Category Archives: Short Tracks

Caraway to go up for sale, cutting back remaining schedule

One of the most historic weekly racing facilities in North Carolina is shuttering its weekly racing program effective immediately. Caraway Speedway owners, Darren and Renee Hackett, said on Monday afternoon that Caraway Speedway is scaling back the remainder of its 2018 racing schedule to six events.

 Darren Hackett said a large part of why this is happening is because of the passing of his father and longtime Caraway Speedway owner/promoter, Russell Hackett.

“I think it’s time to hit the reset button and shutter weekly racing at the track,” said Hackett.  “(As far as the sale) The estate has to be settled and the other members are wanting to sell the facility.  At this time, I can’t make the obligation to purchase it, so I’m searching for the right buyer.

“I’m taking this from Dad’s playbook; it’s 1981 all over again. It was really bad back then and by the third week of May car counts had really declined to the point that he shuttered weekly racing.  He took some weeks off and finished the year with special events only. By the end of the season, the crowds and car count was really strong. I’m hoping the same will happen this time around.”

Caraway Speedway opened in 1966 as a dirt track and was paved in 1972. Darren’s father, Russell, purchased the track in 1977 and promoted the facility until 2011 when he turned it over to Darren. Bobby Labonte and Dennis Setzer are two notable NASCAR drivers that have won track championships at Caraway Speedway.

Recently, Caraway Speedway has become a haven for open-wheel Tour-type Modified racing in the Carolinas, along with Bowman Gray Stadium. The Hackett’s, who also own the Southern Modified Racing Series and promote the North-South Shootout, said they are hoping to find a buyer for Caraway that will keep the Modifieds as a priority.

“I have a couple candidates, but I’m really looking for the right one,” explained Darren. “I’m looking for someone that can help it survive. I want someone that has a desire for Modified racing, because without Caraway, Modifieds will fall by the wayside.

“We started down that road (with a prospective buyer) last August. We got about time to sign the paperwork and our buyer backed out.”

“I don’t want it to be a North Wilkesboro or a Rockingham,” added Renee.

“I’m hoping that I can find the right fit to ensure that racing can continue for a very long time in the future,” continued Darren.

The Hackett’s, who also own and promote the 602 Super Limited and Modified Tours in addition to Caraway and the Southern Modified Racing Series, said they will fulfill their obligations to every tour and the North-South Shootout through the rest of this year.

“It is my plan to continue doing it (SMRS) because it is my baby,” explained Renee. “Darren and I have to talk about the financials of doing it; My hope is for it to continue on. I certainly don’t have any plans of not doing it.”

Caraway Speedway’s next event will be on July 7thwhen the Southern Modified Racing Series, will race at the track along with Late Model Stock Cars, and the 602 Super Limited and Modified Tours, which are also owned by the Hackett’s. The Allison Legacy Series will also be on the card that evening.

The Hacketts are passionate about racing and their hearts have poured into the speedway for years.  Now the reset button has been hit and it’s time to figure out the best path for the future of Caraway Speedway.

Caraway Speedway Remaining 2018 Schedule

July 7             SMRS, LMSC, 602 Super Limited and Modifieds, Allison Legacy

July 28           Southeast Super Trucks

Aug. 25          SMRS, 602 Super Limited and Modifieds, Limited Late Models, U-Cars, Mini Stocks

Sept. 3           Labor Day Classic – Limited Late Models, Chargers, Mini Stocks, U-Cars, 602 Modifieds

Sept. 8           SMRS, 602 Super Limited and Modifieds, Limited Late Models, Mini Stocks, U-Cars

Alfredo ready for South Boston return

MDM Motorsports and driver Anthony Alfredo are ready to get their first victory of the 2018 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East season this Saturday, May 12 at South Boston Speedway in South Boston, Virginia.

They’ll have two chances to achieve that goal as twin 100-lap features are on the card. Last year, Harrison Burton grabbed a popular win in one of the races in front of family and friends for MDM, and Alfredo is ready to do the same.

The popular racer will be behind the wheel of the Ceco Building Systems, Oxford Energy, JDRF No. 40 Toyota for his fourth start in the series. He currently sits sixth in the championship standings.

“Going back to South Boston is good,” Alfredo said. “It’s a benefit whenever you can go back to a track you’ve had experience at before. That showed in our last race at Langley, and we’re looking for one spot better at South Boston. I know the car will be fast, and Robert Huffman and the team do an outstanding job, so we should be in great shape on Saturday.”

Huffman was equally optimistic about his team’s chances. “For Anthony, it’s a big boost to go to track where he has high confidence and I think that really showed up at the last race. I wouldn’t expect anything less for this race either. Our team works really hard and we’re after nothing less than a win this weekend.”

-MDM PR-

-Adam Mattox Photo-

Short Track Community Rallies in support of Brandon Setzer

The CARS Tour decision on Tuesday night to suspend Brandon and Dennis Setzer for the remainder of the season due to their involvement in the post-race fight on Saturday night at Hickory Motor Speedway was not taken positively from within the short track industry.

The amount of support the Setzers received from inside the short track industry was astonishing. Several notable current and former drivers chimed in on Twitter to support the Super Late Model winner and his NASCAR legend father.

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Pope with strong runner up at Hickory

HICKORY, N.C. – (April 30, 2018) – Brody Pope made the most of his first start at Hickory Motor Speedway on Saturday night, scoring a runner-up finish in the 50-lap limited late model feature.

With rainouts hampering his racing plans early this year, Pope was anxious to get back on track Saturday evening. Driving for Lee Faulk Racing and Development, Pope qualified his No. 1 limited late model fourth in the field of 23 cars for round three of the Paramount Kia Big 10 Challenge.

Pope started strong and stayed in the top-five throughout the early portion of the race before advancing to second in pursuit of race leader Pat Rachels. Pope was able to get to Rachels’ back bumper and pull alongside him briefly, but he couldn’t complete the pass and settled for a strong second-place effort.

The second-place finish by Pope on Saturday at Hickory is the 18-year-old competitors second runner-up result this season. He also finished second in a 75-lap race at South Carolina’s Greenville-Pickens Speedway in February.

“Considering this is my first time racing at Hickory, I’m really happy with a second place finish,” Pope said. “I tried to get by Pat there late in the race but I couldn’t quite get the pass done and had to settle for second. That makes two second place finishes for me this year and I really think we’re right on the verge of winning. Thanks to Lee Faulk Racing and Development as well as MPM Marketing for everything they’ve done for me. We’re so close to winning, I can taste it.”

Nick Hughes, Pope’s crew chief at Lee Faulk Racing and Development, said Pope drove a smart and patient race Saturday night at Hickory against a stacked field.

“Brody did everything he was supposed to do tonight,” Hughes said. “He ran consistent lap times and that gave him a shot at winning the race in the closing laps. You can’t ask for much more than that. If he keeps running races like that he’ll be in victory lane before we all know it.

 

-MPM Marketing PR-

Entry List – Easter Bunny 150

New Englanders Ben Rowe, Derek Griffith, Derek Ramstrom, DJ Shaw, Bryan Kruczek, Jimmy Renfrew, Sammy Gooden, Joe Squeglia Jr., Gabe Brown, Jake Johnson, Travis Stearns, Dennis Spencer Jr. and Wyatt Alexander have already filed entires.

The southern contigent already includes the likes of two-time PASS South champion Matt Craig, Kodie Conner, Tate Fogleman, Jeff Batten, and Jimmy Doyle. Jerrick Johnson will pilot the MyComputerCareer machine and will be joined by former Hickory winners, Brandon Setzer and Tyler Church, as well as Trevor Noles, Max McLaughlin, Kevin Floars.

And two Canadian provinces are currently represented by Ontario’s, JP Josiasse and New Brunswick’s, Lonnie Sommerville, returning to Hickory for the first time in a number of years.

A surprise late entry was national short track superstar Bubba Pollard. It will be the first time he and Craig have shared the track since their incident at the Greenville Pickens Meltdown in January.

“I’m there to win races,” he said. “I’m not going for him. You’ll never forget it, that’s for sure. It’s always in the back of your mind, but I’m there to win races.”

The action kicks off on Friday, March 30 with optional practice for all competing divisions from 2 – 5:20 p.m.. On Saturday, March 31, practice will begin at 1 p.m., followed by qualifying at 4 p.m., the pit party at 5:30 p.m., last chance race at 6:30 p.m., and features for the PASS South Super Late Models and SMRS Tour Modifieds at 7 p.m.

The complete known entries can be viewed below.

  • JIMMY RENFREW
  • BUBBA POLLARD
  • BRYAN KRUCZEK
  • SAMMY GOODEN
  • JOE SQUELIA JR
  • GABE BROWN
  • TREVOR NOLES
  • LONNIE SOMMERVILLE
  • BEN ROWE
  • MAX MCLAUGHLIN
  • BRANDON SETZER
  • TYLER CHURCH
  • TATE FOGLEMAN
  • DEREK GRIFFITH
  • JAKE JOHNSON
  • TRAVIS STEARNS
  • KEVIN FLOARS
  • DEREK RAMSTROM
  • KODIE CONNER
  • DENNIS SPENCER
  • JEFF BATTEN
  • MATT CRAIG
  • DJ SHAW
  • JIMMY DOYLE
  • JERICK JOHNSON
  • GARRETT HALL
  • WYATT ALEXANDER

PR: Berry 4th, Mayer 15th at MBS

Josh Berry drove his All Things Automotive Chevrolet to a fourth-place finish Saturday night at Myrtle Beach Speedway in the second CARS Response Energy Late Model Stock Car Series event of the season. Teammate Sam Mayer was 15th in his Menard’s/JR Motorsports Chevrolet.

Berry qualified 16th for the Late Model Stock Car part of the BakerDist.com 200 on the big half-mile oval—at which he won the Myrtle Beach 400 last year. During qualifying, a car pulled out right in front of him, and that cost him in the end. As Myrtle Beach is notoriously hard on tires, it wasn’t a huge problem, but did interfere with Berry’s race strategy.

That strategy consisted of saving as much of his tires as he could, and he rode in 20th spot until a competition caution 40 laps in. From there, he set off toward the front of the field and made it as high as fourth with 15 laps remaining before finishing there at the checkered flag.

Mayer qualified 22nd and employed the same tire-saving strategy as Berry. He climbed to 17th by the halfway point and started pushing to gain spots, but by then the tires on his Menards-backed JRM Chevrolet were somewhat the worse for wear. The final 50 laps were an exercise in perseverance for the 14-year-old Badger State driver, and he crossed the line 15th.

Lee Pulliam won the race over Ronald Hill, Justin Johnson, Berry and Bobby McCarty.

The JR Motorsports teams will next see action on April 7, when the CARS Response Energy Tour heads to Wake County Speedway near Raleigh.

Josh Berry, driver No. 88 All Things Automotive Chevrolet team

“We had a really good car in practice, but for some reason when we put on our race tires, we lost speed somewhere. The race got pretty strung out, and I felt like they were setting a pretty fast pace. We dropped back to around 20th saving the tires, but I’m not sure if we could’ve gave up a bit more track position in the beginning. Either way, I still feel like we were missing some speed from where we were in practice and that ended up being the difference. We were still able to work our way up to fourth which was solid. We will work hard and be ready for the next one. Thank you All Things Automotive and all our guys for the hard work this weekend.”

Sam Mayer, driver No. 9 Menards/JR Motorsports Chevrolet team

“The car kept getting better and better all weekend, and we had a really good piece for the race. We qualified worse than we wanted, but we came back to get a top-15 finish. Thanks to the entire JRM team for a good car all weekend!”

Pittman excited to race in front of CARS Tour audience

Article By: Josh Parrish/Photo By: The Auto Channel

Raleigh, NC – On April 7th the CARS Racing Tour will be invading the 1/4 mile bullring of Wake County Speedway alongside the Carolina Mini-Stock Challenge Series (CMSCS)

This event will mark the third race of the 2018 CMSCS race season. After the first two events of the season AJ Sanders leads the points standings followed by 2017 Champion Brandon Clements in 2nd and Shane Canipe in 3rd.

One racer who will be competing at WCS on April 14th is Joseph Pittman who is a former winner at “The County”. Pittman, from Lucama, NC has multiple starts at track and has picked up 1 win in the past in the track’s UCAR division. Pittman currently sits 14th in the CMSCS points after missing race #1 at Myrtle Beach Speedway.

The Solid Rock Carriers 123 is one of the biggest events to be held at WCS in the tracks long running history and the opportunity to run in front of such a large audience is a big deal to many of the drivers in the CMSCS. Pittman told Short Track Central, “I think it’s pretty cool for them to give us a chance to run with them and give some fans a chance to see some other types of cars. I have ran a few races in UCAR with the pro cup series before it switched to what it is now, but there is a huge difference in the fan base from then to now.”
We asked Pittman about who he feels will be the strongest competition in the event, “Clements has always been tough there and I’m sure some of the local guys will be tough as well.” Clements recorded more wins at WCS than any other driver in the Mini-Stock division at WCS in 2017 but fell just one spot short in the points standings to TJ Dillon.
Pittman is no stranger to Wake County Speedway and as mentioned earlier in the article, picked up a win at the speedway a couple seasons ago. He said he looks forward to competing once again at The bullring. “I managed to sneak in 1 UCAR win there a few years ago! So I’m looking forward to see how we can do with the changes that we have made for the series!