After a nearly three-month hiatus, the Solid Rock Carriers CARS Tour is back to racing at the tight confines of Ace Speedway in Altamahaw, North Carolina on Friday night.
The race will feature the CARS Late Model Stock Tour in their first event since a thriller at Southern National Motorsports Park on March 7. Taylor Gray picked up his second career win, holding off former series champion Deac McCaskill and rookie Connor Mosack. A few days later, the season was put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic.
As Summer begins, racing is resuming across the country and the Solid Rock Carriers CARS Tour will return to the track — with social distancing guidelines in place. Friday’s The Race at Ace 125 pres. by LessExpensiveCars.com is the third CARS Tour race at the 4/10-mile track in Altamahaw, North Carolina. Two-time defending series champion Bobby McCarty and former series champion Josh Berry are the two previous winners at Ace.
The Race at Ace 125 NOTES & QUOTES
Track and Location: Ace Speedway; Altamahaw, North Carolina.
Length: 0.40 mi
Event Name: The Race at Ace 125 presented by LessExpensiveCars.com
Laps / Distance: 150 laps / 60 mi (LMSC and SLM)
- Practice: 1:45pm-2:15pm, 2:45pm-3:15pm
- Qualifying: 6:50pm
- Green: 8pm LMSC
CARS LMSC Tour pre-entered drivers:
LMSC entry list (26 total)
#08 Deac McCaskill
#01 Camden Gullie
#1 Nolan Pope
#1M Craig Moore
#2 Brandon Pierce
#4 Jonathan Findley
#6 Mike Darne
#8 Connor Mosack
#12 Sammy Smith
#12P Gage Painter
#14 Jared Fryar
#15 Ryan Millington
#16 Chad McCumbee
#17 Taylor Gray
#18 Jonathan Shafer
#19C Jessica Cann
#19 Blake Stallings
#22 Bobby McCarty
#51 Matt Cox
#57 Justin T. Carroll
#63 Tyler Matthews
#74 Ronald Hill
#78 Corey Heim
#81 Mini Tyrrell
#88 Josh Berry
#99 Layne Riggs
- CARS Tour TV (carstour.tv) will have the LIVE video broadcast of the event.
- Race22 (race22.com) will provide RaceDay Live coverage.
- Speed51 (speed51.com) will provide Race Day Now live coverage.
- CARS Tour social media (facebook.com/CARSTour, @CARSTour on Twitter, @cars_tour on Instagram) will provide social media coverage of the event.
CARS Tour Owner Eager to Get Back to Racing
Much of the sporting world was put on hold after the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in mid-March, and the CARS Tour was no exception. Between mid-March and June, races were due to be run at Hickory Motor Speedway, Orange County Speedway, the Fairgrounds Speedway at Nashville and Gresham Motorsports Park. Those races have all been postponed to later dates in 2020, which means that Friday’s race at Ace Speedway will be the first for the series since the season opener at Southern National Motorsports Park on March 7.
The unexpected and unprecedented break has been difficult for the series, tracks, teams, sponsors and vendors. But CARS Tour Owner and President Jack McNelly is as eager to get back to racing as the competitors and fans are. For him, Friday night’s race is more than just a return to competition.
“We’re very excited to get back to racing,” McNelly said. “I hope that we can go in there and put on a good show for the folks. Everybody enjoys going to Ace. It’s a high-energy racetrack. It’s a tight little racetrack where there’s going to be some excessive rubbing, and excessive rubbing makes for good short track racing. I think the drivers understand that — they need to keep their tempers in check.
“We’re really excited — the office folks, officials, everybody — we just want to get to the racetrack and put everything else behind us. We need to get back, for everybody’s mindset, to get back to a normal pace here. This has been a rough time for everyone — emotionally, mentally and physically.”
McNelly also understands that for a lot of the competitors in the Solid Rock Carriers CARS Tour, racing is everything. “Needless to say, we want to race. Everyone wants to race. We have a lot of people that depend upon racing for a living,” he said. “It’s not just a bunch of guys with a bunch of hot rods racing. We have several teams in our series that are funded by the fact that they go racing. If they don’t race, that revenue stream stops. Their employees get laid off.”
“Then the vendors that supply the parts, they’re affected, to say nothing of the sponsors who have invested money in these cars. Now they can’t see them race. So there’s a domino effect all the way around. It’s a very economic driven engine here. We need to go back racing for a lot of obvious reasons. I have sponsors who have invested money in this series who want to see return on investment and aren’t getting it when we aren’t racing. Something has to give here shortly I think.”
Ace Speedway Welcomes Back Solid Rock Carriers CARS Tour and Fans
Ace Speedway has been in the national spotlight recently, as track operator Jason Turner began the track’s 2020 season on May 23 to a capacity crowd. Now, the first asphalt track in North Carolina to welcome back fans will usher in the return of Solid Rock Carriers CARS Tour racing, and the Turner family is excited to have the series at their track once again.
“Ace Speedway is ecstatic about the return of the Solid Rock Carriers CARS Tour for their 2020 season re-opener. Since 2018, the series has been one of the highlights of the Ace Speedway schedule, Turner said. “Ace wasn’t the first track to get racing back in North Carolina, but we definitely played a part in it. Bringing the CARS Tour back is as much a coincidence as it is symbolic. It’s the right place at the right time. We hope the fans are ready for one heck of a show because the CARS Tour, Ace Speedway Modifieds, Mini-Stocks, Southern Ground Pounders and Carolina Nissan Xtremes are ready to put one on for the fans.”
CARS Tour Implements Guidelines to Prevent Spread of COVID-19
While most sports in the United States are still shut down due to the pandemic, the motorsports industry has been slowly ramping back up to normal operations. NASCAR, INDYCAR, MotoAmerica and Supercross are a few of the sanctioning bodies that have resumed within the past few weeks, albeit with a new set of operating procedures designed to keep all who are at the track healthy and safe. The Solid Rock Carriers CARS Tour is following their lead and adding new policies specifically to address the pandemic that will be in place until further notice. Those policies include (but are not limited to) the following:
- On Friday, all personnel will have their temperature screened before entering the race track.
- Driver Intros will not be held amongst the crowd, per usual; instead, drivers will be introduced from their cars on the grid.
- Trailers will be spread out across the infield to maintain proper social distancing.
- Spotters will be required to wear masks during the race.
- Masks will be strongly recommended for those who are in the infield and required for all Victory Lane celebrations.
About the CARS Tour
The Solid Rock Carriers CARS Tour is one of the premier short track series in the United States. Drivers compete in Late Model Stock Cars and Super Late Models at the best short tracks across the Carolinas, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Virginia. The CARS Tour can be found on Facebook at “CARS Tour”, on Twitter @CARSTour, and on Instagram as @CARS_Tour. For more information, visit www.carsracingtour.com or call their Mooresville, N.C. offices at 704.662.9212.