Lillington, North Carolina native Joshua Yeoman will be returning to familiar territory on Saturday evening when he and over two dozen other Late Model drivers will battle it out for a victory in the Solid Rock Carriers Crystal Coast 125 at Carteret County Speedway.
Yeoman’s 2019 Late Model season has not gone the way he had envisioned, but he is confident that his car will be strong enough to keep pace with the series regulars and contend for the $6,500 paycheck at the end of the evening.
“We ran the Orange County CARS Tour race and I thought we had a pretty good car,” Yeoman said. “I’ve ran at Carteret several times before and I’ve won there, so I think this will be a good opportunity for us to have a good run.”
Yeoman’s victory at Carteret County came during a feature on June 18, 2016, which he achieved by overcoming adversity during the second half of the race after starting on pole and leading the first 30 laps.
On the 32nd lap of the race, Yeoman found himself at the rear of the field after he lost control of his #2 Late Model while leading, but he would methodically work his way back up to the front before passing Chris Burns with 10 laps to go to pick up the first win of his career.
Yeoman would become a mainstay in Carteret County’s Late Model division for the rest of 2016 and into 2017, but his visits to the facility have become less frequent with his focus shifting to different venues along the East Coast, with Yeoman only making three starts at the track in 2019.
Yeoman stated that Carteret County has several unique features that separate it from others that he has competed on, but he believes that his past experience at the track will be beneficial to him as he looks to improve on his season-best finish of seventh at the track.
“[Carteret] is much different than most places I’ve ran at,” Yeoman said. “It’s so flat, and the bumps coming out of Turn 2 are starting to get pretty bad. This track’s been pretty good to us, so I feel like I have a good shot.”
The Solid Rock Carriers Crystal Coast 125 will not be the first time that Yeoman has had an opportunity to duel drivers such as Layne Riggs, Josh Berry and Bobby McCarty, as he was one of 29 drivers who successfully qualified for the inaugural Old North State Nationals at Orange County Speedway on April 7.
Yeoman qualified 23rd in his CARS Tour debut, but his hopes for a good finish came to an end shortly before the halfway mark when he crashed hard in Turn 1 while racing with Craig Moore, which relegated him to a 24th place finish.
Yeoman is optimistic that his second attempt at a CARS LMSC Tour race will go much better than his first, but he knows that patience will be an important quality to possess as he goes up against what is expected to be the largest Late Model field in track history.
“We’ll need to keep the fenders on the car,” Yeoman said. “It’s a tight little track, but whoever can stay clean and stays out of trouble will be alright at the end of the night.”
Yeoman admitted that he would be satisfied with just a Top 10 in the Solid Rock Carriers Crystal Coast 125, but he added that he wants to take home a victory to boost his Late Model program and pay tribute to late track owner Bobby Watson.
He will have to accomplish that goal by battling with many talented competitors over the duration of the 125-lap Late Model feature, which is expected to begin after the 35-lap Mini Stock race.