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ECMS scraps Late Models, Chargers to run Twins at next event

Robersonville, NC

With struggling Late Model Stock car counts at East Carolina Motor Speedway (ECMS), the track has announced a schedule change for the June 15th event. The Late Model division at ECMS has seen an average of only 6 or 7 cars competing in each event in 2019.

The Charger division on the other hand has seen car counts as high as 10 to 12 with multiple winners so far in 2019.

ECMS posted the following message on Facebook…

“Due to a minimal late model car count, late models will not be running our next race on June 15th. The Charger class will run twin 40 lap races with purse of $700.00 for each race. Top 8 cars will be inverted for 2nd race.”

It is not known at this time if Late Models will return for the next event.

Entry List – 71 Compacts and 51 Street Stocks Registered for Bristol

The first look at entries for the 2019 Short Track Nationals have been released as we are just over 2 weeks away from the annual event…

STREET STOCK ENTRY LIST (As of 5/13/19)

00H Brett Hudson Owensboro KY
00M Bubba Winslow Cantonment FL
00T Bobby Tumbleston lll Summerville SC
1 Jamie Whitt Wise VA
3 Jacob McElfresh Elwood IN
03 Kevin Eby Lenoir NC
5 Chuck Barnes Sr. Louisville KY
6H Blake Hillard Owensboro KY
6M Jeff Melton Concord NC
6S Bryce Schaefer Niles MI
06 John McLaren Louisville KY
8B Brandon Burkhart ® Franklin IN
8M Brandon Mack Fisherville KY
08 Brian McDonald Louisville KY
10 Tom Stone Linden MI
11K Jimmy Kirby Indianapolis IN
11P Kevin Papa Elkhart IN
13 Austin Woodcox Laporte IN
21L Jeff Lane Knightstown IN
21X Mark Lushes Uniontown OH
22C Skeeter Crum Jeffersonville IN
22K James Kirby III Indianapolis IN
22L Brian Lewis Fairland IN
23 Kenny Gibson North Port FL
24 Jeremie Wiggins Elyria OH
28P Clark Perry Accoville WV
28V Josh Varney Leeds ME
29 Mike Todd Pleasantville IA
31 David Byrns ® Bowling Green KY
32 David Bayens Borden IN
34 Ronnie Basham III Clarksville IN
41 Steven Osteen Auburndale FL
42 Curtis Peoples Round O SC
44B Chuck Barnes Jr. Louisville KY
44G Rodney Glass Belhaven NC
54 Tony Conway Louisville KY
55 Phil Jenkins Greenfield IN
65 Billy Williams Bowling Green KY
68 J.J. Schafer Bremen IN
70 Bob Lusetti Broadview Heights OH
73 Jason Atkinson Mooreland IN
74 Todd Duff Kingsport TN
77 Jason Drummond Gibsonburg OH
84 Andrew Teepe Indianapolis IN
85 Allan Williams Jr. Louisville KY
89 Josh Sage Piqua OH
96 Nick Kronenburg Elwood IN
112 Mike Brooks North Brooks OH
311 Keith Bissinger Bloomsburg PA
333 Jonathan Ziegler Lafayette IN
361 Cliff Gaumond Midland NC

 

COMPACT ENTRY LIST (As of 5/13/19)

0 Tom Gossar Markleville IN
57 Ricky Wilson Frankfort IL
01 David Mehl Fairland IN
01M Zach Minton Elizabeth IN
05 Jerime Dameron Wolcottville IN
5B Brett Smith Richmond IN
5X Jeff Barney Roanoke IN
6 Chris Jennings Richmond IN
7 Zach Morris New Castle IN
10 Walt Arthur Jr. Indianapolis IN
13 Mark Jennings Richmond IN
21S Rodney Sutton New Castle IN
33 Justin Brown Boggstown IN
37 Darek Morris New Castle IN
39 Kyle Frame New Albany IN
44 Jr. LeMasters Indianapolis IN
50X Brandon Barcus Kendallville IN
51X Mark Mason Ft. Wayne IN
67 Rob Rehm Indianapolis IN
69 Jeff Striegel Lanesville IN
71 Trent Gossar Markleville IN
72 Bobby Sanders McCordsville IN
73 Rick Nelson Syracuse IN
85 Phil Iliff Portland IN
93B Alex Bube Elizabeth IN
94B Zachary Bube Elizabeth IN
96 Jim Granzow Hobart IN
107 Jeff Vore Ridgeville IN
117 Ryan Hoffman Demotte IN
3 Ken Crabtree Bowling Green KY
18K Dillon Kaelin Louisville KY
54B Brandon Dalton Bowling Green KY
62 Yogi Metz Charlotte MI
79 Todd Metz Jr Charlotte MI
87 Kevin Geelhoed Ada MI
88L Luke Geelhoed Grand Rapids MI
66G Jacob Gustafson Webster NY
03 Buck Purtee Quincy OH
4 Terry Eaton Jr. Quincy OH
7C Ron Masters Mechanicsburg OH
07 Steve Vore Ft. Recovery OH
9T Nicholas Meade West Carrrolton OH
17 Bill Honious Miamisburg OH
18 Gary Eaton Jr. West Liberty OH
18W Cody Wynn North Lewisburg OH
24 Austin Stoll Akron OH
24T Aaron Teegarden New Weston OH
27 Bo Hoelscher Riverside OH
28 BJ Honious Dayton OH
29 Ron Sagers Liberty Township OH
66 Jeff Isbell Lebanon OH
68 Kyle Finlayson Bolivar OH
78 Nicholas Stoll Akron OH
78P Joshua Peeples Carrolton OH
82 Harvey Yoder Kenton OH
95 David Yoder Kenton OH
124 Brent Shreffler Canton OH
133 Jess Drook Maineville OH
21 David Gilliland Harrison TN
50R John Rebello Clifton TN
56 Sean Frederick Goodlettsville TN
19H John Handeland Belleville WI
101 Jasper Drengler Shawana WI
09 Joe Workman Milton WV
11 Stephen Kuhn Alan Creek WV
51 Keith Watson Salt Rock WV
54JT John Trimble Scott Depot WV
88 Jacob Bell Branchland WV
92.7 Jared Cassidy Barboursville WV
93 Timothy Cassidy Wayne WV
178 Michael Hughart Saint Albans WV

Matthews set for Xfinity Series Debut

JD Motorsports with Gary Keller (JDM) is proud to announce that Richlands, NC native Tyler Matthews will make his NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) debut this Friday night at Richmond Raceway in the No. 15 Linetec Services Camaro.

Matthews, who won the 2016 North Carolina NASCAR Whelen All American Series championship racing late model stock cars all throughout the state, will be right at home at the ¾ mile short track in Richmond.

“Man, I can’t stress enough how much this opportunity means to me. Getting the chance to drive for one of the most respected team owners in the garage area in Johnny Davis is huge. I know that this will be a big step up in my career, coming from racing late model stocks and all, but I’m treating this as just another racecar. If we can stay out of trouble and keep the car within the Top 25, I think that would be a solid day for us. I know we can do it, and I’m just counting down the hours until I can get on track to practice.” said Matthews before the weekend.

Linetec Services, an electric utility service company based out of Alexandria, Louisiana, will serve as primary sponsor for Matthews’ debut race.

Last season, Tyler made three NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series starts. This season, he plans on putting together a three-race deal with JDM, should Friday night’s race go well. Other planned races will include Iowa and one race at a 1.5 mile track yet to be determined.

The NASCAR Xfinity Series heads to Richmond, Virginia this week at the Richmond Raceway for the running of the ToyotaCare 250. This race will be held under the lights on Friday, April 12th, marking the series’ first night race of the season. Be sure to tune in on FOX Sports 1 at 7:00 PM ET to watch the four JD Motorsports with Gary Keller drivers battle it out at the “short track that races like a superspeedway”. For all things JDM, follow along on our social media pages @JDMotorsports01. #TeamJDM

-JD Motorsports Press Release

Bloomquist Forges New Partnership for Future Era of Team Zero

Mooresburg, TN. — Just a couple of weeks ago, Scott Bloomquist sustained serious injuries in a motorcycle accident to his right hip and right knee.  The accident abruptly altered plans for the #0 team and their 2019 season. The prognosis for recovery and rehabilitation from these injuries are projected to take several months.  Currently, decisions are being formulated on how best to move forward, as well as establishing a more specific timeline on the Hall of Fame drivers return to the cockpit. Bloomquist has returned to home and has been seeing one of the best therapy clinics in the Knoxville area.

Amidst unfortunate circumstances, the operation is forging forward and making important decisions regarding the future of the #0 team and Scott Bloomquist Racing.

The dirt track racing Hall of Famer has set his sights on accomplishing even more in the sport and he now has the support of one of the industry’s most respected innovators. Bloomquist has officially forged a partnership with Cody Sommer.

The duo began discussing a possible partnership in 2018 and have officially reached an agreement that sets the stage for the “FUTURE” of the entire Team Zero organization now and after the 9X National Champion decides to hang up the helmet.  The partnership comes at a vital time, where the operation is in a position to re-group, make changes and develop a solid plan for when Bloomquist returns behind the wheel.

In a sport that continues to change and become more and more competitive, Bloomquist has continued to adapt and evolve with the times. Even with each evolution, he has found himself at the top of the sport, succeeding no matter the circumstances. An impressive resume for Bloomquist includes 9 National Championships, 8 Dreams, 4 World 100’s and over 600 victories in total that include all of the industry’s major crown jewels. However, Bloomquist admits that there has been a void in his operation with a need for guidance, structure and business leadership for some time. Sommer is slated to fill that void managing the business which will allow Bloomquist to focus on recovery and competing at the highest level when he returns behind the wheel.

Bloomquist prides himself on having “NO WEAK LINKS” and this partnership reiterates that moving forward. Cody Sommer will manage the business but he will also be a part-owner with Bloomquist and taking on the role of President of the newly formed organization. Sommer is no newcomer to challenges and now takes on the task of creating an organized business, guiding the company into its future both on and off the race track.

“When you walk in this shop and you see the history, you understand where this man (Scott Bloomquist) has been and what he is cable of if the pieces of the puzzle all fit right.  This decision is something that we are taking very seriously, and we have very specific goals in mind” Said Sommer.  “Scott’s accomplishments behind the wheel have always set the bar for which the entire sport has strived to be on the race track. This partnership will also allow us the opportunity to set that same bar for the industry off of the race track” Said Sommer.  The credentials and expertise that Sommer brings to the table will not only change the landscape for Bloomquist moving forward but it will help ensure Scott is able to focus on competing at the highest possible level.

In fact, the organization has specific performance plans & goals to accompany their business and post-career plans. The team will begin taking on more developmental projects including building a new car specifically for testing and R&D purposes, a dedicated pull-down area within the race shop headquarters, custom equipment for aerodynamic research and several other functions dedicated to performing on the race track.

“If you sit back and look at the accomplishments he has had with little structure and organization…it really is remarkable” said Sommer.  “Allowing Scott the ability to focus on speed is essential. It will create more accomplishment.  I don’t think anyone would disagree that when he is able to focus, he is going to be very hard to beat on the race track, he has proven that over and over again in the past” He added.

Scott did have comments to add, backing up those of his new business partner “Over the years I’ve had a lot of great people help me accomplish many things. This partnership is going to allow us together to accomplish even more. We are going to WIN more championships… more Dreams, more World 100’s and more major events… this is going to allow me the ability to focus on that now more than ever.  I’m not dead yet, so just get ready” said Bloomquist.

Although many parts of the organization will take time to evolve there are some areas that will see change very quickly. The team will be hiring additional help to support the #0 car but also have plans of housing a second team in the future. The Bloomquist identity & brand will be honed and organized with plans of taking it to the highest possible levels. Partnerships and involving more corporate partners is a key area of focus, this strategy spearheaded by Sommer, who has visions of corporate involvement going well beyond the industries current.

Sommer recognizes the immediate concern of ensuring the organization sustains itself during a very hard time, while their Hall of Fame driver is sidelined with injuries and unable to compete. “Scott has never seen a situation like this as he has always been able to race. Being sidelined for several months is going to be a challenge for everyone involved. There is overhead, there are bills and there are responsibilities. Scott has many friends, sponsors and family offering their support during this hard time and he is very appreciative of it” Said Sommer.

Many people have asked how they can help offer support for Bloomquist as he is sidelined for several months, working towards recovery and rehabilitation. Scott Bloomquist Racing has setup an official home for any support at www.ScottBloomquistRacing.com/HelpScottGetBack

Scott Bloomquist Racing has launched a new official website at www.ScottBloomquistRacing.com and can also be found on social media by Facebook @ScottBloomquistRacing and Twitter @SBR_TeamZero

 

-Bloomquist Press Release-

Balcaen to Compete for KBM in 2 Super Late Model events

MOORESVILLE, N.C. – Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) announced today that Amber Balcaen will pilot the team’s No. 51 Camry in two Super Late Model events this season. Balcaen will compete in the Pro All Star Series (P.A.S.S.) Easter Bunny 150 at Hickory (N.C.) Motor Speedway on April 20 and in the CARS Super Late Model Tour event at Motor Mile Speedway in Fairlawn, Va. on May 18.

Balcaen, a third-generation Canadian driver, cut her racing teeth in 2002 at the age of 10 in go-karts on the dirt tracks of North Dakota before advancing into sprint cars. In 2014, she earned Rookie of the Year honors in the North Outlaw Sprint Association. In 2016, she was selected to compete in the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Combine and began racing on pavement in the United States. She made history in August of 2016 when she won the Limited Sportsman division race at Motor Mile Speedway and became the first Canadian-born female to win a NASCAR-sanctioned race in the United States. She added another Limited Sportsman win at Motor Mile Speedway in 2017 and also made her first NASCAR K&N Pro Series East start that year.

Balcaen’s entry in the Easter Bunny 150 will carry primary sponsorship from Glen McLeod & Son LTD and Kabat Schertzer De La Torre & Co will serve as an associate sponsor. For the CARS Super Late Model event at Motor Mile, Tavia will serve as the primary sponsor.

“I can’t thank Kyle and Samantha enough for giving me the opportunity to race for them, it means the world to me. When you are driving for KBM, not only are you driving for one of the best drivers in NASCAR, you know that he has only the best people working for him and I’m looking forward to learning from them. Even though I didn’t have the chance to race much last year, I’m confident in my ability as a driver and know that I can be successful with this team. I have high expectations for myself in these races and I’m excited to see what we can accomplish together. Above all, I’m ecstatic to be behind the wheel of a racecar again. It’s what I love to do and I feel so blessed to be back at it. I have to thank Glen McLeod & Son, Tavia and KSDT for their support as well as my family, friends and fans.”

-KBM Press Release-

Riggs discusses CARS Tour Qualifying & Alternate Options

Article By: Josh Parrish

In a continuation of our “Talk It Up! – Knockout Qualifying” article, we spoke with Layne Riggs about what he thought about the Knockout Qualifying format that is used in the CARS Tour. Riggs, joining a majority of other drivers, stated that he is not a huge fan of the current qualifying procedure.

“I think knockout qualifying is good for drivers at certain tracks and unfair at other tracks. I enjoy knockout qualifying in the aspect that it gives drivers a second chance if they make a mistake or were not fast enough the first time.”

Riggs went on to say, “I think it works well with tracks that have a pit road and tracks with multiple grooves. I do not like knockout qualifying at tracks with one fast line and no where for cars to be able to build up speed without getting in someone’s way.”

Southern National Motorsports Park in Lucama, NC played host to the 2019 Season Opener for the CARS Tour. SNMP is known for being a one-groove, high-banked track. As Layne mentioned above this type of qualifying works better at multi-groove tracks.

“At southern national it did not work good. There were almost multiple wrecks in the pits and people holding others up with no room. It is also one of the biggest one groove tracks that we go to making it difficult to find an opening in traffic. Also Southern National is a track that takes a long time to get heat in the tires so the cars that were going out with cold tires were in the way of others trying to get their fast lap in.”

We asked Layne what he thought about the CARS Tour switching to Euro Qualifying instead of the Knockout Format the series is currently using. Euro Qualifying is typically used for weekly races in the support divisions along with the late model divsions at some tracks. This format puts cars, normally based on practice speeds, in groups of 4 or 5. The cars then go on track and make 5 laps for their qualifying attempt.

“I like that style a lot if the CARS Tour is looking to cut down time that it takes to do qualifying. I think that it works well for tracks that are bigger and give cars room to spread out. Most of the time if the groups are ordered correctly by practice speed, cars don’t interfere with each other which is good.”

Layne pointed out that qualifying is about speed and not working around traffic.

“Qualifying is about seeing how fast a car and driver are and is not about if the driver can manipulate other people to be the fastest.”

The next race on the CARS Tour Schedule is Hickory Motor Speedway on March 23rd. This race will also feature 150 laps races for both the LMSC and SLM divisions

Talk it Up! – Knockout Qualifying

A new segment we are going to start doing at Short Track Central is “Talk It Up!” We are going to ask drivers their opinions on certain races, formats and other topics about short track racing throughout the season.

For our first installment, we are going to discuss the CARS Tour Knockout Qualifying format. From a fan’s point of view, watching this format is interesting and is a change of pace compared to the standard single car format that is used in most Late Model Stock events. Although most fans I have talked to enjoy it, there seems to be mixed reviews of the format from the drivers and crews.

We asked…  “Do you enjoy Knockout Qualifying or do you prefer the standard single car format better. If you could make any changes to it, what would it be? Here are the answers we received…


 

Leland Honeyman (#4 LMSC) – “I like single car qualifying. The other qualifying is too bunched up.” We asked him if he thinks Euro Qualifying (4 to 5 cars at a time) would be a better option… “Yes it would. The more space, the better”

This was Honeyman’s first time participating in this style qualifying…


 

Justin Carroll (#57 LMSC) – “I don’t like it, I’ve been at a CARS race 4 times where they were using the the knock out qualifying. Of the 4, I’ve had something happen twice. First time Brandon Grosso spun out while I was on the track, and then this past weekend Lemons pulled up in front of me.”

Another thing that Justin mentioned was the size of the tracks the Tour visits… “The tracks that we go to just aren’t big enough for it, Nor is there enough room in the pits for it. It’s not a bad concept, just not good for short track racing.”


 

Cameron Bowen (#19 LMSC) – “I like it , brings some strategy and gives you a chance to change things a little before the race , for example my first run out Saturday was horrible so we came in made a few small adjustment and picked up almost 4 tenths.”

“The only thing I would change is it’s really jammed up on pit road trying to leave and cars backing in and it’s kinda hectic.”


 

Stephen Nasse (#51 SLM) – “The way they have it now is terrible, doesn’t work what so ever and somebody always ends up get screwed and this time it was me.”

“Single car is much better but if you’re gonna do the knockout you should limit the number of cars that can be on track at the same time and limit the amount of times you can go out.”


 

On the podcast “Windshield Deep”, which aired on Tuesday (3/12), the topic of Knockout Qualifying was brought up. Nick Payne, who is a spotter on the Tour, was on the show discussing the CARS Tour event at SNMP. He mentioned that he did not like the format either. He said that doing qualifying this way takes up too much time and is also about being lucky.


 

The next stop for the CARS Tour is the MTP Tire 300 at Hickory Motor Speedway on March 23. This race will also feature 150 Laps for both Late Model Stocks and Super Late Models.