Tire conservation paid dividends for Jared Fryar during the closing stages of the Cloer Construction 250 at Hickory Motor Speedway, as he picked off his competitors one by one to work his way up to the second position.
Fryar ran out of time to catch Bobby McCarty for his second career Solid Rock Carriers CARS LMSC Tour victory, but he was thrilled that he and his team were able to solidify their position inside the series point standings with another solid performance.
“Our car was awesome from the start,” Fryar said. “We didn’t have to work too hard with passing cars, and luckily everything went our way. I really would have liked to have seen a caution at the end to get up with [McCarty,] but man we were so close. We could have had a good race there at the end.”
The 2018 CARS SLM Tour champion returned to the LMSC side of the series this season in a partnership with Jimmy Mooring, and entered Saturday’s Cloer Construction 250 third in points after recording two Top 5 finishes at Ace Speedway and the most recent event at Hickory on June 13.
To continue that streak, Fryar would have to climb his way up from the 13th position on the grid, but he knew that he could showcase the speed of his #14 Sterling Building Group Ford at the end if he stayed patient and managed his equipment.
“I tried to put myself in a good position and ride when I could,” Fryar said. “If they gave me an opportunity to pass, I would pass and not force anything. Luckily the cautions worked out for me and I was able to get into the right lines on the restarts. Our car never gave up at the end and that’s what really worked out for us.”
After mainly staying put inside the Top 10, Fryar launched his attack during the final 50 laps by passing drivers such as Trevor Ward, Jonathan Shafer and Connor Mosack before reeling in polesitter Mini Tyrrell and driving by him for second with 17 laps to go.
Fryar was confident that he could give McCarty a good fight for the lead with the latter breaking his shifter during the second half of the event, but he added that beating McCarty checkered flag would have come down to a precise restart.
“We just had to beat McCarty fair and square after we took the green,” McCarty said. “He’s the leader and he starts the race, so there’s nothing I could have done except have the best possible restart. It would have been nice to win, but I’m very happy with a second place run.”
With Riggs and Heim both encountering issues during the Cloer Construction 250, Fryar expects to be in a solid points position heading into next weekend’s race at Dominion Raceway, but he emphasized that wins will be imperative as he attempts to become the first driver to win titles in both divisions of the CARS Tour.
“Points are cool, but at the end of the day, we need to win,” Fryar said. “Obviously we have a car that’s capable of doing just that, but we need to put everything together. We have great cars, but the cautions just haven’t been going our way, but that’s just part of racing.”
Fryar is optimistic that the Radley Chevrolet 125 next Saturday will work out in his favor, as Dominion Raceway was the site of his lone CARS LMSC Tour victory in 2017 after Jeff Oakley was disqualified due to an infraction in post-race technical inspection.