Sarah Cornett-Ching impressed in her Late Model debut at Carteret County Speedway, finishing fifth in the Memorial Classic on May 27th. Now, she’s looking ahead to Saturday night’s race with optimism on her side.
Cornett-Ching, 27, from Penticton, British Columbia, has vast experience behind the wheel of a racecar. She has competed in the ARCA Racing Series, NASCAR K&N Pro Series and in the PASS Super Late Model Series. Back in May, Cornett-Ching got behind the wheel of a Limited Late Model at Carteret County Speedway and instantly took to the track.
“The track and everything was really nice,” Cornett-Ching said. “I like the place and I felt like we got comfortable right away. I think I personally got the car a little too tight for the race. I thought it was really good in practice on older tires but, when the sunset and everything, we got a little too tight. Just looking forward to making those little adjustments and trying to run up front.”
At one point, Cornett-Ching was a rising star racing on the bigger tracks of the ARCA Racing Series tour. However, the Canadian driver took a liking to short tracks and, when she returned to racing after suffering a concussion in an ARCA accident in 2016, she decided to go short track racing in the PASS Super Late Model Series.
After spending time in PASS, Cornett-Ching became more confident in her ability to compete at the short tracks. Heading into the race on May 27th, Cornett-Ching felt good about her chances to have a strong finish and that confidence is carrying over into Saturday night’s race.
“Lately, I feel a lot more confident, having a lot of time in Super Late Models and things like that,” Cornett-Ching remarked. “Getting back in a Late Model Stock, especially with the Limited, it felt a lot easier for me to drive and I felt like I had a lot of confidence going in and I’m not really sure why. Don’t want to question it.”
Having picked up a top-five finish, Sarah Cornett-Ching is now hoping to pick up a podium finish and maybe some wins later this season or next.
“There are definitely a few unknowns,” Cornett-Ching explained. “I haven’t raced up front a whole lot. We’ve been fifth, sixth, stuff like that, but I feel like it will be good experience just to race in the top three with Brandon [Clements], Chris [Burns] and those guys and get that experience. If we could end up winning this season or into next season, it would mean a lot to me. I haven’t won since I’ve left Canada. I was having good runs up there so it’s been a struggle down here but it would mean a lot.”
Cornett-Ching has historically not been a fan of flat tracks, which made her immediate success at Carteret County Speedway even more impressive. However, she cannot pinpoint what exactly makes her excel on Saturday but felt her car was more stable at Carteret County Speedway.
“I guess the car just feels stable,” she stated. “When you go to a flat track, you tend to get really free on entry which is not the greatest feeling. But here, I guess it’s the way you drive straighter into the corner maybe or something like that. I’m not really sure. As a whole, we’ve had a good run and the car felt really stable so I’m looking forward to going again.”
Cornett-Ching will compete for most of the remainder of the season at Carteret County Speedway while also hoping to compete in a handful of races at Southern National Motorsports Park in Lucama, North Carolina. She is supported by Solid Rock Carriers, Second Chance in Mooresville and RACE101.
In addition to twin Late Model races, Saturday night’s race at Carteret County Speedway will also feature Street Stocks, Mini Stocks, U-CARs, Legends, Champ Karts and Mini Cups. Tickets are available at the gate for $15 for adults while kids 10 and under are admitted free. The green flag will fly at 7 p.m.