In a week where rain dominated the forecast leading up to the Throwback 276, warm and muggy weather conditions greeted over five dozen competitors in the CARS Response Energy LMSC and SLM Tours on Saturday afternoon at Hickory Motor Speedway. The competitive depth in both divisions created an opportunity for new faces to work their way to the top, but it would be the veterans that would find themselves leading their respective fields to the green flag.

Four of the top five qualifiers in the Late Model feature had all visited victory lane prior to Saturday, but it would be defending CARS Response Energy LMSC Tour champion Josh Berry who would secure the pole position with a lap of 15.219. Berry, who will be running the #73 as a tribute to former driver LW Miller, has won two CARS LMSC Tour races at Hickory during his career, and will be looking to overcome his struggles throughout the year to pick up his first victory of the 2018 season.

Deac McCaskill, who will pilot the #60 Winn-Dixie Late Model as a tribute to Mark Martin’s success in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, will line up alongside Berry on the front row, while Layne Riggs will look to pick up his second consecutive CARS LMSC Tour victory in the same #10 Nesquik scheme driven by his father in the NASCAR Xfinity Series from 2002 to 2003. Rounding out the Top 5 were the Nelson Motorsports teammates of Brandon Pierce and Timothy Peters, while current CARS LMSC Tour points leader Bobby McCarty will start behind them in 6th.

Justin Carroll, who won the Throwback 276 in 2017, struggled to find speed in his car throughout both practice sessions, and was forced to settle for a disappointing 20th place starting spot. Austin McDaniel, who Carroll outdueled alongside Anthony Alfredo in the final ten laps of last year’s race, will be looking to pick up his first career victory driving a scheme modeled after Darrell Waltrip’s 1991 Western Auto car, but will have to climb his way up through the field from the 12th position.

In the Super Late Model division, Preston Peltier carried over his fast pace from practice and put his #33 Late Model on the pole with a time of 14.723. Kodie Conner, who elected to pay tribute to former USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series driver Bobby Gill during the weekend, showcased some of the same speed that brought Gill many years of success during his career, as his lap of 14.782 earned him the outside pole for tonight’s Super Late Model feature.

Starting in the 4th position will be Brandon Setzer, who is making his first CARS SLM Tour start after serving an indefinite suspension following a post-race altercation between him and Raphael Lessard in the Cloer Construction 300, which was triggered after Lessard spun Setzer coming to the checkered flag following a close battle between the two for the lead. Setzer consistently posted solid lap times throughout practice, and is expected to be one of the fastest cars in tonight’s feature alongside his rival Lessard, who will line up in the seventh position.

Chandler Smith, who nearly won the Cloer Construction 300 after wrecking twice coming to the checkered flag, will start in the 3rd position, while Late Model veteran Bubba Pollard will start fifth. Corey Heim will line up sixth in the #28 Davey Allison tribute Late Model, while Tate Fogleman will look to defend his Throwback 276 SLM victory from the eighth position.

SLM Feature Lineup:

1. 33 Preston Peltier- 14.723
2. 5 Kodie Conner- 14.782
3. 26s Chandler Smith- 14.790
4. 6s Brandon Setzer- 14.793
5. 26p Bubba Pollard- 14.813
6. 28 Corey Heim- 14.848
7. 51 Raphael Lessard- 14.890
8. 8 Tate Fogleman- 14.899
9. 48 Jared Fryar- 14.903
10. 6w Matt Wallace- 14.908
11. 7c Tyler Church- 14.921
12. 63 Matt Craig- 14.926
13. 24 Mason Diaz- 14.952
14. 9 Chris Dilbeck- 14.962
15. 3j Anthony Cataldi- 14.964
16. 57 Austin Theriault- 14.976
17. 2b Jeff Batten- 14.980
18. 2t Gracie Trotter- 14.991
19. 58 Tyler Ankrum- 15.007
20. 3 Wayne Jefferson- 15.019
21. 13 Jody Measamer- 15.056
22. 87 Matt Thomas- 15.063
23. 17 Mike Speeney- 15.081
24. 7 Molly Helmuth- 15.085
25. 34 Nolan Pope- 15.101
26. 4b Amber Balcean- 15.107
27. 2g Darrell Gilchrist- 15.134
28. 12 Taylor Stricklin- 15.177

LMSC Feature Lineup:

1. 73 Josh Berry- 15.219
2. 60 Deac McCaskill- 15.231
3. 10 Layne Riggs- 15.267
4. 2p Brandon Pierce- 15.278
5. 12 Timothy Peters- 15.299
6. 77m Bobby McCarty- 15.302
7. 18 Ty Gibbs- 15.305
8. 5 Lee Pulliam- 15.312
9. 36 Cole Glasson- 15.312
10. 24 Mason Diaz- 15.323
11. 75 Landon Huffman- 15.325
12. 17m Austin McDaniel- 15.336
13. 2 Cody Haskins- 15.340
14. 22 Bradley McCaskill- 15.342
15. 2L Kevin Leicht- 15.355
16. 5h Riley Herbst- 15.380
17. 17 Craig Moore- 15.397
18. 6 Charlie Watson- 15.402
19. 54 Tommy Lemons Jr.- 15.420
20. 7 Justin Carroll- 15.421
21. 5b Thomas Beane- 15.423
22. 51 Grayson Cullather- 15.428
23. 29 Mitch Walker- 15.428
24. 28 Sam Mayer- 15.430
25. 77d Dylon Wilson- 15.437
26. 3 Chris Denny- 15.443
27. 4 Craig Stallard- 15.455
28. 27 Ronald Hill- 15.506