2020 wasn’t a good year by most people’s accounts, but one thing 2020 was good for was viral moments. The short track world was no different with videos and moments in time that caught the attention of everyone, sometimes for good and sometimes for not so good reasons.
Here’s our list of the most viral moments of 2020 and some videos of the ones caught on camera. These are in no particular order.
CARS Tour Finish at Franklin County Speedway (August 22, 2020)
The CARS Tour’s inaugural visit to Franklin County Speedway in Callaway, VA was one that was talked about heavily in the two weeks leading up to it and because of one of the best races in series history, it’s been talked about ever since as well.
Hometown hero and former Pure Stock track champion, Mike Looney, who has risen to Late Model Stock Car fame in recent years winning Martinsville and nearly capturing the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series National Championship in 2019, had dominated the race over the CARS Tour regulars but eventual CARS Tour champion Jared Fryar was closing on him in the final laps. The battle that ensued from there will forever live in the hearts and memories of the fans in attendance and those who watched it via PitRow.tv.
Ace Speedway vs the state of North Carolina (May -June 2020)
Maybe nothing in 2020 was more viral in the world of short track racing than Ace Speedway’s battle to be able to operate in the face of shutdowns during the pandemic stemming from Covid-19.
Their quest to operate with fans in the face of challenges from the governor and the health department made headline news and not just in North Carolina. They made headlines in the New York Times.
Their battle ended with the track being declared an “imminent hazard” and closed for several months before they returned to finish the season with little to no fanfare or controversy while the pandemic raged on.
One of the most viral things to come from the incident was an inspiring speech from Mark Robinson, who was a candidate for Lt. Governor at the time and served as Grand Marshall for the final June event at the track before their closing.
Doug Barnes, Jr. goes WWE at Dominion Raceway (July 11, 2020)
In one of the wildest moments of 2020, Doug Barnes, Jr.’s feud with Tyler Hughes hit a high point (or low depending on your perspective) as the two tangled in a race at Dominion Raceway leaving both with destroyed cars. The moments after left Barnes with a NASCAR suspension that was later overturned upon appeal and left supporters of Hughes angry as he sat in the car injured.
Derrick Lancaster’s Hard Crash at Kingsport (August 7, 2020)
One of the moments of 2020 that nearly stopped us in our tracks was a crash at Kingsport Speedway that left Derrick Lancaster in a hospital healing from a hairline fracture at the base of his skull. It was a violent crash that could have had more devastating results for the veteran driver but he survived and is here with us to talk about it.
Barrel Roll Heard Around the World (July 17, 2020)
Windshield Deep got some great footage during the 2020 season and one of their most viewed videos was a barrel roll during a race at Tri-County Motor Speedway. That video was viewed over 115,000 times so far. They have plenty of other videos you’ll find interesting on their Facebook feed.
Josh Berry Retaliates on Bobby McCarty at Ace Speedway (June 6, 2020)
The June 6th race at Ace Speedway wasn’t just the last race before they were shuttered by the Health Department but it was a pivotal moment in the CARS Tour season. A rivalry was brewing strong in 2019 between Josh Berry and Bobby McCarty. The two were locked in a championship battle, which McCarty eventually won. The 2019 tipping point was late-race contact at Motor Mile Speedway, which left Berry spun and McCarty in victory lane.
Turn the page to 2020 and Ace Speedway was the place for their rivalry to come to a head. McCarty and Berry made contact going into turn three leaving Berry spun. Later in the race Berry waited on McCarty and turned him into the front stretch wall ending his chance to win and ending Berry’s bid for the CARS Tour championship.
Berry would be suspended from the CARS Tour’s next event, which would spark his NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series National Championship run, which he won. McCarty would still be in contention for the CARS Tour title but would only win one more race and would miss out on the championship, which would have been his third in a row.
Carteret Falls Apart, CARS Tour Race Shortened, Tempers Flare (Sept. 12, 2020)
One of the wildest days of the season came with the CARS Tour’s visit to Carteret County Speedway. Anything that could happen, did. Anything that could go wrong, did. This race saw it all from an average speed of 11mph to the track falling apart multiple times, a huge crash that saw a Touring 12 driver suspended, another Touring 12 driver kicked out of the program and the first-ever shortened race for the CARS Tour.
That was a lot to transpire over the course of just one event. It was a night that left a bad taste in the mouths of the CARS Tour, the track, the drivers, and the fans. 2020 was a dumpster fire overall and this was the quintessential 2020 moment and one we won’t forget anytime soon.
Weaber Valley Speedway (June 30, 2020)
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know exactly what Weaber Valley Speedway is. It’s 2020’s version of Orson Welles “War of the Worlds” radio broadcast back in 1938. Many people had no idea that War of the Worlds was just a radio drama and really believed that the Martian invasion really happened in New Jersey. Similarly, many people were taken aback by Weaber Valley Speedway’s abrasiveness on Facebook and thought that the race track really existed.
Weaber Valley’s creators have done a great job of making it look real while being completely outlandish as well. It’s been a hilariously entertaining item during the Covid-19 shutdowns and has left many people thinking that it’s real. It has characters, who have their own Facebook pages like Gauge Martinez, Ronny Weaver, the Weaber Valley Health Department and so much more.
If you’re not following Weaber Valley Speedway or their characters, it’s well worth the time and will fill your Facebook feed with entertainment. The rona stands and the math heads will keep you in stitches and if you really like what they’re doing, you can buy driver and track merchandise.
I’m sure we missed some of the more viral things that took place in our little region of racing, so let us know what we missed. What was viral for you in 2020? Leave us a comment on the link to this story on our Facebook page and let us know.
Dinah Mullins contributed to this article.