Tyler Hughes introduced during driver introductions at the 2016 Thanksgiving Classic. (Andy Marquis/Race22.com photo)

Tyler Hughes Ready for Competition at Southern National

After an impressive late model stint at Southern National Motorsports Park last season, Maryland driver Tyler Hughes is ready to return to racing at one of North Carolina’s most competitive late model tracks.

In 2016, Hughes had a mixed season featuring starts in the late model division at the new Dominion Raceway where he won the inaugural race in a controversial finish as well as a handful of K&N Pro Series East starts. By the numbers however, Hughes’ greatest success comes from Lucama’s 4/10 mile oval.

In five starts at Southern National last season, Hughes scored three wins, four top fives, and five top tens. His worst finish was tenth in the season-ending Thanksgiving Classic, which featured a deep field of 31 of some of the best Late Model Stock Car racers in the country.

Entering Southern National’s opener on March 4th, Hughes plans on taking care of business as usual.

“I have a lot of confidence and high expectations,” Hughes told Race22.com. “There’s no reason why we can’t win.”

Hughes has already started his 2017 campaign with an appearance in the Icebreaker at Myrtle Beach Speedway, where he finished 12th.

“We are making improvements to run better at Myrtle Beach, but we were missing in something in the Icebreaker,” Hughes commented. “We qualified well, but didn’t do well enough on the long run to get back the the front. It’s a tricky track to get down for only our second season. We’ll be sure to do more testing to make ourselves for the [Myrtle Beach] 400 later this season.”

Being from Maryland, Hughes plans on running a full season of Virginia tracks in pursuit of the state title, including Dominion Raceway and Langley Speedway, but will also be making visits to Southern National, among other distant tracks.

“We are in for a full season of late models this year,” Hughes commented. “We want to focus on winning a championship, and our best shot to do that is with late models. Our primary focus is to win a track title but we are still chasing state and national points, and this weekend’s race will definitely allow us to reap some national points.”

As far as the competition, Hughes could not be more excited.

“I think there will be a lot of still competition at this race,” Hughes commented. “With no other tracks in the area running this weekend, we are excited to just get out there and race.”

The Dogwood 300 will be held on March 4th at Southern National Motorsports Park. The green flag drops at 2pm with 150 lap features for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model Stock Cars and the PASS Southern Super Late Model Tour. More information can be found at snmpark.com. Race22.com will have coverage throughout the weekend.

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Charlie Alexander