For the second consecutive race the CARS Response Energy LMSC Tour will make an inaugural visit to a track the series has never competed at before. Just like the tour, many of the competitors, including names like Bobby McCarty, Lee Pulliam, Josh Berry, and Deac McCaskill have never seen the 4/10th mile track, located on North Carolina’s Crystal Coast in Swansboro, NC, near Emerald Isle Beach. When breaking down the entry list a vast majority of the tour regulars have not competed at the track that opened in September of 2015. This could play in to the hand of the two series newcomers that have raced regularly at Carteret. Tyler Matthews, the 2017 track champion, and Sarah Cornett-Ching both have the experience over the field when it comes to track time.
Cornett-Ching Sees Advantage in Knowing the Track
Sarah Cornett-Ching is a name that many that follow short track racing are familiar with. Her exploits behind the wheel have led her to compete in the PASS Super Late Model series, ARCA Series, and most recently at the Carteret County Speedway behind the wheel of a Limited Late Model. This weekend Cornett-Ching will continue to add to her diverse resume, as she makes her CARS Response Energy LMSC Tour debut in the Solid Rock Carriers 125 pres. by Sportsman’s Wholesale. While this will be her first true LMSC race, Cornett-Ching feels like the knowledge of the track gives her a slight advantage over the tour regulars headed into the weekend.
“I’m excited about racing with the CARS Tour,” Cornett-Ching said. “It’s a professional series with a lot of talented and experienced drivers behind the wheel. I know I haven’t raced at Carteret a lot but hopefully the two Limited Late Model races that I ran the last few weeks will play to my advantage. Even though I’ve raced a lot of different classes over my career, this weekend will actually be my first true Late Model Stock Car race. No matter, I’m really looking forward to representing Bobby Watson’s track as a ‘local’ per say. He’s put a lot into this place and I’m proud to consider it my home track.”
Lemons Jr. Liking Life Back Behind the Wheel
Over the past several seasons longtime CARS Tour veteran Tommy Lemons Jr has taken on more of a crew chief role for his Jumpstart Motorsports team rather than driving. Lemons Jr. has guided the way for Craig Stallard, Justin Johnson, and most recently, Grayson Cullather in their CARS Tour tenure. After the mutual decision between Cullather and Lemons Jr. to part ways the opportunity to get back behind the wheel has opened up. While Lemons Jr. wants to continue growing his developmental program, life behind the wheel of his familiar #27 Jumpstart Motorsports machine feels pretty good right now.
“The winner ain’t the one with the fastest car, it’s the one who refuses to lose,” Lemons commented. “That was Dale Earnhardt’s approach, and I’m using the same right now.”
Big Crowd Anticipated at Carteret
While many of the competitors have never seen or raced at Carteret County Speedway, there are lots of fans that have been in attendance to catch some short track racing on the Crystal Coast. Widely known as one of the nicest new facilities on the East Coast; a large crowd is anticipated for the CARS Response Energy Tour race Saturday night. All indications show that this race could come close, if not surpass, the largest attended race in CARS Tour history, which came a season ago at Hickory Motor Speedway as part of the Throwback 276 weekend. With the addition of the Carolina Mini-Stock Challenge and Legends Car divisions, fans will be treated to one of the biggest events at Carteret County Speedway all season long.
“We are looking forward to hosting the best drivers in Late Model Stock Car racing, with us Saturday night,” Andy Marquis, public relations director for Carteret County Speedway, explained. “The CARS Response Energy Tour is the best series in short track racing right now, and because of that we’re expecting a strong amount of fan support from the community. A majority of the drivers in the field have never raced with us, which should make for a very intriguing race given the lack of track time leading up to the green flag. Plus we expect a strong field of Legends cars and the Carolina Mini-Stock Challenge should also have a nice car count and an entertaining race. Overall Carteret County Speedway is the place to be this weekend if your anywhere near the Crystal Coast.”
CARS TOUR ENTRY LIST:
- #07 Bradley McCaskill
- #1 Craig Moore
- #2 Cody Haskins
- #2P Brandon Pierce
- #5 Lee Pulliam
- #9 Sam Mayer
- #9W Charlie Watson
- #18 Ty Gibbs
- #22 Deac McCaskill
- #22M Bobby McCarty
- #27 Tommy Lemons, Jr.
- #28 Tyler Matthews
- #44 TBD
- #74 Ronald Hill
- #77 Trevor Ward
- #88 Josh Berry
- #99 Layne Riggs
- #99C Sarah Cornett-Ching
Track/Location: Carteret County Speedway – Swansboro, NC
Track Size: .40-mile
Event Name: Crystal Coast 125
Laps/Distance: 125L/50 miles
Event Schedule: Practice: 1:45PM-3:15PM, Qualifying: 5:20PM, Green: 7:30PM LMSC
Twitter Handle/Event Hashtag: @CARSTour / @carteretcoswy / #CrystalCoast125
- Speed51 (speed51.com) will provide Trackside Now Live Coverage
- Race22 (race22.com) will provide Raceday Live Coverage
- Short Track Scene (shorttrackscene.com)
- CARS Tour TV (www.carstour.tv) – LIVE Broadcast Video Production Coverage
- CARS Tour Facebook (facebook.com/CARSTour) / CARS Tour Twitter (@CARSTour)
For more information and to stay up with all the latest news and information about the CARS Response Energy Tour, featuring both Late Model Stock Car and Super Late Model divisions, visit www.carsracingtour.com or contact the tour’s office directly at 704-662-9212. Stay social with the tour by “liking” the CARS Tour Facebook page and following along on Twitter @CARSTour.