Tri-County Motor Speedway, one of the most iconic tracks known in asphalt racing in the Southeast. It’s also home of the mid-summer race for the CARS Tour. The CARS Tour and Tri-County Motor Speedway, believed by many is a “match made in heaven”, with the caliber of competition of the Tour in both divisions. The race track has the characteristics of most of the tracks ran on the CARS Tour: old, worn out, and most of all in Tri-County’s case, WIDE. Although, it wouldn’t be a summer time race without an afternoon chance of precipitation and that is exactly what happened. Luckily, the worst of the storm missing the race track and the process of drying the track was set to begin. Qualifying and Driver Introductions were washed away, according to the CARS Tour, anytime precipitation comes into play, the lineups were set by final practice times. One hour behind schedule, Super Late Model drivers were called to their cars.
Matt Craig and Brandon Setzer would lead the twelve car field to the green flag. Around the lap 20 mark in the race, Jake Crum driving for Donnie Wilson Racing would take to the upper groove of the track and would proceed to take the lead. That would be short lived as Matt Craig would work his way back around the Crum machine and never look back. The only other challenge for Craig was lap traffic which didn’t slow him down much, lapping all the way up to 8th place Matthew Thomas. In a caution-free 100-lap event, Matt Craig takes the Checkered-flag, with Brandon Setzer, Jake Crum rounding out the podium positions.
In a post-race interview with CARS Tour announcer Tony Stevens, Craig was asked of how easy the race was from behind the wheel. Craig said, “I don’t like to be cocky much, but I have to admit, that was very easy, and having a great handling race car makes a difference.” Craig is no stranger to dominating races as he showed that same dominance at the Greenville-Pickens Speedway last June with the CARS Tour. Matt Craig has been a fixture in Super Late Model racing for awhile now and he shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
Afterwards, it was time for the Late Model Stocks to take to the historic Tri-Countu Motor Speedway. Craig Moore and Ty Gibbs would lead the twenty plus car field to the green for a 100-lap affair. Craig Moore would jump out to the lead early as Gibbs started to fall through the field quickly. Moore’s first challenger was tour regular Deac McCaskill, he would get alongside Moore and take the lead. A few laps later, Brandon Grosso jumped to the outside of McCaskill and grabbed the lead, as the pair would go side-by-side with little to no contact for at least the 30 laps with Craig Moore just behind. When the field took lap 80, as Grosso and McCaskill were still battling, “Mr. Excitement” Garrett Campbell filling in for the injured Jared Fryar would go to “his home” at Tri-county on the outside groove of the racetrack and get by Moore with ease. Then a few laps later, Campbell made a move that will leave fans, drivers and many more reminiscing forever. Garrett Campbell made it a three-wide battle for the lead for two laps and take the lead and put a huge gap between him and the leaders with lap traffic also in the mix. Meanwhile, Josh Berry began to make some noise as well as he found some grip on the outside of the track. When the white flag came out, fans began to pack their things and head back through the gates, but coming off turn 4 “low and behold” the caution is out on the track. Ty Gibbs and Chris Davis would get together slowing down the field.
The only caution on the evening would set up a Green-White-Checkered finish to decide the Late Model Stock race. As the green came back out, Campbell on the outside forcing Josh Berry to the bottom of the speedway, with the white flag in the air, Josh Berry cleared Garrett Campbell off the bottom of the track. As the field went into Turn 3 on the final lap, Garrett Campbell throwed a “slidejob” across the track and tried to stop Berry’s run off the top of the track, instead Berry lifts early and cuts the wheel to the left and cuts under Campbell and Josh Berry gets the win at the line. Garrett Campbell being a “fill-in” driver came home with second, a career run for Brandon Grosso with third-place, Deac McCaskill fourth and Anthony Alfredo rounding out the top five.
Next race for the CARS Tour is the highly anticipated $10k to win Super Late Model race at the Orange County Speedway in Rougemont, NC on July 22nd and then August 5th is the Throwback 276 at Hickory Motor Speedway. Throwback schemes and special guests are also apart of that weekend.
Photo Credits: Unknown