SOPHIA, NC – The Carolinas short track community is still abuzz about the exciting new changes coming to Caraway Speedway, and more specifically, the NASCAR Late Model Stock division in 2016. The NASCAR Late Model Stocks will compete six times in 2016 at Caraway Speedway with each race paying $5,000 to win and $500 to start. Most of those events will be 150 laps and, for the first time in regular season events, will feature a live pit stop with teams having the option to change two tires.
Ryan Wilson, from nearby Randleman, NC, is a third generation racer at Caraway Speedway. Ryan’s dad, Dean, raced at Caraway Speedway and his grandfather, David, was a member of the “Wall Of Fame.” After years of racing and winning at Caraway, Ryan Wilson believes 2016 has the potential to be the biggest season yet at Caraway Speedway.
“The best thing about the higher purse is that it will draw more cars in and more competition means a better race for the fans, drivers, and everyone involved,” says Wilson. “The live pit stops will be pretty cool too. That could definitely change the outcome of some of the races. I’ve never made a live pit stop in a Late Model Stock car so it will definitely be fun to see how it all pans out.”
The NASCAR Late Model Stock division has always been competitive at Caraway Speedway as evidenced by the fact that there has not been a repeat track champion in the last six seasons. Wilson himself won the track title in 2013 and believes his family-owned entry has as good a shot as any to regain the championship this year.
“We would love to go out there and win it, but we can’t go out and points race from the start,” says Wilson. “Winning races and running up front on a consistent basis is what it’s going to take. There’s gonna be some extremely tough competition so I think the race for the championship is going to come right down to the end. It’s been a struggle for us the last couple of years, but I’m definitely looking forward to the challenge!”
Like Wilson, Travis Swaim has a long family tradition of racing at Caraway Speedway. Following in the footsteps of his dad and brother, Mike, and Mike, Jr., Travis Swaim has enjoyed great success in the NASCAR Late Model Stock division at Caraway Speedway. The 4-time track champion is excited about returning in 2016.
“I really like the pay structure and the longer races,” said Swaim, who also captured the 2012 UARA-Stars Late Model championship. “They [Caraway Speedway] did a similar purse and schedule in 2009, which drew me back there to win our third track championship. So, I was definitely glad to hear of their plans for this year. There will be some really stiff competition there this year so whoever wins the championship will have to earn it for sure.”
But, as many drivers have mentioned since it was announced, Swaim believes the biggest “X-factor” will be the addition of live pit stops for every NASCAR Late Model Stock division event at Caraway Speedway in 2016.
“I’m on the fence with live pit stops, but if the track feels they are needed to make it more exciting for the fans, I can’t argue with that,” says Swaim. “I’m planning to run a few ARCA races this year, so the stops will also help me get used to coming in and out of the pits under live conditions.”
There will be open practices on Saturday, February 27 and Saturday, March 5 for teams to utilize in preparation for the 2016 season opener on Sunday, March 6. Gates will open for the season opener at Noon and the green flag will wave on the 2016 season at 2:30 PM. In addition to the 150 lapper for the NASCAR Late Model Stocks, there will be a 43 lap Late Model Truck event paying $1500 to win and feature events for the Limiteds, Mini Stocks, Chargers, Hornets, Legends, and the Bandoleros, who will be making their first ever start at Caraway Speedway.
For more information, please contact Renee Hackett at 336-302-5803 or at carawayspeedway.com. For Technical question contact Technical Director David Saunders at 434-222-0437. You can also find out more at Caraway Speedway on Facebook and Twitter.
– Caraway Speedway press release
– Photo credit: Speed51.com