Nelson Motorsports’ quest for a fourth Solid Rock Carriers CARS Late Model Stock Car Tour championship and will see them turn to one of the most versatile drivers in short track racing today.
Cale Gale, who has experience in Super Late Models, Pro Late Models, Tour-Type Modifieds and other disciplines, is set to embark on a full Late Model Stock campaign in the No. 22 Chevrolet for Nelson Motorsports that will also see him contest all year in the CARS Late Model Stock Car Tour, the Virginia Late Model Triple Crown Championship and the prestigious Rodney Cook Classic at Ace Speedway.
Gale admitted he is still in disbelief at the thought of driving for a prestigious organization like Nelson Motorsports, but he is eager to get the 2023 season started and show he can be competitive in a Late Model Stock on a weekly basis.
“This is such a great opportunity,” Gale said. “I’m blessed to even be considered for [the Nelson Motorsports] ride and I still feel like a kid in a candy store. I’ve driven with a lot of different people during my career, and it’s been hit or miss, but I haven’t been with an organization [like Nelson Motorsports] at this level before.”
There are no shortage of accomplishments on Gale’s auto racing resume that dates back to the early 2000s.
Along with being a two-time track champion at Mobile International Speedway, Gale has also sat on pole twice for the Snowball Derby in 2007 and 2010. His best performance in the marquee event was a sixth place run that he earned back in 2011.
When Gale began to progress through the developmental ladder, he quickly found victory lane in his second career ARCA Menards Series start at Worldwide Technology Raceway at Gateway in 2006 driving a car for Bobby Jones. The consistency Gale showed that year earned him a part-time ride with Kevin Harvick Incorporated the following year.
Gale spent the next several seasons bouncing around several different rides in NASCAR and ARCA while also staying active in short track competition. His second and final ARCA victory occurred at his home track of Mobile in 2012 after he passed Grant Enfinger with 28 laps to go.
That same year would see Gale earn the most notable accomplishment of his career. In the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Gale engaged in a hard-fought with Kyle Busch for the victory and ended up edging him to the line by .014 seconds.
Gale believes his years of on-track experience will give him an advantage compared to other rookies in the CARS LMSC Tour this year, but he emphasized the importance of flawless execution with the parity prevalent in the series.
“Late Model Stock racing is very competitive right now,” Gale said. “I feel like [the CARS Tour] is what [the NASCAR Xfinity Series] racing was in the 2000s with how strong it is. You must check all the boxes to win races and that starts with a fine-tuned car. The driver also needs to be in tip-top shape, but the team has got to execute. It takes an entire effort to be successful.”
Despite having only a handful of laps in a Late Model Stock entering 2023, Gale is confident Nelson Motorsports will provide him with everything he needs to be efficient when the first green flag waves.
Along with winning three CARS LMSC Tour titles with Bobby McCarty, Nelson Motorsports has also visited victory lane in the series with drivers that include Kaden Honeycutt and former Truck Series driver Timothy Peters, who also delivered Nelson Motorsports their lone ValleyStar Credit Union 300 win at Martinsville Speedway in 2017.
Gale intends to check off a Late Model Stock victory on his bucket list and hopes he can build enough momentum throughout the season to contend for the championship, but also anticipates a learning curve as he gradually adjusts to his new environment.
With plenty of fast Nelson Motorsports cars at his disposal and the support of partners like Xfinity Series driver Brandon Jones, Gale is determined to show both the CARS LMSC Tour veterans and rookies he will be one of the favorites to win every week.
“We’re just going to do our thing,” Gale said. “I want to stay on top of the curve and I have a lot of confidence in what we’re going to do together. The excitement I have as a driver is very high and opportunities like this in today’s world do not come around often. We have the right pieces to the puzzle but we have a lot of work ahead to get to where we need to be.”
Gale’s first race with Nelson Motorsports will be the CARS LMSC Tour season-opener at Southern National Motorsports Park on March 11.