Following its return to racing last weekend at Ace Speedway in Altamahaw, North Carolina, the CARS Tour will host its first doubleheader since returning from the coronavirus shutdown on Saturday at Hickory Motor Speedway.
The Race Face Tel-Med 300 will feature 150 lap features for both the Super Late Models and Late Model Stock divisions.
To date, 25 Late Model Stocks and 16 Super Late Models have pre-entered for the event at the Birthplace of the NASCAR Stars — a race that is currently scheduled to take place behind closed doors solely for a pay-per-view audience.
This will be the first CARS Super Late Model race since the weekend before the global pandemic began, a race at Southern National Motorsports Park won by Matthew Craig. Hickory has been on the schedule for every season in CARS Tour history and eight different drivers have visited victory lane – including William Byron and Christopher Bell.
Last August, Matt Craig became the third repeat winner at Hickory when he held off Bubba Pollard in the Throwback 276.
Eight drivers have also won in CARS Late Model Stock Tour competition at Hickory. Both races at Hickory last year saw first-time winners, as Taylor Gray won in the spring and Ryan Repko took the Throwback 276.
One name you will not find on the Late Model Stock entry list is 2017 champion Josh Berry, who will be suspended for Saturday night’s race after intentionally crashing Bobby McCarty last weekend in the Race at Ace 125.
Due to Berry’s suspension and McCarty’s crash, the CARS Tour championship is wide open. Layne Riggs leads JR Motorsports driver Connor Mosack by eight points. McCarty is ninth and 19 points back.
Mosack has finishes of third and 11th to open the season.
“I think we really need to focus on qualifying well,” Mosack said. “If we can start inside the top 10, we’ll have a good chance of finishing up front. We have the speed. We ran there a couple weekends ago, and I think if we start up front, we can stay up front and race our way forward. It’s tough to come from the back.”
Mosack is a former champion in Legends competition, winning championships in 2018 at the Summer Shootout, Asphalt Nationals and Road Course World Finals.
He also picked up a championship in the Winter Nationals in 2019 before making the move to Late Model Stock Cars.
“Obviously I’m happy to be racing with these guys,” Mosack said. “It’s tough competition so it’s the best place for me to continue learning and improving in these cars. I like racing with the same guys every week, traveling to different places. There are going to be a lot of tracks I haven’t been to so I’m using this as a learning experience while trying to run well and have solid finishes.”
Meanwhile, veteran Super Late Model competitor Tyler Church is a former winner at Hickory Motor Speedway, but not in the Super Late Model competition with the CARS Tour.
Church’s best career CARS Tour finish was fifth at Tri-County Motor Speedway in 2017. Church comes into Hickory with confidence after a strong test earlier this year. He also helped Annabeth Barnes Crum score her first career Late Model Stock Car win at Hickory this past weekend.
“I’m so excited to get back in the car, especially here at home,” Church said. “I’ve worked through the winter months trying to figure out the all-new setup for the car. We tested a couple months back and I was really happy with it.
“The car had a lot of speed on old, worn out tires. I’ve been anticipating this race for two months. I’ve been helping Annabeth Barnes Crum this year at Hickory with whatever they need and to go to victory lane this past Saturday was awesome. I told them I would have to back that up this weekend.”
Capturing a CARS Tour victory remains a huge priority for Church.
“I want to get a win in the CARS Tour and do something my racing mentor, Preston Peltier, hasn’t done — win in both the former PASS South Series and the CARS Tour,” Church said. “I’d love to have that one over him. He’s still a great friend and I miss him out here. There are so many friends that have passed away in the last eight months and I more importantly want to win for them.”
Practice on Saturday is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. Time trials is set for 5:15 and racing begins at 7:00. The Late Model Stock feature precedes the Super Late Model main event.
The event will air live on the CARS Tour subscription streaming service. The entry lists can be viewed below.
LATE MODEL STOCK CAR ENTRY LIST (25 CARS)
|08||Deac McCaskill||Raleigh, NC|
|1||Nolan Pope||Harrisonville, MO|
|1M||Craig Moore||Rougemont, NC|
|2||Brandon Pierce||Oak Ridge, NC|
|4||Jonathan Findley||Bristow, VA|
|8||Connor Mosack||Charlotte, NC|
|11||Dillon Houser||Connelly Springs, NC|
|12P||Gage Painter||Statesville, NC|
|14||Jared Fryar||Trinity, NC|
|15||Ryan Millington||Statesville, NC|
|16||Chad McCumbee||Ocean Isle Beach, NC|
|2S||Jonathan Shafer||Ashland, OH|
|19C||Drew Dollar||Atlanta, GA|
|19C||Jessica Cann||Monroe, NC|
|22||Bobby McCarty||Kernersville, NC|
|41||Adam Lemke||Hollister, CA|
|44||Justin Johnson||Roxboro, NC|
|51||Matt Cox||Longs, SC|
|63||Tyler Matthews||Beulaville, NC|
|74||Ronald Hill||Rougemont, NC|
|77||Trevor Ward||Winston-Salem, NC|
|78||Corey Heim||Marietta, GA|
|81B||Sam Butler||Delphi, IN|
|99||Layne Riggs||Bahama, NC|
SUPER LATE MODEL ENTRY LIST (16 CARS)
|7||Jeremy Barclay||Goose Creek, SC|
|7C||Tyler Church||Concord, NC|
|7J||Justin Crider||Statesville, NC|
|9||Hudson Halder||Cumming, GA|
|15||Mike Hopkins||Hermon, ME|
|17||Mike Speeney||King, NC|
|20||Harrison Halder||Cumming, GA|
|22||Trevor Noles||Fuquay-Varina, NC|
|26||Bubba Pollard||Senoia, GA|
|35K||Carson Kvapil||Mooresville, NC|
|35||Jake Garcia||Monroe, GA|
|45||Kodie Conner||Kannapolis, NC|
|49||Jeff Batten||Nashville, NC|
|51||Chandler Smith||Jasper, GA|
|51s||Sammy Smith||Johnston, IA|
|54||Matt Craig||Kannapolis, NC|