The last time the FASTRAK Racing Series went to Virginia Motor Speedway, Carson Ferguson took the win in a chaotic event as part of USA 100 weekend. Ferguson hopes a better car will give him a better shot at winning in Jamaica, Virginia this Saturday at the Prelude to the World Championship.
Ferguson, the cousin of Dirt Late Model standout Chris Ferguson, took the checkered flag in the FASTRAK event at Virginia on Father’s Day weekend. However, the North Carolina native was not pleased with his pace in that event.
Since then, Ferguson and his team have found speed in several areas of the race car, leaving him confident they will be even stronger this weekend.
“We found a lot of stuff wrong with the car after the last time we went there,” Ferguson told Speed51. “If we can capitalize on some mistakes we made, make sure we don’t make them again, I think we’ll have a good shot at it.
“Between the things we found wrong with the car and have found in the car the past couple of weeks to make the car better, I think we’ve got a good shot at it. If not a win, at least a solid finish.“
In the June race, several front runners fell out with issues throughout the feature. On the final lap, leader Layton Sullivan suffered a flat tire, opening the door for Ferguson to score the win.
“We ended up winning, but honestly we had about an eighth-place car,” said Ferguson. “The good cars blew tires at the wrong time and we got really lucky with when we came in to pit for those two rear tires. That’s what won us the race, that and Layton having really bad luck on the last lap.
“We really weren’t that fast. We just were there at the end, it was a survival race. We were quick in hot laps, but in qualifying we didn’t make a good call on the car. We had a heat race with Logan Roberson and Layton Sullivan. They really just walked the dog on us. That was the slickest track I’ve ever been on.”
Ferguson currently leads the FASTRAK Racing Series points standings, holding a 15-point advantage over Nick Schlager. With the Prelude to the World Championship originally scheduled for July 20 but postponed due to excessive heat, the FASTRAK stars have not competed since a West Virginia doubleheader weekend on July 12-13.
That weekend did not go as hoped for Ferguson. At I-77 Speedway, a mechanical issue sidelined Ferguson for his only DNF of the year thus far. The next night at Tyler County Speedway, Ferguson was collected in an incident with a lapped car late in the race, relegating him to ninth in the final running order.
While the weekend was a struggle for Ferguson and allowed Schlager to close the gap in the standings, Ferguson had built a sizable cushion with strong early-season performances, including a three-race winning streak during the early summer months. Ferguson believes he is still in good shape to compete for the season-long title as well as the upcoming FASTRAK World Championship on September 13-14.
“The beginning of the season, we had good luck with our finishes,” said Ferguson. “The West Virginia swing we did, we were fast all weekend long. We broke a right-front shock. That’s really been a battle for us all year long, but we found out the problem and think we have it fixed.
“The tracks that we have left on the schedule, they’re pretty good for me. What’s meant to be is meant to be, I guess, but I feel like we have a good shot at it.”
During the down time, Ferguson has still been racing and looking for speed going into the pivotal final stretch of 2019. He hopes lessons learned from those races can also add to his success.
“We found a couple of things with the car we’ve been wanting to try,” said Ferguson. “Two weekends ago we went to Wythe Raceway (VA). We should have won, but I made a driver error with four to go.”
Despite a couple of hiccups along the way, 2019 has unquestionably been a breakout season for Ferguson. Between his three FASTRAK wins and five wins over the summer in his Legends car en route to the Pro Division championship at the Bojangles’ Summer Shootout at Charlotte Motor Speedway (NC), Ferguson has been a contender nearly every time he’s strapped into a race car.
“You always have a year that you stand out,” said Ferguson. “I guess this year is one of those years. The races that we have finished, I think our worst finish has been ninth, and that was at Tyler County when I went to the rear with about 15 to go. Other than that, whenever we’ve been able to stay out of trouble we’ve run top five every race. You can’t ask for more than that.”
Gates open for the Prelude to the World Championship on Saturday, August 24 at 5 p.m. ET, with on-track activity starting at 6:30 p.m. The event marks one last opportunity for FASTRAK teams to partake in “paid practice” ahead of the $50,000-to-win FASTRAK World Championship on September 13-14.
Fans unable to make the trip to Jamaica, Virginia for the event can watch the action on Speed51 with a Premium Membership as part of Summer Thunder TV, presented by PFC Brakes. Click here to sign up for a Monthly or Yearly Premium Membership today and watch this weekend’s Prelude to the World Championship.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51.com photo