Category Archives: Short Tracks

Butcher to drive for GMS Racing at Thanksgiving Classic

Hot off the heels of a successful streak of Legend Car races including five wins and a championship at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Australian racer Bronson Butcher has been offered the opportunity to take his talents to the Super Late Model ranks. Current NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) Champion and NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) team, GMS Racing, will field a Super Late Model for Butcher at the annual Thanksgiving Classic at Southern National Motorsports Park in Kenly, NC.
Butcher, a mechanic for over five years with GMS Racing and who currently travels weekly with the No. 23 NXS car of Spencer Gallagher, is relishing the chance to make the step up in his career.
“It’s been a long time coming,” stated Butcher. “I’ve put in a lot of hard work during my time here in the (United) States and GMS Racing has supported me the whole way. I’m excited to take this next step with the team.”
Butcher hopes to capitalize on this opportunity and is working with GMS Racing on putting together a full schedule for the 2018 racing season.
“We are thrilled to be able to put this deal together for Bronson and for the GMS team,” said Mike Beam GMS Racing General Manager. “We are always looking to grow our program and the more drivers we can get in the seat, the better. Bronson is a dedicated and hard-working driver, and we look forward to seeing him behind the wheel.”

-GMS Press Release-

Emerling dominates at Bristol, scores first career NWMT victory

Patrick Emerling swept his way to Victory Lane with a near-perfect performance at Bristol Motor Speedway on Wednesday.

The Orchard Park, New York, driver was fastest in practice, won the Coors Light Pole Award and proceeded to lead 148 of the 150 laps en route to his first career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour victory.

“It’s just a dream come true,” said Emerling following the win at the historic track dubbed ‘Thunder Valley.’ “It’s incredible. We only run a handful of the Whelen Tour races and to come down here and win practice, catch the pole and lead every single lap, it’s an incredible feeling for us as a team.”

The win for the 24-year-old came in his 78th career start and just his third of 2017. He held off challenges from Chase Dowling and Justin Bonsignore on restarts in the first half of the race, then held off four-time tour champion Doug Coby in the dash to the finish.

He crossed the line 1.239 seconds ahead of Coby. Prior to Wednesday, Emerling’s best career finish was a second at New Hampshire in 2015.

For Coby, the second-place finish was the third straight in Whelen Modified Tour competition and it helped him claw back towards the top of the championships standings.

Timmy Solomito, who was caught up in a Lap 68 accident, came home 15th to maintain a two-point edge on Rowan Pennink. Ryan Preece finished fifth and is nine points behind Solomito, while Coby is 17 points back.

Justin Bonsignore finished third and is 19 points out of first. Chase Dowling and Preece rounded out the top five at Bristol.

Andy Seuss was sixth, followed by Pennink, Ronnie Williams, Bobby Santos and Matt Swanson.

Craig dominates to win at SNMP

Matt Craig took the lead from Matt Wallace on lap 28 of Saturday night’s 150 lap PASS South Super Late Model race and never looked back, as he scored his second Southern National win of the year in dominant fashion.

“That’s really cool to sweep the season in PASS, both races,” Craig said after the race. “The car has just been phenomenal. We have a good setup under our piece right now and I think it was a good race. I wish we had a few more cautions there, got strung and my car kept getting a little better and some other ones were fading. It was a lot of fun. I love this track a whole bunch and hope we come back here next year.”

Early in the race, Matt Wallace pulled away with a big lead, until the caution came out for rain. Craig, who had been saving tires, was able to get by and then pull away. He would go on to survive a series of late race restarts to pick up the win, his fourth win of the season in PASS South competition.

“We were just letting off at the flagstand,” Craig explained. “He was running a little hard and I’ve done it before. It takes a while to learn your lesson about that. With five to go, I wasn’t real worried. My crew was giving me the lap times and we felt safe.”

Maine driver Dave Farrington finished the race in second while fellow northern driver Trevor Sanborn was third. Rounding out the top-five were Jared Fryar and veteran Jay Fogleman.

Photo By: Josh Parrish

Sam Hunt ready for NKNPS race at Langley

Sam Hunt is relatively unknown to most in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series (NKNPS) although he has been competing for 5 years. Hunt, now 23 years old, starting racing at the young age of 6, where he started racing Karts. After karts came the transition to asphalt with Limited Late Model and Late Model Stock Car competition. Hunt grabbed a few wins during his LMSC career at Orange County Speedway in Rougemont, NC and Shenandoah Speedway in Shenandoah, VA.

Hunt began competing in the NKNPS at the age of 18 where he has since racked up multiple Top 10’s and Top 15’s in the series.  In 2016, he joined forces with Peyton Sellers to create HSR which granted him the title of the youngest NASCAR team owner at the age of 23. Currently, Sam is a full-time student at Virginia Commonwealth University, and he plans to graduate in the summer of 2017 with a degree in Finance.

Hunt spoke with our own Andrew Fuller about the upcoming NKNPS race at Langley Speedway in September. Hunt was competing at the Hampton Heat this past Saturday along with future late model races at Langley in preparation for the event.

“We are doing this race and another race to kinda get ourselves ready for the K&N race and to get my self some time on the track. I feel that the laps will be valuable and we’ll be ready come time in September” said Hunt.

Hunt came home in the 15th position at the Hampton Heat 200 on Saturday out of 31 cars that started the event.

Photo by: Andrew Fuller

PASS set to return to SNMP this weekend

Following the cancellation due to thunderstorms last race, the Pro All Stars Series (PASS) South Super Late Models will get another chance to tackle the high banks of Southern National Motorsports Park. PASS officials announced today that the south’s oldest Super Late Model tour will now return to Southern National on Saturday night, July 29th.

Many of North America’s best Super Late Model racers are already making plans to attend the biggest and newest event of the year, the Mason-Dixon MegaMeltdown 300 at Hickory Motor Speedway in November, paying $15,000 to the winner. The top three finishers of the 150 lap PASS South Super Late Model race at Southern National Motorsports Park will receive guaranteed starting spots in the Mason-Dixon MegaMeltdown 300, which will also be nationally televised on MAV TV. The only stipulation is that teams receiving these guaranteed spots must have their entries and entry fees submitted or postmarked by August 1.

Former 2-time PASS National Champion, Jay Fogleman, will make his return to the driver’s seat at Southern National for the first time in over a year. Fogleman plans to compete, alongside his son and fellow former champion, Tate, at Southern National and then at South Boston Speedway in August in preparation for competing in the 44th Annual Oxford 250 at Oxford Plains Speedway.

The Foglemans will be joined at Southern National by PASS South points leader, Matt Craig, along with championship contenders Kodie Conner, Dave Farrington, Jr., Tyler Church, Roy Hayes, and Sarah Cornett-Ching. Local favorites Bradley McCaskill, Jeff Batten, Jody Measamer and Trevor Noles have also filed entries along with the Georgia duo of Kyle and Jordan McCallum.

The popular Mid-Atlantic Street Stocks will join PASS for the big night of racing at Southern National Motorsports Park. An updated schedule for Southern National will be posted on ProAllStarsSeries.com later this week.

McCarty claims Hampton Heat Victory

For longtime fans of  Langley Speedway, the ninth annual Hampton Heat Late Model 200 appeared headed for a finish that locals would remember for years. On consecutive laps, track legends C.E. Falk and Nick Smith, both former Heat winners, would make contact multiple times in a battle for another trophy and the $10,000 winner’s check.

But it wasn’t to be. In the midst of their battle, Bobby McCarty, racing at Langley for the first time, passed them on lap 190 and went on to win by about a half-straightaway over second-place Brenden Queen.

Falk, a three-time Heat winner, finished third, inaugural Heat winner Smith was fourth and Justin T. Carroll was fifth. The win was the second in as many weeks for McCarty, who won at his home track of South Boston a week before.

“The 12 (Smith) and 40 (Falk) started racing so hard and they slipped up the track, and I took my opportunity,” said McCarty, who is from Summerfield, N.C.

McCarty’s win, and even Smith’s late challenge, were unexpected because Falk was so dominant. The all-time leader in Heat history coming into the race with 665 laps led, Falk added 187 more to that total.

He won the pole and led all 100 laps before the 15-minute break at the halfway mark. He and second-place starter Philip Morris banged doors on the front straight at the end of the first lap, but Falk came out ahead.

Morris challenged Falk multiple times for the lead in the first half of the race without success. Morris, a four-time NWAAS national champion, would fade early in the second 100 laps due to a poor handling car.

“I don’t know what everybody else’s car is like,” Falk said at the halfway point, “but mine drives pretty good.”

Smith was Falk’s main challenger on most of the six restarts in the caution filled second half. Falk held him off easily until the final restart on lap 179, when, his tires worn, he could not shake Smith.

Photo by Andrew Fuller

Preece steals the show in NXS race at Loudon

Kyle Busch may have won the Overton’s 200 on Saturday at New Hampshire, but it was Ryan Preece who stole the show.

The 2013 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion was widely impressive in his first race since last season and finished second to Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch. Preece spent all of last season with JD Motorsports but this was his first chance in a quality ride. He made the most of it too.

“This one’s for all the short track guys,” said the 26-year-old Berlin, Connecticut native.  “I work hard week in and out with that modified, so to be able to have this opportunity means a lot to me.”

Preece left JD Racing in December and returned to the Modified Tour because he wanted to win. He believes he can do the same at the highest levels of the sport, but simply needed the right equipment to get there.

Preece ran up front for the entirety of the 200-lap event. He even led for a couple laps at the start of the second stage. While a victory would have been outstanding, Preece understood the significance of a second-place finish.

“To win today, it was going to take beating Kyle Busch,” he said. “I watch him win a lot of races in the Xfinity Series sitting on my couch at home. To be able to finish second to him today was a great accomplishment, and something to build on. But Iowa’s the next task, next goal. I gotta do as much as I can to prepare so we can have another solid finish.”

Preece will get one more shot with Gibbs at Iowa in two weeks. Before then, he needs to figure out what he has to do differently to get everything he can out of such an opportunity.

“I don’t know if I’m overdriving it and building the right front air pressure too quick,” Preece said. “The car seems to be really neutral and then it tends to get on the snugger side. I’m going to get some feedback from Chris (Gabehart), my crew chief, and hopefully from Toyota and Joe Gibbs to see something that I can make better in the future.”

There shouldn’t be any Cup drivers in Iowa to stop Preece next time. That could be what it takes for him to get what would be an emotional first victory.