Super Late Models made their way onto the storied racing surface at Bristol Motor Speedway Saturday for the first time this weekend. The stars of the ARCA/CRA Super Series, Southern Super Series, and CARS Super Late Model Tour participated in two practice sessions to prepare for their 100-lap Short Track U.S. Nationals feature Sunday afternoon.
At the end of two practice sessions, it was a pair of touring series points leaders at the top of the speed charts.
CARS Tour Super Late Model points leader Jared Fryar led both practice sessions and turned in a fastest overall lap of 14.565 seconds around the half-mile oval, just over a hundredth of a second faster than the field.
“I hope I got enough. The car felt like it drove pretty good there,” Fryar told Speed51.com. “I just hope everything stays the same with the weather and the track conditions and all that. It’s definitely going to take a fast car, a good driving car to make it 100 laps and a good, clean race from everybody else. We’ll see. We’re going to work on it and try to make it better. We’ll come back tomorrow and see if we can pick up a win.”
Fryar is no stranger to Thunder Valley, having competed in the inaugural Short Track U.S. Nationals in 2017. Although he competed in a different type of Late Model – a Late Model Stock Car -- last year he earned experience on his way to a runner-up finish.
“They drive pretty close. The only thing is the speed is a little bit faster in a Super,” Fryar explained. “It’s given me a lot of experience as to what to expect for the race and how things go. That’s helped me out a lot, being able to race here last year even though it wasn’t in a Super. Some of the things we learned we can apply it over here and it’s helped, so that’s the biggest thing I’ve been working off. Hopefully we can pull off a win for everyone who helps us on the car.”
Another current touring series points leader finished Super Late Model practice in the second spot. ARCA/CRA Super Series points leader Josh Brock ended practice with a 14.581, just two weeks after picking up his first-career series victory at Anderson Speedway (IN).
“I feel really confident even though we were second in practice,” Brock said. “The way traffic and that caution came out, we only got one lap in our mock (qualifying) set. We’re feeling really confident. We always want to be number one in practice and in everything, but we’re feeling really confident right now. The last few months have been great to us. This is a very strong group of cars here at Bristol. There’s not the very extreme car counts people want, but overall it’s very strong competition, so anytime you can put your name on top of any of these guys, it’s always a good way to start out.”
Trevor Noles ended the day third on the speed charts, followed by 2016 CARS Super Late Model champion Raphael Lessard and Tristan Van Wieringen.
The Super Late Models will hit the track Sunday for two more practice sessions before qualifying and their 100-lap Feature. You can watch all the action from the Short Track U.S. Nationals via a live television-style broadcast on Speed51.com.
-By Koty Geyer, Speed51.com State Editor (IN & MI) - Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo credit: Speed51.com / MoJo Photos