NEWTON, NC – Bobby McCarty and Matt Craig dominated in the Solid Rock Carriers CARS Late Model Stock and Super Late Model Tour feature races respectively in Saturday night’s Cloer Construction 250 at Hickory Motor Speedway.

McCarty, who is the two-time defending champion of the CARS Late Model Stock Tour, passed pole-sitter Mini Tyrrell on the opening lap of the 125-lap Late Model Stock Car feature and never looked back.  The veteran driver survived a handful of restarts in a tame race to score the victory – his first of the 2020 season.

“We had a really good car,” McCarty said.  “We played our strategy out and just played it to a tee and didn’t move off our strategy even when they were kind of getting close to us and started pressuring us.  We just stuck to our strategy and it worked out.  In the end, we were able to go, and, once we went, we were really strong coming off the corner and they couldn’t pull up on me in the corner.”

While McCarty relished in his victory, he had hoped to be able to outduel rival Josh Berry, who was absent from Saturday night’s race.  The victory should aid McCarty in any effort to battle his way back into championship contention after a subpar finish at Southern National Motorsports Park and the controversial crash at Ace Speedway, but McCarty’s concern is winning races, not gaining points.

“I just want to win races,” McCarty said.  “I don’t like the way things have played out so, at this point, we are out for blood.  I’m not worried about the points because that will work itself out.  We are ready for war.”

Jared Fryar, who finds himself in contention for the CARS Late Model Stock Tour championship, finished in the runner-up spot, passing Tyrrell in the closing laps.

“Our run was awesome,” Fryar said.  We didn’t have the qualifying speed we needed, but I knew I was going to have really good race speed.  We have to work on getting the balance back with good qualifying and race speed.”

Mini Tyrrell went on to score a career-best third-place finish, picking up a boost in confidence heading into next week’s race at his hometown track, Dominion Raceway.

“It definitely boosts our confidence as a whole team,” Tyrrell said.  “It’s a solid run all night.  Obviously the pole was just amazing, that was so cool.  We had a really solid car at the beginning there.  Bobby’s car was just outstanding.  He was on a rail.  Hats off to him.  He deserved to win.  He had the best car by far.”

Trevor Ward and Chad McCumbee rounded out the top-five.

Matt Craig led 120 laps in the 125-lap Super Late Model portion of the Cloer Construction 250 to pick up his second Solid Rock Carriers CARS Tour win of the 2020 season and his second consecutive victory in the summer race at Hickory Motor Speedway.

“Getting to victory lane here is the best part because it’s our home track now that Concord’s gone,” Craig said.  “We put a little extra emphasis on this track and so does Kodie [Conner].  The car was really good at the beginning for sure.  A couple of those guys wanted to go a little faster than I was going which is fine.  As soon as they try to pass me, I’m going to speed up so I can keep the lead and keep control of the race.  My car was good.  The last 15 laps, Kodie was a little better than me.  My team told me he rode in the back.  That’s always a good strategy but being out front is hard to beat.  You can build up that buffer and, if the race goes green, you can rely on that lead.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.  Tonight, it worked.”

Kodie Conner went on to finish second, a career-best finish for the reigning PRA Super Late Model Series champion.

“I felt like, if we had a caution, we would have been right there with [Craig],” Conner said.  “If it was a 150-lap race, maybe we would have had something else for him, but all in all, it was a great race weekend.”

Trevor Noles finished third while Carson Kvapil and Tyler Church rounded out the top-five.

The Solid Rock Carriers CARS Tour will return to action next week with the Radley Chevrolet 125 at Dominion Raceway in Thornburg, Virginia.

Results

LATE MODEL STOCK CAR – 125 LAPS

  1. 22 Bobby McCarty
  2. 14 Jared Fryar
  3. 81 Mini Tyrrell
  4. 77 Trevor Ward
  5. 16 Chad McCumbee
  6. 81b Sam Butler
  7. 88 Connor Mosack
  8. 78 Corey Heim
  9. 2s Jonathan Shafer
  10. 1 Nolan Pope
  11. 51 Matt Cox
  12. 2 Brandon Pierce
  13. 19 Blake Stallings
  14. 08 Deac McCaskill
  15. 3 William Cox III
  16. 12p Gage Painter
  17. 4 Jonathan Findley -1
  18. 19c Jessica Cann -1
  19. 74 Ronald Hill -1
  20. 44 Justin Johnson OUT
  21. 57 Justin Carroll OUT
  22. 99 Layne Riggs OUT
  23. 63 Tyler Matthews OUT
  24. 1m Craig Moore OUT

SUPER LATE MODEL – 125 LAPS

  1. 54 Matt Craig
  2. 45 Kodie Conner
  3. 22 Trevor Noles
  4. 35 Carson Kvapil
  5. 7c Tyler Church
  6. 51s Sammy Smith
  7. 49 Jeff Batten
  8. 7 Justin Crider
  9. 28 T.J. Duke
  10. 21s Dylan Smith
  11. 21 Kris Wright -1
  12. 15f Jeff Fultz OUT
  13. 11 Michael Ritch OUT