Brenden Queen, pictured at Southern National Motorsports Park prior to the 2017 Thanksgiving Classic. (Andy Marquis/ photo)

The battle for the CARS LMSC Tour championship has started to intensify as the series approaches the halfway point of the season, with former champions Josh Berry and Bobby McCarty only separated by seven points heading into the division’s inaugural visit to Langley Speedway.

Berry, McCarty and most of the full-time competitors on the CARS LMSC Tour will encounter many familiar faces from the Virginia Late Model scene hoping to make a strong impression at their home track, which will include Chesapeake, Virginia native Brenden Queen.

The Who’s Your Driver 125 at Langley will serve as the debut CARS LMSC Tour race for Queen, who admitted that he has been looking forward to participating in the series since its inception in 2015.

“The competition makes [the CARS Tour] so good,” Queen said. “If you win or run good, you’re beating the best in the business. It’s like preparing for Martinsville every week even though there aren’t as many cars, so it’s great to see a touring series that travels all along the East Coast and provides great racing every week.”

Queen has been a mainstay in Late Model racing along the east coast since 2013, as he has competed in numerous events at Langley, South Boston Speedway, Southern National Motorsports Park and East Carolina Motor Speedway, with the latter being the site of Queen’s four Late Model victories during the 2016 season.

Queen would have another solid campaign in 2017, as he finished fifth in the Virginia Late Model Triple Crown standings, but he would not be as fortunate during the 2018 season, as one issue after another prevented him from contending for wins.

Queen’s hopes for a bid at the Virginia Triple Crown quickly faded away during the Thunder Road-Harley Davidson 200 at South Boston, where he finished 31st after being involved in a crash on the first lap.

Despite rebounding with a ninth-place finish at Langley, Queen would subsequently miss the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 at Martinsville for the first time in his career after suffering electrical issues in the last chance qualifier.

Queen was not deterred by the misfortunes that plagued him during the 2018 season, as he and his car owner Andre Grier worked hard to make their #03 OldSkool Video Games Late Model competitive again in 2019.

Their hard work has gradually paid off over the course of the season, as Queen currently sits third in the Late Model point standings at Langley behind Connor Hall and Greg Edwards after posting four Top 5s, which included his first career victory at his home track during the second 70-lap Late Model feature on April 27.

Queen’s productivity this year has also extended beyond Late Model racing, as he was able to put together a deal with Vizion Motorsports to run the season-opening Lucas Oil 200 for the ARCA Racing Series at Daytona International Speedway.

Queen qualified the #35 DuraGloss Toyota in the 19th position for the race, but he was forced to settle for a 29th place finish after being involved in a multi-car accident on Lap 49.

Queen enjoyed the opportunity to compete in the ARCA Racing Series, but he stated that his focus remains on the Late Model division at Langley, as well as his CARS LMSC Tour debut at the track this weekend.

“I don’t have anything else lined up as of now,” Queen said. “Obviously, I would love to have the opportunity to move up whether that involves more ARCA or a few Truck races. The only thing I have right now is my Late Model program.”

Queen hopes that he can carry the momentum over from the first half of the Late Model season at Langley into the Who’s Your Driver 125, but he is not expecting anything to come easy with names like Berry, McCarty, Deac McCaskill and many others participating in the race.

Queen has dealt with his fair share of talent-filled fields at Langley in the past and believes that the same strategies his team used in those races will be pivotal in bringing home a strong finish on Saturday evening.

“I’m going to treat this race like the Hampton Heat,” Queen said. “I finished second in that race to Bobby McCarty a couple of years ago, and I know what it’s like to compete against a lot of the guys in the CARS Tour. Qualifying up front is going to be very important, and track position will be very crucial for saving tires and making your night easier. We’re going to stay to what we know, as we’ve got a much bigger notebook than most of the other drivers who will be there.”

The Who’s Your Driver 125 will consist of a bandolero, legends and super street feature to go along with the 125-lap Late Model race, with the first one expected to start at 7 p.m. The Late Model feature will conclude Saturday’s on-track activities, where Queen will look to become the sixth different driver to pick up a win in six races this year.