Travis Swaim (21) and Matt Bowling (83) lead a full-field of cars to the green flag of the 2015 Caraway Speedway season opener. Kimberly Austin Photo

The first green flag of the 2018 season is just around the corner as Caraway Speedway drops the rag with March Money Madness.

The event will feature a potential $5,000 to win Late Model Stock Car race with the new Gambler’s Challenge. The race will be 99-laps and will feature some of the regions top Late Model Stock Car drivers battling for some early season bonus money before other tracks in the region open up.

Champions Unite
Travis Swaim and Jamey Caudill will team up for a run at $5,000 this weekend. Swaim is a four-time Caraway Speedway track champion, one time NASCAR North Carolina State champion and a former UARA-STARS Series champion. Caudill has won 100 Late Model Stock Car features as well as four track championships at Southern National Motorsports Park in Lucama, NC.

Swaim will run Caudill’s car for the opening race while his new car is still being prepared by Jay Hedgecock. Swaim indicated he may continue driving Caudill’s car in the other big LMSC races if this weekend goes well.

Double Duty
Ryan Wilson and his team will be very busy this weekend. First, they’ll run the season opener at Southern National Motorsports Park on Saturday and then make their way back to defend their home turf in Sunday’s race. Wilson who won the track championship last year is looking to stand his ground against what’s expected to be a stacked field of Late Model Stock Cars vying for $5,000.

Another driver who might have a busy weekend is for Caraway Speedway champion Tommy Lemons, Jr. He’ll be testing on Saturday at Tri-County Motor Speedway in anticipation of the CARS Tour opener. If the test goes well he’s expecting to load up and head back to his home track in search of a win on Sunday.

Limited Elite
Mack Little is pretty much the standard for Limited Late Model racers in this region. He’s in contention everywhere he travels and he’s been one of the guys to beat at Caraway for almost a decade. He’ll be one of the Limited Late Model drivers looking to win the 40-lap season-opening race. He also may make a run at his fourth track championship this season. He already has a Late Model Stock Car, Limited, and Sportsman title and would like to add another NASCAR Division I championship to his credit. He will have his hands full with several young guns and up and coming drivers ready to win races and poised for the championship as well.

Gambler’s Challenge
When teams arrive Sunday they’ll have the chance to race for a solid $3,000 to win purse or pay a little extra money and gamble on themselves for up to a $5,500 payday. The Gambler’s Challenge will offer a chance for any Late Model racer the chance for a bigger payday with increases for many positions throughout the field for the additional entry fee.

More Money
Another $2,000 in prizes will be on the line starting this weekend. First a $500 bonus for any 2017 track champion or CARS Tour champion, any of the 2018 CARS Tour Touring 12 drivers, and any big race winner from the 2017 season from around the region. They’ll receive an additional $500 just for winning the Money Madness 99.

Also whoever wins the first race will be eligible for a $1,000 bonus if they can win all three Late Model Stock Car races held this season. Additionally, any racer who competes in all three races will be entered to win a set of Hoosier F-45’s for the Thanksgiving Classic at Southern National Motorsports Park.

Chamber of Commerce Weather
The weather for the Money Madness 99 is going to be absolutely perfect for a March 4th season opener. A high of 56 degrees is forecasted for Sunday and with the race set to start at 2pm the races will be over before the sun goes down meaning it’ll be a comfortable day in Sophia, NC.

Full Racing Card
March Money Madness will also feature a 40-lap Limited Late Model race as the division moves to NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Division I status with the Late Model schedule being reduced to three bigger money races. Plus racing in Chargers, Mini Stocks, and U-Cars.

Tickets are available at the gate on Sunday. They will be $20 for adults, $5 for kids 6-12 years old and five and under will get in free.

For more information on Caraway Speedway, visit their newly redesigned website at or visit them on Facebook at @caraway.speedway. You can also call the track office at 336.629.5803