The Rusty Harpe Memorial is always one of the most anticipated events each year at Caraway Speedway (NC). This year, there’s even more anticipation for the event, with the PRA Tours Super Late Model Series making its first appearance for 2019.
Originally, the Super Late Models were not part of the Rusty Harpe Memorial program. However, after poor weather has postponed all of the series’ events thus far in 2019, promoter Renee Hackett added the Super Late Models to the schedule for Saturday, July 6.
Hackett joined Speed51’s “The Morning Bullring” to discuss this weekend’s Rusty Harpe Memorial.
“We’re ready for Caraway,” Hackett said. “We’re hoping to get our first Super Late Model race in. The two that we had scheduled, Mother Nature was not nice to us. This date originally wasn’t on our schedule. We decided to add it to Rusty Harpe Memorial schedule just to get the race in.”
Hackett confirmed several strong Super Late Model drivers from the Carolinas have entered the event, looking to become the first ever PRA Tours Super Late Model winner.
“Brandon Setzer, Kodie Conner, Tyler Church is trying to get his ready, along with Jared Fryar,” she said. “I think we’re going to have a great show, a great value for the fans.”
The value is amplified by the amount of racing on Saturday’s card. 390 laps of feature racing are on the program, with the Southern Modified Racing Series, Southeast Limited Late Model Series and 602 Tour joining along with Caraway Speedway’s U-Car division.
The Southern Modified Racing Series will also feature a strong entry list of competitors.
“Jimmy Wallace, a friend of Rusty Harpe’s, he’s almost got his ready,” Hackett said. “He has run Late Models, Limiteds, he’s got some track championships. Andy [Jankowiak] is coming. Chase Dowling is supposed to be coming. [Gary] Putnam, [Bobby] Measmer are coming. All of our regulars are coming.”
The event is named after Rusty Harpe, a beloved former competitor at Caraway Speedway who lost his life in 2007 in a farming incident away from the race track.
“Rusty was here all the time,” said Hackett. “Rusty was the kind of guy who would give you the shirt off his back. Everyone who knew Rusty loved Rusty. He would call the race track all the time, and every time he’d call, he’d say, ‘If there’s anything I can do to help the track, let me know.’
“He was killed in January 2007 in a farming accident,” Hackett continued. “We started that year with the Rusty Harpe Memorial and we’ve been doing it ever since. His mom and dad come, his daughter comes, his wife at the time comes. It’s a great event. We’ve been able to keep the tradition going.”
Those who can’t make it out to Caraway this weekend will be able to watch the PRA Super Late Models and Southern Modified Racing Series live on Speed51’s Summer Thunder TV presented by PFC Brakes.
To hear the entirety of Hackett’s appearance on The Morning Bullring, click here to watch Monday’s episode on-demand.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51.com photo