The Ed Gibbons Memorial race for the Carolina Clash Super Late Model Series rolls off on Saturday night at North Carolina’s Fayetteville Motor Speedway. The race pays out $10,000 to the winner, and at the end of the night, many fans are hoping that it will be “Fergy Time.”
Of course, Fergy Time is in reference to Mount Holly, North Carolina driver, Chris Ferguson, the driver of the No. 22 Super Late Model. “Fergy” is a 14-time winner with the Carolina Clash Series, and he’s looking to add another one to his resume on Saturday at a track that hasn’t always been the kindest to him.
“For the most part it’s been love-hate,” Ferguson told Speed51.com. “We’d only won a couple of races there for a few years but we’d led eight or nine races and just have stupid stuff happen like flat tires or broken rear ends. The last couple of years it’s been good to me because we won a World of Outlaws race there and then we won our first Lucas Oil race there. It’s been good to me recently. Then last year we won a race there in June and then ran second there in the fall. We seem to like that place a lot recently.”
As Ferguson said, his first Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series victory came at the ½-mile red clay oval right off of exit 46B on I-95 in July. His second career World of Outlaws Late Models win also came at Fayetteville back in 2015.
So lately, Fayetteville has been good to Fergy. But that’s only part of the reason why Ferguson is making the trip across the Tar Heel State.
“A lot of it has to do with the location of the races,” Ferguson explained. “If we can get away on a one-day show like this weekend and we can drive four hours and come home that same night, that’s so much easier for us when we get ready for the next week’s race. If it’s a track we like, like this weekend, we’ll go run it.”
Ferguson also explained that the management staff at Fayetteville is a big part of why he loves to go back to that track when he can.
“I know that the guy that owns and promotes Fayetteville Motor Speedway, Mr. Jim Long, he’s a nice and personable guy. He’s very welcoming and he goes out of his way to make sure drivers know about his races. He’s one of the guys at the forefront in the southeast to have these big races. His personality and the way he’s treated us in the last five years since he took over the track is what’s drawn us back.”
And finally, Ferguson said he’s heading to Fayetteville for one more simple reason. It’s his “duty.”
“When a local track has a race that’s $10,000 to win or more, as a Super Late Model driver it’s our duty to show up and try to go after that $10,000.”
The grandstand gates at Fayetteville will open at 3 p.m. ET on Saturday afternoon with hot laps to follow at 4:30 p.m. ET.
Speed51.com will have highlights from the Ed Gibbons Memorial in the days after the event on the Speed51 Video Network.
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo Credit: Thomas Hendrickson Photo