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Second Throwback 276 looks to build on short track racing’s new favorite tradition

Matt Weaver | STS

On Saturday night, Hickory Motor Speedway will play host to the aptly named CARS Tour for its biggest race of the season.

Between the Super Late Model and Late Model Stock divisions, roughly 50 cars will be on the grounds for the second-ever Throwback 276 — many of them wrapped in liveries that harken back to stock car racing’s greatest personalities.

The race was an unparalleled success last season, nearly selling out the Birthplace of the NASCAR Stars and packing the infield, too.

READ MORE: Last year’s Throwback 276 was a knockout success

“Who would have thought it just took different paint schemes to get people to come to the race track,” Chandler Smith crew chief and 2002 Snowball Derby winning driver Ricky Turner quipped in the pits on Friday.

The race is a celebration of short track racing’s past and future. The success of the event has even caught its creator, CARS Tour director Chris Ragle, by surprise.

“I think if you really step back and look at things this is the signature event that has put the CARS Response Energy Tour on the map, nationally,” Ragle said. “Keep in mind this is just our second year of having the Throwback 276 race, and I don’t think anyone, and I mean anyone, could have imagined what it has turned into.

“I’m proud of the teams, drivers, fans, and the graphics companies for buying in to this vision we had. We want key people in the industry, from days gone by to current times, to say what the CARS Tour has done honoring the history of short track racing, and the people that made it what is today, is something to be proud of. I really think that this weekend could be a race that twenty years from now, people talk about and say I was there for that race, just in the same way that we are looking back on now.”

Lost in the fanfare of the retro paint schemes is the fact that Hickory puts on fantastic racing. The Late Model Stock main event last year, featured a tremendous three-way battle in which Justin Carroll outdueled Austin McDaniel and Anthony Alfredo.

A year later and Carroll still considers it his biggest accomplishment.

“Whenever someone brings up the Throwback 276 race it instantly gets my adrenaline pumping,” Carroll said. “I never thought winning that race would be as big as what it turned out to be. Without question it is the biggest win of my career. It has me ready to do it again this year, the team and I have been getting prepared as best as possible, and I hope we can put on another amazing race like we did last year.”

READ MORE: 2018 CARS Tour Throwback 276 paint schemes

The Super Late Model portion was even prestigious enough to lure defending Super Late Model winner Tate Fogleman away from his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series foray.

“Being the defending winner is special and we are hoping to back that up this year and make it two Throwback wins in a row,” Fogleman said. “To be able to get the win last year in front of an almost sold out crowd was amazing, and it was even cooler to be able to pull into victory circle with that Sam Ard paint throwback scheme. Out of all the races we have won, the Hickory throwback race was the most talked about and recognized.

“The fans love seeing these Throwback schemes on track and it’s a race that really gets the attention all over the country. I’m really hoping we can show up with as strong as car as we did last year and be able to contend for the win.”

Both races will be 138-laps. The event will air live on CARSTour.TV.

The stacked entry lists can be found below:

Late Model Stocks

  • Cody Haskins
  • Kevin Leicht
  • Brandon Pierce
  • Craig Stallard
  • Lee Pullium
  • Thomas Beane
  • Riley Herbst
  • Charlie Watson
  • Justin Carroll
  • Layne Riggs
  • Craig Moore
  • Austin McDaniel
  • Ty Gibbs
  • Mason Diaz
  • Chris Tate
  • Bradley McCaskill
  • Ronald Hill
  • Sam Mayer
  • Mitch Walker
  • Cole Glasson
  • Joel Courage
  • Grayson Cullather
  • Tommy Lemons Jr.
  • Deac McCaskill
  • Josh Berry
  • Landon Huffman
  • Trevor Ward
  • Bobby McCarty

Super Late Models

  • Anthony Cataldi
  • Danny Gilchrist
  • Jeff Batten
  • Gracie Trotter
  • Wayne Jefferson
  • Matt Wallace
  • Amber Balcean
  • Kodie Connor
  • Molly Helmuth
  • Tyler Church
  • Tate Fogleman
  • Chris Dilbeck
  • Taylor Stricklin
  • Jody Measamer
  • Greg Burgess
  • Roy Hayes
  • Mike Speeney
  • Ryan Mathews
  • Mason Diaz
  • Chandler Smith
  • Corey Heim
  • Harold Crooms
  • Preston Peltier
  • Bubba Pollard
  • Nolan Pope
  • Dan Speeney
  • Jared Fryar
  • Raphael Lessard
  • Tyler Ankrum
  • Matt Craig
  • Jerick Johnson
  • Matt Thomas

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Matt Weaver is the owner and founder of Short Track Scene. Weaver grew up in the sport, having raced himself before becoming a reporter in college at the University of South Alabama. He is also the associate motorsports editor of Autoweek Magazine and its website, which allows him to cover the highest levels of the sport.

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