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CARS Tour Opens 2020 Season with Southern National doubleheader

Andy Marquis/CARS Tour photo

Enter Year Six.

The CARS Tour is back for another season of twin Late Model features across the Mid-Atlantic and will open the 2020 season with a star-studded doubleheader on Saturday afternoon at the Southern National Motorsports Park in Lucama, North Carolina.

A total of 23 Late Model Stocks and 16 Super Late Models will take the green flag in a pair of 150 lap races at the tenured 0.40-mile track outside of Kenly, North Carolina. The Late Model Stock race pays $10,000 and the Super Late Model race pays $5,000 with the potential for a $10,000 total.

On the Super Late Model side, the roster includes a simmering rivalry, as both Bubba Pollard and Stephen Nasse will compete following their explosive run-in during Speedfest at Watermelon Capital Speedway in January.

Snowball Derby winner Travis Braden will also compete alongside Super Late Model feature winners Jaren Irvan, Matt Wallace, Austin MacDonald and Kodie Connor. Sammy Smith of Kyle Busch Motorsports will also unload with his No. 51.

Eastern North Carolina driver Jeff Batten will be chasing his first CARS Tour victory and hopes to get it done against this roster at his home track.

“Everyone always asks me if I’m looking forward to racing at Southern National because it’s considered my home track,” said Batten. “To be honest, I sort of dread going there. We’ve had nothing but terrible luck the last three or four times we’ve been.

“It’s nice to be close to home, sleep in my own bed, and have family friends that normally don’t get to watch me race live at the track, but it sucks that we end up having such dismal performances there. We’ve changed a bunch of stuff in the offseason, hoping to turn our luck around, especially since we are running the full season this year.  It’s such a competitive series and you’ve got to have luck on your side, even with a decent car. It’s so competitive that everything has to align and fall into place.”

RELATED: 2020 CARS Tour Schedules

Meanwhile, on the premier Late Model Stock side, two-time and defending CARS Tour champion Bobby McCarty will open his efforts for a three-peat against tour mainstays Deac McCaskill, Josh Berry, Layne Riggs, Tommy Lemons, Brandon Pierce and Jared Fryer.

And then there is Tyler Matthews, the 2016 Southern National Motorsports Park track champion, who hopes to open his pursuit of a touring championship with a win at his home track.

Last season, Matthews competed in every Solid Rock Carriers CARS Tour Late Model Stock Car event, scoring seven top-10 finishes on the season while also racing part-time in NASCAR. This weekend, the Richlands, N.C. native returns to Southern National in search of his first CARS Tour win.

“I’m excited to be included in the Touring 12 this year,” said Matthews. “We ran the full season last year and I was really excited about everything they had going on and the level of competition. I’m excited to get back to the track this year as part of the Touring 12 and see if we can’t improve on results from last year.

“It’s always nice to go back to Southern National Motorsports Park where I’ve had a lot of success in the past, winning the track championship back in 2016. I’m excited to go back somewhere where we’ve had good results.”

The event will air live on CARSTour.TV, which can be purchased for $25 a month, and includes archives of every race dating back to the 2015 season.

Solid Rock Carriers 300 NOTES & QUOTES


Track and Location: Southern National Motorsports Park, Lucama, N.C.
Length: 0.40 mi
Event Name: Solid Rock Carriers 300 pres. by SRI Performance
Laps / Distance: 150 laps / 60 mi (LMSC and SLM)

Event Schedule:

  • Practice: 9:40 a.m.-11:15 a.m.
  • Qualifying: 1:30 p.m.
  • Green: 3 p.m. LMSC / SLM

Late Model Stock Car Entries (23 entries)

  • #08 Deac McCaskill
  • #1 Nolan Pope
  • #1M Craig Moore
  • #2 Brandon Pierce
  • #4 Jonathan Findley
  • #6 Mike Darne
  • #8 Connor Mosack
  • #12 Gage Painter
  • #14 Jared Fryar
  • #16 Chad McCumbee
  • #17 Taylor Gray
  • #18 Jonathan Shafer
  • #22 Bobby McCarty,
  • #27 Tommy Lemons Jr.
  • #51 Matt Cox
  • #51C Chris Chapman
  • #63 Tyler Matthews
  • #74 Ronald Hill
  • #77 Logan Jones
  • #78 Corey Heim
  • #81 Mini Tyrrell
  • #88 Josh Berry
  • #99 Layne Riggs

Super Late Model entries (16 total)

  • #2 Jared Irvan
  • #6 Matt Wallace
  • #9 Hudson Halder
  • #13 Austin MacDonald
  • #15 Mike Hopkins
  • #15S Gabe Sommers
  • #17 Mike Speeney
  • #17B Jeremy Barclay
  • #22 Trevor Noles
  • #26 Bubba Pollard
  • #45 Kodie Connor
  • #49 Jeff Batten
  • #51 Stephen Nasse
  • #51S Sammy Smith,
  • #54 Matt Craig
  • #77 Travis Braden

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Matt Weaver is the owner and founder of Short Track Scene. Weaver grew up in the sport, having raced himself before becoming a reporter in college at the University of South Alabama. He is also the associate motorsports editor of Autoweek Magazine and its website, which allows him to cover the highest levels of the sport.

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