PELETIER, NC – Saturday night’s Solid Rock Carriers 150 at Bobby Watson’s Carteret County Speedway will feature the most competitive Limited Late Model field of the season, and the track’s three most dominant competitors are hoping to hold off the outsiders and take home the $10,000 prize.
Chris Burns, Brandon Clements, and T.J. Barron have a combined 17 Late Model wins, seven of which have come this season, and have emerged as the three drivers who will battle for this season’s championship. However, Saturday night will see a pause in the title race as each driver sets their sights on just one goal – victory and a $10,000 payday.
Burns, 27, from Swansboro, North Carolina, enters Saturday’s race as both the points leader and the winningest Late Model driver in Carteret County Speedway history. He started this season scoring a victory in a $5,000-to-win Limited Late Model race which saw one of the most competitive fields of the season and backed that up with another win in one of two Limited Late Model twin races held during the Memorial Classic. Next up on his checklist is the Solid Rock Carriers 150.
“I’m excited for all the competition coming for this race,” Burns said. “Winning is great but it makes it so much more rewarding when the competition is some of the best around. We have been working hard to bring our A-game to win this race.”
T.J. Barron, 29, from Wilmington, North Carolina currently sits second in points and has two wins on the season, one coming during one of two races in the competitive Memorial Classic doubleheader. Barron has been in contention for the win in just about every race this season. This weekend’s race is the ultimate prize for Barron, and he is also hoping to come away with a $10,000 victory on Saturday.
“I’ve been looking forward to this race all year,” Barron stated. “It’s the biggest Limited Late Model race of the season that brings in a lot more competition. I feel confident in my car, my team, and myself, and I think we can come away with the win and the big check.”
While Brandon Clements sits tied for second on the all-time Late Model wins list, no driver has won more feature races than him.
Clements, 28, from Swansboro, North Carolina, has 19 career Carteret County Speedway feature victories, most of them in Mini Stocks. Last year, he was dominant as his five first place triumphs propelled him to the track championship. This season, he has two wins and sits third in points – though no driver is hotter right now than Clements, with both of his wins coming in two of the last three regular-season races.
However, Clements has never won in any of the bigger races at Carteret County – which is something he plans to change on Saturday.
“It’s always good to have out of town teams come to town and run with us,” Clements remarked. “It makes it a lot of fun and we love the challenge. We have crossed all the t’s and dotted all the I’s this week and really feel like we have the car to beat. It would be a really big boost to our season and that $10,000 wouldn’t be bad either. A payday like that would help our little team a ton.”
Winning the Solid Rock Carriers 150 will be no easy task and for the three dominant regulars, it would be the biggest accomplishment in their respective careers to date. They will have to hold off a competitive field which includes Hampton Heat 200 winner and two-time Carteret County feature race winner Connor Hall, Late Model great and former Carteret winner Stacy Puryear, Limited Late Model standout Ross “Boo Boo” Dalton, Hickory Motor Speedway contender Stevie Johns, Jr., former ARCA driver Sarah Cornett-Ching, and much more.
Saturday’s Solid Rock Carriers 150 will get underway at 7:30pm and will also feature racing for Mini Cups, Jr. Mini Cups, Mini Stocks, and Legends. The pre-race meet-and-greet, which will include NASCAR legend and Fox Sports personality Larry McReynolds, will get underway around 6pm. General admission tickets will be available at the gate for $15 while kids 10 and under are admitted free.