ROANOKE, VA :: Chad Ricker has always dreamed of racing in a Late Model Stock Car.  He will get that chance in Sunday’s Labor Day Classic at Franklin County Speedway.

The opportunity was presented to him by David Lam and Backwoods Racing after their current driver, Tony Housman, stepped aside from racing for personal reasons.  Chad Ricker, who has dominated in U-CAR racing when he races, got the call and jumped at the opportunity to make his Late Model Stock Car debut.

“Tony’s going through some issues so David Lam, as the owner, made the decision to pull him for the rest of the year,” Ricker said.  “He doesn’t want to car to sit so, through some contacts, we happened to come together and we’re going to give it a go for the rest of the year and see how things go.”

Ricker had been racing in the U-CAR division for the past few seasons.  Last year, he won the division championship at Franklin County when the track was under the management of Langley Austin and Moonshine Capital Promotions (MCP).  He ran again at Franklin County where he scored three wins prior to the much publicized split between Franklin County and MCP.  From there, he went on to run in MCP events at Ace Speedway where he picked up two more wins.  He had an additional win back in July at Franklin County as well.

Ricker has been hoping that his U-CAR success would result in more opportunities.  He said his goal was to move up to the Late Model Stock Car division and then, down the road, possibly have a career in NASCAR or ARCA.  Ricker now has that opportunity and he’s excited to see if he can compete.

“I’m stoked,” Ricker remarked.  “I started this whole thing in the U-CAR division to be competitive and consistently finish races.  I did that with the goal that, the more races I finish, the more wins I got and the more championships I could get, hopefully, eventually, someone would notice and extend an opportunity to move up to a feature premier  division.”

Ricker will sit in the cockpit of the Late Model for the first time on Saturday during open testing ahead of Sunday’s race.  He’s hoping that he can have some strong performances and catch the attention of other prominent car owners so he can race in the Late Model ranks full-time next season.

“It’s no secret that LMSC is my goal.  I’ve been in contacts with multiple teams about potentially doing something next year.  I think this will only help out to get me some seat time and stay ahead of the game here and maybe lock up some things for next year.  It’s a pretty big deal to me and to run a premier division on a local level, that’s a dream come true and a step in the right direction.”

While Ricker looks out to the horizon in hopes of one day making it in to stock car racing’s most prominent stage, his immediate focus is on Sunday’s race where he hopes he can run as strong in a Late Model as he has in his U-CAR.