun in turn four to bring out on of the evenings cautions.

Once the field got settled down and the remaining cars strung out it was smooth sailing for Roberson in his Dale Earnhardt tribute Street Stock. Stretching his lead out to just over three seconds over eventual second place finisher Mike Cooper.

“It feels great,” Roberson said in victory lane. “I got a lot of people who help me out that don’t want there name said but they put a lot of effort in this car. If it were not for them I would not be able to do what I do. What ever I need they step up and make sure I get it.”

We asked Travis about the start of the race and what the officials told him and Mike Cooper on the back stretch after one of the many green flag attempts.

“Its all a mind game,” Roberson said about the start of the race. “It’s all about who can get the jump first. Whoever gets that jump most of the time will get the lead. You have to try and time the flagman and he is never goes at the same time every time, you just have to do the best you can do.”

Late Models will be back in action at East Carolina Saturday, May 6th along with Street Stocks, UCARS, Bando’s, Trucks, Chargers and Bombers.

 

Late Model Stocks UNOFFICIAL Results:

1.#9 Thomas Burbage; 50
2.#7 Louis White; 50
3. #63 Tyler Matthews; 50
4. #01 Jeff Shiflett; 50
5. #12 Wesley Johnson; 50
6. #33 Ryan Haddock; 49
7. #25 Kenneth Mercer; 26

 

Street Stock UNOFFICIAL Results:

1.#3 Travis Roberson; 35
2. #40 Mike Cooper; 35
3. #21 Jimmy Horner; 35
4. #7 Ed Lane; 35
5. #38 Chris Conner; 34
6. #51 Andy Ipock; 21
7. #83 Scott Lawrence; 18
8. #77 Jesse Council; 8

Saturday Night Short Trackin’ in the Mid-Atlantic – LIVE from Langley and East Carolina

With the top three divisions of NASCAR off for Easter weekend, this turns the spotlight back over to the grass roots of the sport– Saturday night short track racing. Two different short tracks in the Mid-Atlantic have twin features scheduled for the Late Model Stock Cars, the premier division for both Langley Speedway and East Carolina Motor Speedway. In addition, both tracks will have a full schedule of support to include Street Stocks, Trucks, Karts and INEX Bando’s. The full race day schedule for both tracks can be found bellow.

Of course, The Weekly Racer will have you covered from both tracks tonight when the green flag drops. Twin Late Model features on tap for Langley Speedway, as the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series start to fire on all cylinders. 50-lap race scheduled for East Carolina while Langley will have two 66-lap feature races in honor of their 66th season running.We will have qualifying for the Late Models covered LIVE over on our Twitter feed shortly after 4:30 PM. In addition, we will have live race updates for the Late Models and Super Streets from Langley as well as both Late Model races at East Carolina and either the Street Stocks or UCARS. We will have a special hashtag (#ECMS) to help you follow along with all of the racing action at your favorite racetrack.

We will have qualifying for the Late Models covered LIVE over on our Twitter feed shortly after 4:30 PM. In addition, we will have live race updates for the Late Models and Super Streets from Langley as well as both Late Model races at East Carolina and either the Street Stocks or UCARS. We will have a special hashtag (#ECMS) to help you follow along with all of the racing action at your favorite racetrack.Greg Edwards and Louis White will both be looking to repeat their season-opening victories to pad their points lead as the NWAAS really starts to get underway in their respective states and the nation. Danny Edwards, Brenden Queen, Matt Waltz, Thomas Burbage and Tyler Matthews all looking to do everything in their power to make sure that does not happen. Make sure to either tune into Fanschoice.tv or stay glued to the TWR Twitter and root your favorite driver on.

Greg Edwards and Louis White will both be looking to repeat their season-opening victories to pad their points lead as the NWAAS really starts to get underway in their respective states and the nation. Danny Edwards, Brenden Queen, Matt Waltz, Thomas Burbage and Tyler Matthews all looking to do everything in their power to make sure that does not happen. Make sure to either tune into Fanschoice.tv or stay glued to the TWR Twitter and root your favorite driver on.

 

 

East Carolina Race Day Schedule

Practice: 3:15 – 4:45 PM
Qualifying: 5:15 PM
Green Flag: 7:00 PM
– Bando: 15 laps
– UCAR: 20 laps
– Street Stock: 35 laps
– LMSC: 50 laps
– Bomber: 15 laps

 

Langley Speedway Race Day Schedule:

10:00 AM                                      PIT GATES OPEN

2:00 PM                                        GENERAL ADMISSION GATES OPEN

2:00 PM                                        PRACTICE BEGINS

4:15 PM                                        DRIVER’S MEETING

4:30 PM                                        QUALIFYING

5-6:30 PM                                      FAN ZONE STAGE – MARIA TAYLOR BAND

6:50 PM                                         INVOCATION BY REV. POTTER / NATIONAL ANTHEM

7:00 PM                                         1ST RACE BEGINS

Cycle City Corp Bandoleros: 15 laps
Trip Anderson Realtor: 20 laps
Taylor Waste Services LMSC: 66 laps
Old Skool Video Games Super Streets: 40 laps
Cycle City Corp Legends: 25 laps
B&C Seafood Super Trucks: 25 laps
Taylor Waste Services LMSC: 66 laps

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.

Louis White Wins Second Ronnie Barnett Memorial at East Carolina Motor Speedway

Louis White celebrates in victory lane after winning the 2016 Ronnie Barnett Memorial. His second in three attempts. (Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com)

Louis White celebrates in victory lane after winning the 2016 Ronnie Barnett Memorial. His second in three attempts. (Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com)

Robersonville, NC – The 2016 season once again comes to a close at East Carolina Motor Speedway with the track and drivers honoring one of their very own, in the third running of the Ronnie Barnett Memorial race. A 100-lap feature to decide the closest points battle since East Carolina started running the NASCAR banner. Louis White entered the weekend just eight points behind Queen after a less than mediocre finish last Sunday.

You couldn’t have written it any better after qualifying. Louis posting the second fastest time of the afternoon right behind the man he would be racing for the title. Queen would lay down the fastest time of the afternoon with a 15.330 – just eight one hundredths of a second better than White. Thomas Burbage, Paul Williamson and Tyler Matthews would round out the starting five of the eleven-car field.

When it was time to go racing things played out a lot different than anticipated from the week leading up to the season finale. Though the lead did change early in often the pace of the race certainly was different from weeks prior, mainly because this past weekends feature was 100 laps instead of the typical 40.

White would lead the race early and then handed things over to Burbage for a few laps has the field started to settle in and find a rhythm. Did not take long for White to catch back up to the bumper of Burbage and make the move around him to regain his position atop of the leader board.

“Our car was really good tonight.” White said after the race. “I was just going to follow Burbage for a while and ride but he wasn’t running the pace I wanted to run. I was afraid if the caution came out we would be stuck there on the outside. That’s what happened to us last weekend, a couple restarts and we were on the outside and got turned. I made the decision to pass Burbage back and set the pace myself. I actually wasn’t running the car that hard, just trying has hard as I could not to spin the tires just in case more came down to get those new tires.”

A call that ended up working out for them as the cautions did start to fall with the first coming on lap 71. Ryan Haddock ended up looping his car out of four. Did a great job at keeping it off the wall and off the other drivers. With this giving the field the time to catch back up and with caution laps not counting, they were able to hit pit road for adjustments or, by the rules of the evening, a newer tire.

With East Carolina running a two tire rule, two new and two scuffs, the track gave the teams a third scuff tire, a total of five tires, to do with what ever they wished during the race. Tyler Matthews was the first to take the gamble and hit pit road for a newer right front. As the old saying goes, cautions bread cautions, and just about the entire field came down pit road with the exception of White and Queen all for the same common goal, a newer right rear tire.

“I seen some of them coming in and changing right rear tires,” White explained when asked if that was ever in the play bok for the night. “We actually debated earlier to keep our good tire and do the same but as the race got going and you’re out there leading its really hard to come in.”

With track position being key at a place like East Carolina Louis White decided to stay on track and use his experience to battle through the restarts the multiple restarts there late to land in victory lane one last time before the 2016 season came to a close.

“I won the first Ronnie Barnett race here and now we won this one, I am just tickled to death and congrats to Brenden on the win,” said White. He and Queen had there fair share of time together this season while putting on one heck of a show for the fans along with bringing a lot of attention to the high bank .375-mile oval located in Robersonville.

“Me and him [Queen] have been racing each other hard all year lets just say that,” White told us after the race. “I knew the only chance we had had tonight was to win the race and the 03 have some kind of issue for us to win the championship. With the week we had last week I was just hopping at the end of the day I could win the race and if he won the championship we could celebrate together. For him to win the championship and I win the race, I am good with that.”

With the 2016 regular season coming to an end Louis is going to take the car back to the shop and take a much-needed rest. In the past week alone he and the guys have had to lay a new body on the car, replace the rear end and even drop a new motor. We asked him if he had any plans to travel to some of these bigger races coming up and he let us know they will decide what to do in the coming weeks.

Louis has also told us many times in victory lane this year he wanted to win the championship one final time at East Carolina before hanging up the helmet. With falling just short of that goal this year we asked him if we would see him around next year. The driver gave us a little smile and spoke very honestly when saying he wasn’t sure and time would tell.

 

Official Results

1. #7 Louis White; 100
2. #03 Brenden Queen; 100
3. #63 Tyler Matthews; 100
4. #12s Dean Shiflett; 100
5. #12j Wesley Johnson; 100
6. #33 Ryan Haddock; 100
7. #01 Jeff Shiflett; 100
8. #5 Paul Williamson; 100
9. #25 Kenneth Mercer; 100
10. #9 Thomas Burbage; 100
11. #29 Melvin Langley; 22

Tyler Matthews Continues to Ride Hot Streak Right Into Victory Lane At East Carolina Motor Speedway

Tyler Matthews working turn one at East Carolina Motor Speedway Sunday afternoon during practice. (Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com)

Tyler Matthews working turn one at East Carolina Motor Speedway Sunday afternoon during practice. (Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com)

Robersonville, NC – It’s safe to say that winning on Sunday’s is what every NASCAR driver wants to do. Granted there is a little more to that sentence and usually is a reference to the Sprint Cup Series. This weekend however, Tyler Matthews rom Richlands, North Carolina, found a way to put his #63 machine in victory lane at East Carolina Motor Speedway to end the weekend on a high note.

After earning a victory and a   place finish the night prior at SNMP, Matthews packed up and headed east to run ECMS’ Twin 40-lap features in companion with the Southern Modified tour, a race that was supposed to be on Labor Day weekend but was rescheduled due to Tropical Storm Hermine. East Carolina has been a track that Matthews has proven he knows how to get around all year long and did so again Sunday afternoon.

After qualifying second to current track points leader Brenden Queen, Matthews was able to battle through some thick racing to score a second place finish in the first set of twin features which not only allowed him to gain some ground on Queen in the State race, it also allowed him to start on the outside pole of race number two as the speedway deviated from their normal qualifying procedures.

Matthews did what few are actually able to do around that 3/8-mile high bank oval and that is make the top groove work. Powering around Bowling on the outside to lead lap one and that was just about all she wrote! With only three caution flags throughout the entire 40-lap feature, and one of them coming from contact between Louis White and Brenden Queen, there was not a car in the entire county that had anything for Tyler Matthews.

Though things were easy sailing for Matthews at the front of the pack things certainly were interesting behind him. With Matthews out front that left the trio of Queen, White, and Burbage to duke it out for position, and if you have been following East Carolina all season you know neither one of these drivers wants to give an inch. It actually would cost all three of them a few positions on the track when on a late restart Queen, on the low side, entered turn one with Louis White to his right, the two would make contact sending White around up the hill and left Queen with some heavy nose damage. Burbage, who in just my personal opinion, got the worst end of the deal, had nowhere to go bellow him and was forced up to the wall just behind the two. Burbage would have to start further back in the field because his car came to a complete stop.

With the two victories in four races over the weekend, the 2015 North Carolina Rookie of the Year was able to jump ahead of Queen in the State points by two and was overall pretty happy with how things played out.

“It’s been a pretty good weekend for us,” Matthews said in victory lane Sunday evening. “We unloaded at Southern National pretty sporty and sat on the pole and lead most of the laps. Bowling gave me a pretty good run for the money on the outside. The car was off just a little bit till the pressures came up and then the car came to me and we won.”

Matthews and crew would then have to head back to the shop and change the setup over to East Carolina as they are operating with just one car as we close out the NWAAS.

“The crew worked through the night,” Matthews explained. “We don’t usually do something like this. We are used to running one weekend and going to the house and working on it. We got her tuned up using out notes from this track and went out and sat on the outside pole. We just got hung up there on the outside and had to survive all that stuff going on in front and around us, that was a challenge in itself. Battled back to second and by that time Bowling was checked out.”

The second feature was later in the afternoon and probably more importantly after the 150-lap feature from the Southern Modifieds laying down a lot of different rubber. Matthews was able to tweak on the car to get it just right and the team hit on something good because once he got around Bowling on the outside there was not catching him.

“Once we got around him [Bowling] on the outside we just got out there clicking laps off,” Matthews said. “According to Race Monitor Louis White was coming though. I never saw him but my spotter was letting me know he was coming. We were just trying to stay consistent and save tires. We were able to push go when we needed to and survived all the restarts. I just couldn’t do this without my crew and family, of course the fans, just everyone that puts this thing on for us, its been a great weekend.”

 

 Results

P1. #63 Tyler Matthews; 40
P2. #83 Matt Bowling; 40
P3. #01 Jeff Shiflett; 40
P4. #12 Wesley Johnson; 40
P5. #7 Louis White; 40
P6. #03 Brenden Queen; 40
P7. #12 Dean Shiflett; 40
P8. #9 Thomas Burbage; 40
P9. #91 Justin Carroll; 40
P10. #33 Ryan Haddock; 40
P11. #5 Paul Williamson; 29
P12. #26 Eric Winslow; 15
P13. #67 JT Jackson; 12
P14. #10 Madyson Mulligan; 10
P15. #88 Thomas Marks; 5
P16. #01b Mark Wertz; 5
P17 #83x George Brunnhoelzl, 5
P18. #0 Justin Snow; 3

No Rest for the Weary – Matt Bowling Doing What Ever it Takes to Win National Title

img_9727

#83 Matt Bowling rolling through turn one at East Carolina Motor Speedway. (Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com)

Robersonville, NC – With just a week left on the calendar to accumulate points for his run at the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series National Championship, Matt Bowling took to the road this weekend competing in seven races at four tracks in three states. After a cut tire took him out of the running at Dominion Raceway on Thursday, Bowling headed south to Anderson Speedway and competed in a pair of 50-lap features with moderate success. After heading back to North Carolina, Bowling was able to grab a win at Southern National before heading over to East Carolina Sunday afternoon to earn a win and second place finish.

Competing in seven races in three states over four days, Bowling gained valuable points over northeastern ace Keith Rocco. With a victory and a second place finish this past Sunday in a full field of cars; Bowling has put a thirteen-point cushion between himself and Rocco – seventeen points between third place driver Ty Majeski.

Bowling would start the first race on the outside pole next to track points leader Brenden Queen. Took two attempts to get the race under way as the flagman Terry Bullock did not like the initial start. Once officially underway it only took Bowling six laps to get around Queen to take the lead. After that it was all but Bowling’s race to lose as he showed complete dominance.

The first caution of the evening came just past lap fifteen and when Louis White moved Tyler Matthews up the hill to take the third position. The caution however was for the #91 of Justin Carroll, whom if it were not for bad luck he would have no luck, spun off of turn four – we were not able to see with our own eyes if he had help. Officials were quick to get things taken care of so we could get back to green flag racing.

We got back under green just as we reached the half way mark of the first feature. Bowling and Queen had a decent battle for a bit before Queen tucked in behind the #83 and was immediately meet with an onslaught of attacks from Late Model veteran Louis White – who sits second in points to Queen in the track championship. White applies the ole’ chrome horn as they liked to say back in the day a few more times to the rear bumper of Queen and eventually gets by. Queen however was not going to go unheard and returns the favor as they exited two the next lap to retake the second position. Down the back stretch the two would go – White applying the breaks hard looking for what looked to be a cross over move but ended up being a bump and run to move Queen back up the hill in turn three and regaining the second position. Queen would fall from the top five.

A couple of late caution would bunch the field up yet again. One for debris in turn three at the top of the racing groove. The other due to a wreck in turn two after the restart after Louis White and Thomas Burbage looked to make contact. Thomas Marks and Paul Williamson were not able to get slowed up in time and both drivers got some damage. White and Marks taking the brunt of it.

Racing resumed after a brief red flag for extensive cleanup from wall to wall in two – was all water from a broken radiator hose so nothing to crazy. Matt Bowling got a huge jump on the final restart of the race to cruise to the victory. Tyler Matthews, who had been bidding his time all race and able to make it through the wreck would finish second. Queen Burbage and Jeff Shiflett would round out the top five.

“Its been a wild weekend full of racing,” Bowling said after the races. “Kind of glad to see it come to an end. I just cannot thank all my guys enough who put in all the work. A whole lot of work this past week went into this and to come away with two wins is big for us.”

Bowling car was pretty much untouchable in the first race however fell off just a bit in the second. However, a few factors must be noted, the Southern Mods put 150 laps of rubber down and the second feature was run later in the afternoon after the track had cooled down.

“We knew the modified rubber was going to change the track some,” Bowling told The Weekly Racer. “We kind of just swung for it because we knew we had to be better if we were going to win the second one and we just missed it a little bit. We put in a good effort this weekend and that’s all you can ask for and we are just really happy to come home with two wins.”

The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series points will come to an end this weekend. Bowling will be at his home track of South Boston Speedway to compete in a set of twin features where he looks to not only clinch the track title but both the Virginia State and National title.

 

Results

P1. #83 Matt Bowling; 40
P2. #63 Tyler Matthews; 40
P3. #03 Brenden Queen; 40
P4. #9 Thomas Burbage; 40
P5. #01 Jeff Shiflett; 40
P6. #91 Justin Carroll; 40
P7. #7 Louis White; 40
P8. #12 Wesley Johnson; 40
P9. #33 Ryan Haddock; 40
P10. #5 Paul Williamson; 39
P11. #88 Thomas Marks; 35
P12. #25 Kenneth Mercer; 35
P13. #12 Dean Shiflett; 24
P14. #26 Eric Wnslow; 15
P15. #67 JT Jackson; 10
P16. #10 Madyson Mulligan; 10
P17. #83x George Brunnhoelzl III; 8
P18. #01b Mark Wertz; 5
P19. #0 Justin Snow; 3

Shawn Balluzzo Hopes for Success at Familiar Track – East Carolina NWSMT Preview

Balluzzo's #70 after Qualifying at Bowman Gray (Shawn Dulin/The Weekly Racer)

Balluzzo’s #70 after Qualifying at Bowman Gray (Shawn Dulin/The Weekly Racer)

Robersonville, NC – The NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour is set to roll into East Carolina Motor Speedway for the first time in the series 12 year history. With four races remaining on the schedule Burt Myers leads Andy Seuss by ten points.

A rookie in this series looks to have an edge though. Long time short track veteran Shawn Balluzzo won three out of the four modified races last season at East Carolina as he went on to take the championship at the high banked oval. At his home track, Langley Speedway in Hampton, VA, he has eight track championships and also was the 2011 Division II National Champion.

He’s had two starts in the Southern Modifieds and finished 7th at Bowman Gray Stadium in the last race, a great finish for his first time at the flat quarter mile track. “Oh man, it was unreal. It was a bullring, it was like the hardest thing I’ve done in racing,” Balluzzo said after the race, “When I did those 365 laps for that girl for that charity, 7 races in one night…this was way harder.” Going into ECMS he said “I feel really good about it, I think we’ll be on home turf I’ll know the track inside and out and now we know a lot about the car and we will see how it goes from there.”

2013 Langley Modified champion Robert Babb will also hop in one of the high powered machines to challenge the NWSMT regulars. The feature race will be for 150 laps  along with the Street Stocks, Bandoleros, and the Late Models will be running twins. The late model series has a great points battle going on between Brenden Queen and Louis White, who are separated by just two points at the track and nine points in the state battle.

The Weekly Racer will have you covered for both 40-lap NWAAS Late Model features as well as the Southern Modified race LIVE on our Twitter feed (@theweeklyracer) as East Carolina Motor Speedway host its first Sunday afternoon. Make sure to get there early as you will not want to miss the special presentation in honor of the 15th anniversary of 9/11. The complete schedule of the day can also be found bellow.

 

Fast Facts

The Race: The Visit Martin County 150 will be the eighth of 11 races during the 2016 NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour championship season. This will be the tour’s first visit to the high-banked 3/8-mile oval.

The Procedure: The starting field is 26 cars, including provisionals. The first 23 cars will qualify through time trials while the remaining five starting spots will be awarded through the provisional process. The race is scheduled for 150 laps (56.25 miles).

The Track: East Carolina Motor Speedway opened in 1990 under the ownership of Gerald Whitehurst, Durwood Allen and Lee Harney. Over the years, others leased and operated the track. By 2005, Whitehurst had bought out his partners and accepted an offer late that year to sell the track to Wayne M. Perry of Elizabeth City, N.C. The sale was completed in early 2006. Among the drivers who have raced at ECMS are Ernie Irvan, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Rick Mast. The track is D-shaped and banked 24 degrees in the turns and 10 degrees on the straightaways.

The Records: Inaugural event.

 

Visit Martin County 150 Early Entry List

#1 Burt Myers
#2 JR Bertuccio
#4 Jason Myers
#5 Kyle Ebersole
#11 Andy Suess
#14 Trey Hutchens III
#15 Jeremy Grestner
#22 Kyle Bonsignore
#28 George Brunnhoelzl III
#33 Austin Pickens*
#40 Danny Bohn
#70 Shawn Balluzzo*
#74 Bobby Measmer Jr
#77 Gary Putnam
#79 Robert Babb
#97 Bryan Dauzat

*Denotes Sunoco Rookie of the Year Contender

ecms-nwsmt-schedule

« Older Entries