The inaugural Old North State Nationals at Orange County Speedway this weekend has already attracted a strong field of competitors that include the usual full-time CARS LMSC Tour competitors as well as several other strong Late Model drivers such as Lee Pulliam and Timothy Peters.

One driver that had hoped to be there for the prestigious event was Barry Beggarly, whose past success at the 3/8-mile short track includes four Late Model championships. Unfortunately for Beggarly, sponsorship has been a major roadblock for him and his team, which he believes will ultimately prevent him from taking the green flag on Sunday afternoon.

“We haven’t found anything, and it’s getting past time for us to be getting prepared,” Beggarly said. “I’m pretty sure we won’t be able to make it, but it is what is, and we have to do what we have to do.”

The former Whelen All-American Series and ASA Member Track National Champion had been eagerly looking forward to the Old North State Nationals when it was first announced by the CARS Tour, as he felt that his prior experience at Orange County would have put him in a good position to contend for the $30,000 race-winning paycheck.

Beggarly tested at Orange County prior to the Sunday’s 200-lap Late Model feature to break in one of the newest cars that he had in his stable. After making numerous laps around the facility, Beggarly liked the way his car handled and believed that he could obtain a strong qualifying run and compete inside the Top 10.

The only thing that Beggarly needed to make the trip to Orange County for the main event was enough sponsorship for the event, but the odds of him picking up something for his #82 Late Model dwindle with every passing day. Beggarly added that the rising costs of Late Model racing, combined with the specific CARS Tour rules for the Old North State Nationals, made it difficult for him to participate in the race.

“With the tire situation and the engine deal, it’s going to cost you around $2,500 or more to just go down there and attempt to start the race,” Beggarly said. “This weekend’s costs are a little bit more than a regular race, as with those, you only have to worry about the tire deal.”

The CARS Tour kept expenses in mind in the months leading up to the Old North State Nationals, as the series organized a special program that provided benefits to the first 20 drivers who entered in the event by having fans pay for some of their expenses, whether it was for tires, fuel or the entry fee. Beggarly was not among the first 20 drivers that submitted an entry for the event, which made him ineligible to receive any benefits.

Although Beggarly is disappointed that he likely won’t be at Orange County this weekend as a driver, he praised the CARS Tour for all the hard work that they put in to make the Old North State Nationals a reality. Beggarly was also impressed by the number of entries for the event and is optimistic that the Old North State Nationals will set a precedent for future races.

“I’m definitely glad to see this event happen,” Beggarly said. “The CARS Tour has come a long way over the years, and I believe that this is the highest number of cars that they’ve had on an entry list since they started. Hopefully they’ll be able to do a lot more of these things.”

Beggarly does plan to compete in select events at Orange County and South Boston Speedway later this year, but he is still trying to figure out what specific races he will run. The Old North State Nationals will get underway on Saturday evening with qualifying and heat races before the field takes the green flag on Sunday at 2 p.m.