Jared Fryar will be entering the Honeywell Home Throwback 276 at Hickory Motor Speedway for the CARS Tour Late Model Stock feature this Saturday. Throwback weekend is sure to rekindle memories of past heroes and local legends. For Fryar, he will pay homage to his bloodline with a scheme from his family tree.
The 27-year-old driver from Trinity, North Carolina, will be sporting the same paint scheme as his grandfather Freddy Fryar did when he ran super Late Model races in Texas. The car is burnt orange on the side panels and rear deck lid, with Maroon on the roof and hood. The usual number 14, along with Solid Rock Carriers and Sterling Building Group, will be the only familiar markings remaining on the machine when he takes the green flag. The scheme is simple, with a blank hood and 356 C.I. written on either end of the hood. The sponsors are in small lettering on the sides.
The patriarch of the family, Freddy Fryar, hailed from Beaumont Texas near the Louisiana line. Freddy competed in a fastback Chevy Camaro with a Bach chassis. He ran at San Antonio Speedway, Texas World Speedway, and other venues across the Lone-Star state and beyond. His recent passing makes the scheme even more special for his grandson Jared.
“It’s so cool that we get to memorialize him with this car,” Fryar said. “It’s going to be emotional now that he’s no longer with us. I’m so proud that we get to run in his honor. It’s going to be special.”
Fryar’s mother is from Texas, and his dad spent years living there as well. It will be a homecoming for a couple of crew members coming in from Beaumont, who used to work on the original car. The most recent season of Dale Jr.’s Lost Speedways showcased the importance that Texas World Speedway had. The drivers of the era, who called east Texas home, ran some of the wildest Late Model events ever conceived there.
“I raced at San Antonio, and so did my boss, but I never got to race at Texas World,” Fryar said. “They would race the (2-mile high-bank) big track one week and then run the road course the next. It seemed pretty cool.”
Steadiness seems to be Fryar’s calling card. Similar to his one-win championship run in 2020, Fryar has been consistent, perhaps even quiet, as he has stacked together top five and top ten runs with very few issues. Jared Fryar is the defending Late Model Stock Car Champion mainly due to his 5.3 average finish from one year ago. Though he is winless so far, in 2021, his persistently quick outings and lack of problems have put his team in the 4th position in the points standings through seven races.
Fryar won the 2018 CARS Super Late Model Championship in a tortoise and hare fashion. He went winless during the year and racked up a 7.2 average finish. The following year Fryar finished runner up and winless again, but with a 6.6 average finish.
The issues with the Hoosier tire supply shortages have been a big problem this year. Jack McNelly and CARS Tour officials have mandated that teams are required to supply their own practice tires for a few upcoming events. The cuts in practice time often affect teams with bigger budgets that historically tested with 3 or 4 sets per weekend. The tire debacle plays into the hands of the single-car team.
“You might see my name at the top of the list more often now because we stay on older tires more than others. A lot of people go out after days of practice and slow down in qualifying.”
Many teams like Fryar’s have procured tire inventories from earlier races in the year that were leftover. Some teams will run out of practice tires soon if they are required to supply their own in the coming weeks. Fryar is open to one-day shows, similar to how some of the events NASCAR has run this past year and a half.
“It wouldn’t hurt my feelings at all,” Fryar said. “I think it needs to happen at least once a year. We’re going to have to do something that will work. I’ve always been a big fan of showing up on race day. It makes no sense to practice two days and race one day. I’d rather practice one day and race two days.”
The track will be much warmer in July than when the CARS Tour came to Hickory in April. A heatwave is expected to make its way to the Carolinas by the end of the week. In cool temperatures, the track raced with a single groove on the bottom. Fryar hopes Hickory will be a two-groove track by the time the surface gets rubbered in.
“When there’s a second groove, it’s just more forgiving,” mentioned Fryar. “If your car isn’t the best on the bottom you have the option to make it better on the outside. I think it just promotes better racing. It’s going to be hot and slick. Getting a good handle on the car is going to be very important.”
Fryar is coming off a 9th place finish at South Boston Speedway and a 4th place finish at the Hampton Heat at Langley Speedway last week. Fryar’s team is looking to ride the momentum of two strong Virginia Triple Crown runs. He hopes it will catapult his race machine into a CARS Tour victory. Fryar had plenty to thank for his consistent finishes in 2021.
“I want to thank my dad and Derrick Jennings, Solid Rock Carriers, Sterling Building Group, R&S Race cars, and all the people that come by the shop. It takes a lot to keep this operation going and race as much as we do with the success that we’ve had.”
If Fryar or, “Mr. Consistency” continues to quietly grind away, as he has done before, the CARS Tour competitors should keep their heads on a swivel as the season continues Saturday. The Honeywell Homes Throwback 276 at Hickory Motor Speedway will air live on www.carstour.tv. Follow the action at Race22.com and Race22 on Facebook for live updates, articles, and photos from this week’s Late Model Stock Car event.