The nation’s top asphalt Super Late Model racers will converge on a .596-mile patch of pavement in Nashville, Tennessee this weekend. The North/South Super Late Model Challenge at Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville will feature an all-star roster of Southern Super Series and ARCA/CRA Super Series talents battling for a prestigious jukebox trophy.
The star-studded entry list, the prestige of competing at the historic Nashville fairgrounds facility and the one-of-a-kind trophy are all the reasons Quinnton Bear needed to add his name to the list of contenders for the North/South Challenge victory.
The 19-year-old Indiana native will battle with short track racing’s best this Friday and Saturday behind the wheel of the Wauters Motorsports No. 5 entry. Once his helmet is strapped on for battle, Bear’s eyes will be set solely on success in the Music City.
“I had the itch to get back in the car as soon as our last race together in Georgia (CRA’s SpeedFest in January) was over,” said Bear, who will be a part of the “North” contingent from the ARCA/CRA Super Series in the Challenge. “These Wauters Motorsports guys know what they’re doing. Their stuff is super-nice and they’re all great guys to work and hang out with. Plus I’ve been to Nashville before, so I’ll be taking a little more confidence with me into this race.”
Armed with confidence from a solid showing at the SpeedFest event, his first with the Wauters team, and the knowledge of the Nashville track gained from the track’s All-American 400 event last year, Bear is chomping at the bit to get back into action this weekend.
“I know what I want to feel there and Richie (Wauters, team owner and crew chief) has been there a bunch before. Between learning the track last year and learning what a Super (Late Model) wants and how to drive them properly when we raced in Georgia, I hope I can carry all that knowledge and apply it well for a good run this weekend.”
While his goal is to run well and turn heads in Nashville, the idea of perhaps bringing home the prestigious jukebox trophy that will be bestowed upon the North/South Challenge winner is one that has the young racer anxious to get to work.
“It’d be the biggest win of my career if I could win that (jukebox), no doubt,” said Bear. “Obviously being the North/South Challenge, with the best drivers from the north and the south, would make it even more of an accomplishment. To be known as beating the best of the best in Super Late Model racing would mean the world.
“That’s what we’re trying to do this year, run as well as we can in the big shows and get my name out there as much as possible. The only way to do that is to compete against the best guys in the country and that’s what we’re going down to Nashville to do.”
The North/South Super Late Model Challenge is a two-day event that includes qualifying and 50-lap points races for both the ARCA/CRA Super Series and the Southern Super Series on Friday, April 8. Saturday, April 9, is the 75-lap main event, featuring both series combined into one all-star feature. Fans unable to make it to Nashville can watch the action live via an online video broadcast on Speed51.com.
Be sure to follow Quinnton Bear on Twitter, @QuinntonBear94 and on Facebook, Quinnton Bear Racing.
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-Photo credit: Speed51.com / Heath Lawson