All posts by STC

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.

 

Breidinger Joins GMS Racing Late Model Program

STATESVILLE, N.C. — GMS Racing announced today that Toni Breidinger will join the organization for the 2019 season in a limited number of late model races. The 19-year-old Hillsborough, Calif., native will drive the No. 21 Chevrolet and is the first female driver to compete for GMS. She is also slated to become a member of the Drivers Edge Development class of 2020.

Breidinger, USAC’s all-time winningest female driver with 19 pavement victories, made her ARCA Racing Series debut last year posting one top-10 finish in three starts. She began her career behind the wheel of a go-kart at the age of nine before she moved into the USAC Midget ranks. In 2014 and 2015 she placed second overall in USAC’s Speed2 Western U.S. Pavement Midget Series driver standings. She went on to claim the 2016 Speed2 Western U.S. Pavement Midget Series championship.

“I’m very excited to join GMS Racing,” Breidinger said. “They’re a contender in every series they compete in, so I know I have a great team behind me. This opportunity will allow me to continue my transition to stock cars and develop my driving skills even more. To have the resources of GMS Racing behind me will help speed up my learning curve and give me the best opportunity to succeed.”

“Chevrolet brought Toni’s talent to our attention,” said GMS Racing president, Mike Beam. “She has been moving from open-wheel cars to stock cars with a few ARCA races last year. We want to give her the opportunity to gain more stock car experience by joining our late model team and becoming a member of the Drivers Edge Development program next year.”

Breidinger’s first race with GMS will be April 13 at Orange County Speedway in Rougemont, N.C., in the PRA Super Late Model Series event. She will compete in several PRA and CARS events throughout the season.

– GMS Press Release –

Stacked Field set for CARS Tour opener at SNMP

Below you will find the drivers pre-entered for the CARS Tour Season opener at Southern National Motorsports Park

CARS LMSC Tour Pre Entered Drivers:
#06 Terry Dease
#08 Deac McCaskill
#07 Bradley McCaskill
#01 Camden Guillie
#1 Craig Moore
#1P Brody Pope
#2 Brandon Pierce
#2S Myatt Snider
#4 Jonathan Findley
#4H Leland Honeyman
#12 Ryan Wilson
#16 Chad McCumbee
#16S RD Smith
#17 Taylor Gray
#17P Stacy Puryear
#18 Riley Herbst
#19 Cameron Bowen
#19C Jessica Cann
#22 Bobby McCarty
#23 Terry Brooks Jr.
#25 Zack St. Onge
#27 Tommy Lemons
#51 Matt Cox
#54 Drew Dollar
#57 Justin Carroll
#63 Tyler Matthews
#74 Ronald Hill
#77 Trevor Ward
#81 Mini Tyrrell
#88 Josh Berry
#98 Adam Lemke
#99 Layne Riggs
(32 total)

CARS SLM Tour Pre Entered Drivers:
#00 Anthony Cataldi
#2 Trevor Noles
#2T Gracie Trotter
#6 Brandon Setzer
#6W Matt Wallace
#7 Justin Crider
#8 Tate Fogleman
#14 Jared Fryar
#16 Molly Helmuth
#17 Mike Speeney
#21 Trey Bayne
#22 Tim Hollis
#24 Colin Garrett
#24D Mason Diaz
#26 Bubba Pollard
#27 Tyler Church
#33 Preston Peltier
#34 Nolan Pope
#37 Dan Speeney
#45 Kodie Conner
#49 Jeff Batten
#51 Stephen Nasse
#54 Matt Craig
#61 Gabriel Fogg
#66 Steve Wallace
#97 Brandon Lynn
#98 Jody Measamer
(27 total)

Kurt Busch to run 1999 Southwest Series Throwback at Vegas

CONCORD, N.C. – Chip Ganassi Racing announced a partnership with Las Vegas-based Star Nursery to be the primary sponsor on the No. 1 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, driven by Las Vegas native Kurt Busch, when the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday, Mar. 3. The No. 1 Star Nursery Camaro will feature livery to match the car that Busch drove to his first NASCAR Championship 20 years ago.

Star Nursery

The No. 1 Chevy Camaro ZL1 will feature a throwback design, similar to the Star Nursery Chevy Monte Carlo that Busch drove to the 1999 NASCAR Southwest Series championship. Busch and Star Nursery have enjoyed a relationship for more than two decades, beginning with his early racing days at the LVMS Bullring.

“It’s hard to believe that it has been 20 years since I won the Championship in the NASCAR Southwest Series,” Busch said. “Craig Keough and everyone at Star Nursery has been with me since I began racing. It is special for me to have what I consider one of the most special paint schemes of my career. This Star Nursery car is what spring-boarded me to big-time racing and having a chance to pursue my NASCAR dreams.”

Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown Cancelled for 2019

The Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown, which drew an estimated 7,000 fans to Larry King Law’s Langley Speedway a year ago, has been canceled for the 2019 season.

Race coordinator Buck Reuss said that the Denny Hamlin Foundation, which conducts the charity stock car racing event, sent him a statement on Wednesday about the status of the Showdown, which had been scheduled for April 11 at Langley.

“At this time, there are no plans to host Denny Hamlin’s Short Track Showdown in 2019,” the DHF statement read. “A lot of factors need to properly align in order to produce an event like this.

“The Denny Hamlin Foundation has been fortunate to host the charity race nine times over the last 11 years, benefiting Cystic Fibrosis research and therapy. We anticipate the Short Track Showdown will return to the racing calendar in future years.”

The 2019 showdown featured two-time Daytona 500 winner Hamlin, a former division champion at Langley, and former NASCAR Cup champion Kyle Busch, against a quality field of regional stock car drivers. Hamlin edged Busch to win the race.

Reuss said that despite the large crowd, the race is expensive to put on because of its purse of more than $100,000 last year and expensive Late Model rentals for three of the drivers, including Hamlin and Busch. He said that the foundation would like to continue its relationship with Langley in the future, perhaps with a more economical special race that includes a meet-and-greet with Hamlin and other stars.

Days before his victory in the recent Daytona 500, Hamlin spoke to reporters about the Showdown and his desire to give back to grass roots racing.

“I wanted to see something that the short-track guys enjoyed going to, something of a big race that they look at and want to win, one that they consider very prestigious,” he said. “We had a couple of those events in my day racing Late Models.

“There were four or five of them that were marquee events. You knew ‘if you win this one, you’ve beaten the best competition.’ For me, it’s carrying on that legend.

“It’s one of our most important fund raisers. I always say, `one of’ the most important, but it’s also certainly not the most profitable. But it’s not meant to be.

“It’s really about giving back to the short-track community more so than raising money for the charity. If we made zero dollars then it was still a good weekend for us.”

 

– Via Langley Speedway