MOORESVILLE, NC — As the month of May rolls around in North Carolina the sport of stock car racing takes center stage above all other sports. The case is the same for the CARS Tour as they roll into the Catawba Valley’s famed Hickory Motor Speedway Saturday night. Despite its .363 stature in size it’s a favorite amongst the Super Late Model and Late Model Stock competitors alike. Several faces are expected to return to CARS Tour competition such as Steve Wallace and Tyler Church in the super late model ranks. They’ll have their hands full with a plethora of drivers who run well at Hickory such as Brandon Setzer, Stephen Leicht, and Preston Peltier to name a few. When it comes to the Late Model Stock division, CARS Tour regulars Austin McDaniel and Josh Berry will be the guys to beat but you can expect a solid effort from drivers Justin Crider and Tommy Lemons to name a few. In addition current Hickory Motor Speedway Late Model Stock points leader Ryan Millington has accepted the Staubli Hometown Hero bonus to do battle against the tour regulars, and defending Hickory Motor Speedway track champion Matt Piercy, who will make his series debut Saturday night could be a factor at night’s end. No matter what, a new CARS Tour winner will emerge at the conclusion of the tour’s Spring visit to Hickory Motor Speedway as both divisions defending winners will not be in the field.
Race to End Hunger 250 NOTES & QUOTES
Track/Location: Hickory Motor Speedway-Hickory, NC
Track Size: .363-mile
Event Name: Hickory Soup Kitchen Race to End Hunger 250
Laps/Distance: 125/45.37 miles
Event Schedule: 12:30PM-2:45PM Practice, 4:30PM Qualifying, 6:15PM Fan Fest, 7:30PM Green: SLM-LMSC
Twitter Handle/Event Hashtag: @CARSTour / @hickoryspeedway/ #RacetoEndHunger250
CARS SLM Tour Pre Entered Drivers: #2 Jake Crum, #6 Brandon Setzer, #7 Tyler Church, #12 Harrison Burton, #15 Christian Eckes, #15F AJ Frank #16 Lucas Jones, #16M Vinnie Miller #17 Quin Houff, #17B Tanner Berryhill, #22 Trevor Noles, #25 Stephen Leicht, #45 Joey Mucciacciaro, #48 Preston Peltier, #49 Jeff Batten, #54 Matt Craig, #56 Gus Dean, #57 Cole Timm, #58 Tyler Ankrum, #66 Steve Wallace, #67 Clay Jones, #97 Nicole Behar, #98 Alex Guenette, #99 Raphael Lessard (24 total)
CARS LMSC Tour Pre Entered Drivers: #07 Hayden Humphrey, #08 Deac McCaskill, #1 Christian Eckes, #7 Justin Crider, #12 Ryan Wilson, #12M Austin McDaniel, #14 Ryan Repko, #16 RD Smith, #17 Ryan Millington, #21 Matt Piercy, #27 Tommy Lemons Jr, #28 Chris Hudspeth, #29 Jake Ruggles, #31 Thomas Beane, #41 Chase Purdy, #42 Craig Stallard, #44 Justin Johnson, #74 Ronald Hill, #75 Landon Huffman, #88 Chris Davis, #88B Josh Berry, #98 Stefan Parsons (22 total)
-Speed51 (speed51.com) will provide Trackside Now Live Updates
-CARS Tour Facebook (facebook.com/CARSTour) and Twitter (@CARSTour
Confidence is King at Hickory:
Stephen Leicht has had a slower start to the season than he and his Lee Faulk Racing team would have preferred heading into Saturday night’s Race to End Hunger 250 at Hickory Motor Speedway. The former NASCAR Cup Series Rookie of the Year winner sits 13th in the standings, however; Leicht feels pretty confident on what he and his team can accomplish at Hickory. A season ago Leicht put his #25 Jani-Kind Ford on the pole for this exact race. Now, with a little more speed at a track he and his team have had success at in the past; the potential for a good run Saturday is high.
“We’re going into Hickory pretty optimistic. We know we have a strong car with a strong setup when it comes to racing at Hickory. We’ve tested there two times already since last year and believe we’ve found even more speed than we had last year when we sat on the pole. I’m just hoping the monkey is off our back come race time and we can actually show what we are capable of. We’ve had a slow start to the season so far but if there is a race that can get our team pointed in the right direction it’s Hickory. ” #25 Stephen Leicht – Jani-King Chevy Super Late Model
Racing is Relaxing for Crider:
Just as he did a season ago, Justin Crider has kicked off the season with solid performances at the first two events before heading to his home track of Hickory Motor Speedway this Saturday night. A season ago, at the same event, Crider scored his CARS Tour career best finish of 3rd at the famed .363 mile track. With a clear mind and knowing what it takes to successfully outrun many bigger budgeted teams; Justin Crider could easily write his name in the history books as a CARS Tour first time winner at the conclusion of the 125 Late Model Stock portion of the event at Hickory.
“I’m ready to get to Hickory. I’ve just finished up exams at school (NC State University) and we are racing at a track I’ve got the most laps at than anywhere so to say I’m looking forward to the weekend would be an understatement. I honestly find it relaxing racing at Hickory. We’ve had a solid start to the year, the car needs to be a little better and I think we’re close to making it that way. I think at Hickory we’ve got a real solid shot at a top five if not a chance to battle for the win. We finished third in this race last year so I like our chances. I hope we do end up in Victory Lane because we’ve started off our partnership with the Autism Society of North Carolina and we are hosting a family this weekend at the track. If we were able to win and that family could join us in Victory Lane it would be special for all involved.” – #7 Justin Crider – JDS Glass Chevrolet Late Model Stock Car
The Perfect Partnership, With the Perfect Partner:
Since the inception of the CARS Tour, series owner Jack McNelly has been vocal about hosting events that create a positive economic impact for the community while giving back to local non-profit organizations. This weekend’s Hickory Soup Kitchen Race to End Hunger 250 is possibly the best example of a successful working partnership. Not only will the CARS Tour be treating Hickory area fans to another classic short track battle around the famed track, but the racing organization will be giving back via their partnership with the Hickory Soup Kitchen.
“Our partnership with the CARS Tour is paramount to our ability to spread awareness about hunger in the Hickory Metro area. This is going to be an incredibly fun event for those involved and all race fans in attendance. We are so excited about the opportunity to be working with the caring folks involved with the tour. We truly appreciate the CARS Tour commitment to end hunger and their support of the Hickory community.” – Austin Pearce – Executive Director of Hickory Soup Kitchen
For more information and to stay up with all the latest news and information about the CARS Tour, featuring both Late Model Stock Car and Super Late Model divisions, visit www.carsracingtour.com or contact the tour’s office directly at 704-662-9212. Stay social with the tour by “liking” the CARS Tour Facebook page and following along on Twitter @CARSTour.
-CARS Tour Press Release
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com