After a nearly three-month long intermission due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Solid Rock Carriers CARS Late Model Stock Tour will return to action on Friday evening with the Race at Ace 125.
Statesville, North Carolina native Ryan Millington, who is the defending Late Model track champion at Ace Speedway, has spent the down period working on his #15 Leisure-Tyme Rentals Chevrolet to ensure that it can contend for the win against former CARS LMSC Tour champions like Josh Berry, Bobby McCarty and Deac McCaskill.
“During the break we did a lot of work on the car,” Millington said. “We were able to go test quite a bit and I’ve gotten in three races. I feel like we’re actually pretty dang prepared going into this weekend.”
Millington officially restarted his season at Hickory Motor Speedway on May 22nd, where he won the pole and held off Thomas Beane and Sam Butler to win the first of two 75-lap Late Model features, which he followed up with a fourth-place showing in the second event.
On the following weekend, Millington qualified third for the 75-lap Late Model feature at Ace, but he maintained his track position and bumped polesitter R.D Smith out of the way during the event’s closing stages to score his second victory in three races.
The consistency that Millington’s cars have displayed over the past two weeks have given him confidence heading into his first CARS LMSC Tour race of 2020, but he believes that his familiarity with Ace will give him an additional advantage along with his improved equipment as he looks to obtain his first win in the series.
“Ace is really a unique track,” Millington said. “It’s basically a small Martinsville. Ace is a track where you have to use heavy braking, which means you need good motor packages and brake packages. At tracks like Hickory and Orange County you have to save your stuff for the end of the show, but Ace is a place where you can race your heart out the entire time.”
Millington has competed in two CARS LMSC Tour events at Ace since making his series debut back in 2018, with his first outing resulting in an eighth-place finish after he started 15th and survived several accidents.
Millington’s second attempt at Ace proved to be far more successful, as he qualified on pole and led the first five laps before being passed by McCarty. Millington ultimately held on to finish in second behind Berry, who passed McCarty for the win with 35 laps remaining.
Millington believes that Berry and the rest of the full-time CARS LMSC Tour competitors will once again provide an immense challenge now that the series is visiting Ace for the third consecutive year, but he intends to get the most out of his Late Model once the green flag drops for the 125-lap feature on Friday.
“We definitely have some work to do,” Millington said. “Going into this weekend, we’ll have to play things really smart. You can’t go into that show and expect to run right with those guys or even beat them if you’re not on your A game. We’ve put a lot of preparation into this car and I’m really looking forward to racing.”
The feature events for the Race at Ace 125 are slated to begin at 8 p.m. on Friday evening, with the CARS LMSC Tour being the second of six features.