The CARS Tour will begin its fifth season on Saturday night with the Solid Rock Carriers 150 at Southern National Motorsports Park.
The event will feature the traditional CARS Tour doubleheader format with 150 laps for the Super Late Model division and 150 laps for the Late Model Stock Cars — and both races pay $10,000-to-win and feature a robust entry list.
It’s also a homecoming of sorts as this is the first time Southern National has hosted the season-opener since the debut event back in 2015. It’s something that track operator Mike Diaz takes a certain amount of pride in.
“I think Southern National should always be the track that the tour opens with,” Diaz said. “The very first CARS Tour event was held here and I hope for many years it will remain here. It has been an overwhelming response from all the fans to see the CARS Tour back at SNMP for their season opener. I have had calls from as far north as Maryland to as far south as Georgia about fans coming for the weekend.
“The campground is going to be packed, just like the grandstands. The tack has worn out a little since the last time the tour has been here. In talking with several competitors over the past few weeks, that have been testing, they have all told me the same thing. Tire management is going to be a key factor with the upcoming event.
As for the on-track product, this season will be the first time that both the Super Late Model (Jared Fryer) and Late Model Stock (Bobby McCarty) champions have returned to defend their crowns in the same season.
However, on the Late Model Stock front, the field have to deal with Deac McCaskill to reach Victory lane on Sunday. The 2016 champion has led 424 of the 550 laps ran in CARS Tour competition around the 4/10th mile track and has won two of the four races.
“It’s been a few years since the tour has been to the track, so I’m sure the place has changed a lot since then,” McCaskill said. “The Tour I feel is so much more competitive than it was back in 2016, and with knockout qualifying, plus 150 green flag laps, it should be one of the best races there yet.”
This is also a homecoming event for Super Late Model driver Jeff Batten. The Nashville, North Carolina native calls Kenly his home track. And even though the Tour has not raced at this track since the 2016 season, Batten feels like this weekend’s race will look a lot different than it did almost three seasons ago.
“Honestly, I think it will look a lot different, a lot of the drivers have changed since then, but I think the show will pretty much have the same feel,” Batten said. “The track surface is starting to lose some grip, it’s been sitting a lot since the last time there was a CARS Tour race there. It’s going to be like any of these big Super Late Model races now, patience.
“You have to keep the fenders on it, save your tires, and be ready to go with twenty-five laps to go.”
The event, along with all CARS Tour races, can be viewed online via a CARS Tour Dot TV subscription package for $24.99 a month. This package includes an archive of all previous CARS Tour races.
The complete entry lists can be found below.
CARS LMSC Tour Pre Entered Drivers:
#06 Terry Dease, #08 Deac McCaskill, #07 Bradley McCaskill, #01 Camden Guillie, #1 Craig Moore, #1P Brody Pope, #2 Brandon Pierce, #2S Myatt Snider, #4 Jonathan Findley, #4H Leland Honeyman, #12 Ryan Wilson, #16 Chad McCumbee, #16S RD Smith, #17 Taylor Gray, #17P Stacy Puryear, #18 Riley Herbst, #19 Cameron Bowen, #19C Jessica Cann, #22 Bobby McCarty, #23 Terry Brooks Jr., #25 Zack St. Onge, #27 Tommy Lemons, #51 Matt Cox, #54 Drew Dollar, #57 Justin Carroll, #63 Tyler Matthews, #74 Ronald Hill, #77 Trevor Ward, #81 Mini Tyrrell, #88 Josh Berry, #98 Adam Lemke, #99 Layne Riggs (32 total)
CARS SLM Tour Pre Entered Drivers:
#00 Anthony Cataldi, #2 Trevor Noles, #2T Gracie Trotter, #6 Brandon Setzer, #6W Matt Wallace, #7 Justin Crider, #8 Tate Fogleman, #14 Jared Fryar, #16 Molly Hulmuth, #17 Mike Speeney, #21 Trey Bayne, #22 Tim Hollis, #24 Colin Garrett, #24D Mason Diaz, #26 Bubba Pollard, #27 Tyler Church, #33 Preston Peltier, #34 Nolan Pope, #37 Dan Speeney, #45 Kodie Conner, #49 Jeff Batten, #51 Stephen Nasse, #54 Matt Craig, #61 Gabriel Fogg, #66 Steve Wallace, #97 Brandon Lynn, #98 Jody Measamer (27 total)