Category Archives: Late Models

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

SNMP releases 2019 Schedule

Below is the 2019 schedule for Southern National Motorsports Park…

Some Highlights include… the return of the CARS Tour, a visit from the Super Cup Stock Car Series and the return of the SMRS Modifieds along with the Annual Thanksgiving Classic.

CARS Tour Announces 2019 Touring 12 Driver Lineup

2019 CARS Late Model Stock Car Tour “Touring 12”

Josh Berry – Mooresville, NC – JR Motorsports

Tour veteran Josh Berry returns to the CARS Tour full time again for the 2019 season driving for Dale Earnhardt Jr’s JR Motorsports team. Berry, the most successful driver in CARS Late Model Stock Tour history, was the 2017 series champion, and is atop of the history books with the most wins (14) and $111,203 in winnings credited to his name.

 

Adam Lemke – Hollister, CA – JR Motorsports

JR Motorsports second full time entry will once again be a part of the Touring 12 program in 2019. Last year the car was driven by Sam Mayer, this year Adam Lemke from Hollister, California will compete as a TORP Chassis Rookie of the Year contender. The 16 year old was the 2018 USAC Western Midget Series champion and took home Rookie of the Year honors at Madera Speedway in the Pro Late Model division.

 

Layne Riggs – Bahama, NC – Scott Riggs Enterprises

Three time series winner Layne Riggs, son of former NASCAR driver Scott Riggs, looks for an opportunity to get back to chasing the CARS Tour championship in 2019. The Bahama, NC driver suffered an off track shoulder injury that took him out of contention for the championship hunt in 2018 but still managed a 6th in points.

 

Trevor Ward – Winston Salem, NC – MK Racing

In 2018 Trevor Ward competed full time on the tour in his rookie season. After a slow start to the year Ward and his family owned team peaked to close out the year. Ward scored his first career top five finish and lead laps at his home track of Ace Speedway, scored an MPI Steering Wheel Hard Charger award on his way to a 7th place finish at South Boston in the season finale and finished 4th at Martinsville in a non-CARS Tour sanctioned event, in what was career run for the Winston-Salem driver.

 

Brandon Pierce – Oak Ridge, NC – Lee Pulliam Performance

Brandon Pierce return to the CARS Tour after his rookie season.  This season Pierce returns with a new team that will be a part of the Touring 12 program in 2019. After finishing 9th in the driver standings with Nelson Motorsports in 2018 Pierce has moved over to the Lee Pulliam Performance stable for the upcoming season.

 

Bobby McCarty – Summerfield, NC – Nelson Motorsports

McCarty scored the 2018 CARS Late Model Stock Tour championship, winning four races while driving for powerhouse team Nelson Motorsports. The Summerfield, NC driver has catapulted his name to being in the conversation as one of the best drivers in Late Model Stock racing right now. McCarty will look to do what no driver has ever done in any CARS Tour division – repeat as a tour champion.

 

Craig Moore – Rougemont, NC – Craig Moore Racing

Craig Moore is another driver/owner combo returning to the program for the second consecutive year. Moore had a disappointing 2018 season that saw some strong runs but no racing luck.  That all changed at the season finale in South Boston when he shocked many in attendance by scoring an impressive first career CARS Tour win.

 

Mini Tyrrell – Manassas, VA – Timmy Tyrrell Racing

New to the tour after becoming age eligible in 2018, Mini Tyrrell, competed in the season finale at South Boston a season ago. The Manassas, VA youngster has been competing in Late Model Stocks for several years, but will compete for TORP Chassis Rookie of the Year honors this season on the CARS Tour circuit.

 

Ronald Hill – Rougemont, NC – Ronald Hill Racing

Ronald “The Thrill” Hill once again returns for his fourth full time season on the CARS Tour. The well-known veteran driver from Rougemont, NC finished 7th in series standings in 2018 and also scored his best career finish of 2nd at Myrtle Beach.

 

Bradley McCaskill – Wendell, NC – Renfrow-McCaskill Racing

Bradley McCaskill and his Renfrow-McCaskill Racing team return to the tour after a disappointing 2018 season. McCaskill, who is one of seventeen drivers in CARS Late Model Stock Tour history to score a win, looks to get his team back on track for the 2019 calendar year.

 

Deac McCaskill – Raleigh, NC – Boyce McCaskill

All time CARS Tour starts leader (44), Deac McCaskill, and his family owned team join the Touring 12 program for the first time in 2019. In addition to the most starts, McCaskill was the 2016 series champion and has the second most wins and career winnings in series history. McCaskill looks to get back to championship form after finishing 3rd in the standings with one win a season ago.

 

Justin Carroll – Concord, NC – John Carroll

Another family owned driver/team combo that will be new to the Touring 12 group in 2019 is 2017 Throwback 276 winner Justin Carroll. The Concord, NC driver has twelve tour starts to his credit with four coming each year dating back to the 2016 season. Carroll will finally make the jump to full time CARS Tour competition this season.

Pope to run for CARS Tour SLM Title

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Nolan Pope is going to be staying very busy this year after signing a new deal with Lee Faulk Racing and Development to contest the full CARS Super Late Model Tour schedule.

Pope, 21, ran the full CARS Super Late Model Tour schedule in 2017 before running only two events in 2018. He has a best finish of third in CARS Super Late Model Tour competition, which came in 2017 at Virginia’s Dominion Raceway.

The CARS Super Late Model Tour season begins on March 9 with a $10,000-to-win event at Southern National Motorsports Park in Kenly, N.C.

“I got the chance to run the CARS Tour schedule once before, so I’m pretty excited to do it again,” said Pope. “We’ve run well against the CARS Tour in the past and our goal is to be consistently in the top-five and start challenging for wins this year. With Lee Faulk Racing behind me I know we can do it.”

In addition to his CARS Super Late Model Tour schedule, Pope will also be competing in additional super late model events around the country. He’ll start his season by competing in the SpeedFest event at Georgia’s Crisp Motorsports Park on Jan. 25-26.

Pope, who scored a pair of victories in late model stock car competition in 2018 at South Carolina’s Anderson Motor Speedway, also plans to compete in the Rattler 250 at South Alabama Speedway and the Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway in Florida, among others.

“I’m beyond excited to get this season going,” said Pope. “Thank you to Lee Faulk Racing for believing in me and trusting me to get the job done. Races like SpeedFest and the Snowball Derby are bucket-list races. I want to go down there and show everyone just how good we are.

“Thanks to my parents, Lee Faulk Racing, MPM Marketing, my sponsor Wiley X and all my friends for helping me get this far. I can’t wait to see everybody at the track.”

Lee Faulk Racing and Development’s Michael Faulk said he is excited to have Pope back for another season.

“Nolan made huge gains last year behind the wheel,” said Faulk. “He picked up a couple of wins and we think that’s just the start for this young man. He only made a few super late model starts last year but he performed well when he raced, which was fantastic. We’re looking forward to more strong performances this year and hopefully some visits to victory lane.”

Super Late Models dropped from Myrtle Beach Icebreaker

Myrtle Beach Speedway announced on Friday (1/11/19) that they would be dropping the Super Late Model portion of the 2019 Icebreaker via Facebook…

“Due to the low number of entrants and teams committed to Florida’s speedweek events, we have decided to cancel the Super Late Model portion of the IceBreaker.

With that being said however, we are still excited about the “4th Annual IceBreaker!” Great car counts are expected for the Late Models, Carolina Mini Stock Challenge, and Street Stocks. This will be the 2019 kick off event for Late Models in the region, and the second event for Mini Stocks and Street Stocks coming off their openers at neighboring Dillon Motor Speedway. Late Models will go 125 laps, while Mini Stocks and Street Stocks will be bumped up to 50 lap features each.

We hope to see you here for the green flag at 2:30 pm on February 2nd as we officially begin our 2019 season. For more details on this event and all things Myrtle Beach Speedway, please visit mbspeedway.com

This is the second time that MBS has had to remove Super Late Models from an event due to low entries.

Ray Evernham aquires JRI Shocks

Mooresville, NC- Motorsports Icon and NASCAR Hall of Famer Ray Evernham announced today his acquisition of JRi Shocks, effective immediately. JRi Shocks founder, Jeff Ryan, will continue to play a leading role in the organization as a Partner and Vice President of Engineering.

“Since retiring from the competition side of NASCAR, I have been itching to find an opportunity to continue using my experience in business and engineering, so when JRi was presented to me it was a natural fit,” said Evernham, CEO and President of JRi Shocks. “I have worked with Jeff Ryan for more than 30 years and have always known he was one of the most innovative shock designers in the motorsports industry, but what really drew me to JRi is the work Jeff and his team are doing outside of racing. From street performance to off-road, they are creating some of the most functional, highest quality shocks on the market. I am really looking forward to working with Jeff to take JRi to the next level.”

Evernham will be heavily involved in all areas of the business, including marketing and sales strategy, new product design and operations. Under the new ownership, JRi will focus on better serving their existing customers, expanding their product offerings in current markets and continuing to gain market share in the aftermarket shock industry.

“With Ray Evernham as the owner and with same shared disciplines, JRi will be able to focus on product innovation and achieve our ultimate goal of delivering the best products and services to our customers. I am looking forward to writing JRi’s next chapter while building on our current performance with a dedicated team in place that has been chosen to pilot the future trajectory of the company,” said Jeff Ryan, Partner and Vice President of Engineering JRi Shocks.

JRi Shocks’ new headquarters will be located at 115 Eastbend Court, Mooresville, NC 28117.

-JRi Shocks Press Release

Gragson – From Short Track roots to the Xfinity Series in 2019

JR Motorsports announced Tuesday that Camping World Truck Series driver, Noah Gragson would be joining the organization in 2019. It was no ordinary Driver Reveal or Press Release as the team went full JRM 360 in their latest Facebook video as seen below titled “Credential Required”…

 

Noah Gragson started his NASCAR journey like most other young guns did in the sport, started racing Bandoleros at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway Bullring at the age of 13, eventually moving to compete in Late Models. Gragson also competed in the INEX Legends car series, winning the 2014 Young Lion Road Course championship.

Gragson competed in both the K&N Pro Series East and the K&N Pro Series West in 2016, winning a combined four races. On October 7, he was hired by Kyle Busch Motorsports to compete in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2017. In preparation, he drove the No. 18 Toyota from KBM at the Phoenix International Raceway and Homestead-Miami Speedway events in an entry fielded by Wauters Motorsports. In his debut at Phoenix, Gragson qualified 14th and finished 16th. Gragson raced at Homestead as well, qualifying 10th and finishing 15th. In 2017, he recorded his first career Truck win in the fall at Martinsville Speedway and finished tenth in points.

He returned to the No. 18 KBM truck for the 2018 season, while also making his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut in the No. 18 for Joe Gibbs Racing at Richmond Raceway as part of a three-race schedule that included further starts at Talladega Superspeedway and Dover International Speedway. His racing slate also included starts on the NASCAR Pinty’s Series and CARS Tour circuits in an effort to make himself a better driver via more seat time.

Noah currently sits 2nd in the NCWTS points (9/25/18) as he is still going for his first NASCAR Championship.

As the Video notes, Noah will be taking over the No.1 machine that has been piloted by Elliott Sadler since the 2016 Season. Current rumors are that Noah will be bringing his current sponsors, Switch and Safelite Autoglass with him as he joins JRM.

Article Photo by: Jason Wedehase