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Luke Baldwin to Pilot Pro Late at Hickory

Noah Watts Photography

Fresh off a successful week at New Smyrna Speedway’s World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing, rising star Luke Baldwin is going Late Model racing for the first time next month.

Baldwin will pilot a Pro Late Model for DLP Motorsports at Hickory Motor Speedway with sponsorship from Shoreside Support during the season-opener for the historic North Carolina facility on Saturday, March 4, with twin 40-lap races on the docket.

Baldwin, who went to New Smyrna with no 602 Modified starts to his credit, left Florida with two victories in four events and a championship in the division earlier this month. The step to Late Models will be yet another move up the ladder for Baldwin at a young age.

Known as The Birthplace of NASCAR Stars, Hickory Motor Speedway originally opened as a half-mile dirt track and was paved in 1967. Today, the track operates under the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series as a .363-mile asphalt oval.

Shoreside Support, owned by Luke’s brother Tommy Baldwin III, is the global leader in mega yacht provisioning. Shoreside Support provides the world’s largest mega yachts with gourmet food products, supplies & equipment with the mission of making the lives of yacht captains, chefs and crew as efficient as possible anywhere they cruise. For more information, visit

“I’m proud of Luke’s progress behind the wheel, but I am more impressed with the way he carried himself throughout the week at New Smyrna,” Tommy Baldwin III said. “I think he’s got some great potential, and Shoreside Support is really excited to be a part of this.”

Luke knows the challenge will be tough – but is excited to get behind the wheel and gain experience at such a historic track.

“Definitely super excited for this opportunity to work with everyone involved,” Luke Baldwin said. “Driving a Pro Late Model was something I have always wanted to do, but I wouldn’t have ever imagined it would happen this soon. If you were to have told me two weeks ago this would happen, I would have called you crazy. Starting at a place like Hickory is awesome – a historic venue close to home is cool. The aged surface will be tough, but I believe I’m ready for anything you put in front of me.”

DLP Motorsports team owner David L. Pletcher, also known as “Buggie” in the garage, has fielded cars for rising stars like Stephen Nasse and current NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Josh Berry before, and knows how to get the job done. He’s excited to work with Luke – especially after what he saw during the World Series of Asphalt at New Smyrna.

“First time I met him was during Speedweeks down there in Florida,” Pletcher said. “He’s friends with another driver in our team. Luke is a likable kid and I watched him race out there respectfully and clean. He did a great job and was impressive at New Smyrna. He seems like someone who really wants to do this and wants to succeed, and it’s important for me to help those young kids that are trying to get started.”

“We like what we see with Luke and we want to help him with his development as a race car driver,” Lorin Rainer with Chevrolet Development, said.

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