After spending a year on the sidelines, 2017 Dominion Raceway track champion Doug Barnes, Jr. is back behind the wheel of a Late Model Stock Car at the Thornburg, Virginia track.
Barnes, 21, from Forrest Hill, Maryland, was able to come away with the track championship in the final race of the 2017 regular season after a thrilling duel with Tyler Hughes. However, Barnes did not have the opportunity to compete much in 2018. Despite that year-long absence, Barnes is confident he can still run well.
“It’s been almost a year since I’ve raced, so I’m just excited to get back on track,” Barnes told Race22.com. “We’ve had so much success at Dominion in the past that I’m still really confident. I’m in the best shape of my life and I know what it takes to win a championship. I just need to shake off a little rust, then we’ll be back in the swing of things.”
Last season, Barnes intended to race often at Dominion Raceway and Langley Speedway – but plans fell through and he found himself on the sidelines.
“We had a lot of plans last year but most of them fell through,” Barnes said. “Before we knew it, it was September and we had only raced once. I made the decision to sit out the rest of the season so we could fully focus on this upcoming season.”
Right now, Barnes is not sure if he will contend for the track championship at Dominion Raceway, but he plans to be in championship form on Saturday either way as he will compete against the likes of Philip Morris and Peyton Sellers.
“I’m not 100 percent sure if we’re running for a title yet,” Barnes explained. “We’re going to run with a championship mentality. Even though it’s been a while, I need to be on my A-game all day. You aren’t going to stand a chance winning against them if you aren’t at your best. I expect us to be up to speed and a threat to win.
“Hopefully the race will go our way and we can be in a spot to win at the end of the day.”
Barnes began his career racing karts in Maryland. Throughout the years, he progressed to Legends, and then Late Models in 2014. He has also competed in the X-1R Pro Cup Series, scoring two top-five finishes, before the series was relaunched as the CARS Late Model Stock Tour.
The 2019 season at Dominion Raceway will get underway on Saturday evening at 7pm. Race22.com will have updates throughout the evening for those unable to attend.