Defending CARS Tour Super Late Model champion Jared Fryar will lead the charge for the Mid-Atlantic based series this weekend at the Short Track U.S. Nationals at Bristol Motor Speedway.
The Trinity, North Carolina native made the switch back to Super Late Models from the Late Model Stock ranks after spending a season competing with the CARS LMSC Tour, earning one win at Dominion Raceway (VA) and finishing eighth in points.
Fryar has flexed his muscle during his two previous trips to “The Last Great Colosseum.” He finished second in the Late Model Stock race during the inaugural edition of the Short Track U.S. Nationals, and then followed it up with a seventh in the Super Late Model race one year ago. His previous success has him confident heading into a big weekend at “The Last Great Colosseum.”
“I’m excited for sure. I’m looking forward to getting back in the seat at Bristol,” Fryar told Speed51.com. “We’ve had pretty good success early, I’d say. The track changing last year really threw us into a loop, but we ran good with the Late Model Stock under the lights, so I expect the same with the Super.”
Fryar has been the only driver to have success in more than one Late Model class in the two years of the Short Track U.S. Nationals. He applied his past experience from the Late Model Stock over to the Super Late Model, and it paid off right away on practice day last year. He attributes his success in both cars to pure luck.
“I don’t know, I swear. I’d call it lucky,” he said. “We had some ideas to throw at the car so we did it and it worked really well. We just translated what I learned from the Late Model Stock over into the Super and had luck with it. Hopefully we can seal the deal this weekend.”
Fryar, the grandson of two-time Snowball Derby winner Freddy Fryar, says the rush he receives while racing around the high-banked half-mile is nothing like any other track he competes at. It’s all part of the reason he looks forward to making the trip to the east Tennessee facility for the U.S. Short Track Nationals year in and year out.
“I tell everybody it’s a lot of fun,” he said. “Just the G-forces you pull and the speeds in the corner, it doesn’t compare to anything. Video and TV just doesn’t do any justice for it.”
Fryar says track position is the biggest key to winning at Bristol and earning one of the famed swords. Having clean air for restarts will prove to be big come race day.
“It’s definitely going to take a good car and being out front,” he said. “Clean air makes everything there. It’s hard to race when you’re fifth or sixth, so to be first or second and to have a chance at that clean air on restarts is going to be key.”
Having not won a single race during his CARS Super Late Model Tour championship season last year, he admits he puts pressure on himself to win a Super Late Model race. He hasn’t gone to victory lane in a major Super Late Model race since he won a PASS South race at Caraway Speedway in 2015. Winning at Bristol on Saturday would be huge for he and his team as they look to get over that hump.
“Yes and no, just more pressure on myself than anything,” he said. “I want to win a race, it’s so tough to win in the CARS races or any kind of Super Late Model race nowadays, it seems like. I always got a lot of pressure on myself to try to get one under my belt. They’re really hard to come by.”
Race fans unable to make it out to Bristol Motor Speedway for a jam-packed day of racing this Saturday, June 1 will be able to watch a live pay-per-view broadcast on Speed51.com. Friday’s practice day will also be streamed live on the Speed51 Network for premium subscribers only.
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51.com State Editor (IN & MI)
-Photo credit: Speed51.com