Last weekend, Ross Bailes celebrated his 2018 Carolina Clash Super Late Model Series championship at the series’ year-end banquet. Monday on Speed51’s “The Morning Bullring,” Bailes revealed his plans for the 2019 racing season.
Bailes joined the Monday morning talk show to talk with hosts Bob Dillner and Casey LaJoie about both his success in 2018 and his move to Barry Wright Race Cars in the new year.
“We’re planning on getting back with Barry and Lance Wright to run the house car, the Barry Wright house car,” Bailes said. “This is the first announcement we’ve made with it. I’m looking forward to it.”
Bailes spent part of the 2017 season in a Barry Wright Race Car, with plenty of success. The Clover, South Carolina driver won the FASTRAK World Championship at Virginia Motor Speedway and a Carolina Clash event at Cherokee Speedway (SC) in Barry Wright Race Cars.
Bailes believes the partnership will be even more successful this time around.
“Barry, he’s been in it for 41 years and made a name for himself,” he stated. “Lance is starting to take over the business and everything. I ran for him in 2017, so it’s good to get back with him and see what we can do. We were good in 2017, but I think their car has gotten better and I believe we can be a lot better as a team.”
Bailes is coming off a 2018 season where he won the Carolina Clash championship, with two wins to his credit on the season. With the title, Bailes joins a list of some of the finest Dirt Late Model racers to compete in the Carolinas over the 19 seasons of series history.
“We didn’t really set out to run the Clash championship, but it worked out to where we could,” Bailes explained. “It’s an honor to be put on the list of drivers like Jeff Smith, Rambo [Dennis Franklin], Ricky Weeks. I can remember watching those guys when I was growing up. It’s pretty cool to be on the same list as those guys.”
Along with his Carolina Clash success, Bailes scored two ULTIMATE Super Late Model Series wins and a FASTRAK Racing Series win in 2018. That is no small feat considering the level of competition across the region.
“All the series we run are really competitive,” Bailes said. “We’ll have guys like Chris Madden and Chris Ferguson and Rambo, he’s there every week, but guys like Madden and Ferguson drop in every once in a while. Then you have to outrun those guys. We’ve got a lot of guys with a lot of talent around here, like Johnny Pursley. It’s hard to compete with them.”
Bailes will start his season with the Southern All Star Series “March Madness” event at Cherokee Speedway.
“Right now, we’re starting out at Gaffney, the March Madness race the first weekend in March. Then, we’re just going to run a regional, pick-and-choose schedule. I don’t think we’re going to run a particular series, just hit the big races around here. There are a lot of big races within four or five hours, so it won’t be hard to find a race to go to each weekend.
“We’re just going for the money races is the main thing,” Bailes added. “We may run the Ray Cook Southern Nationals in the middle of the summer. We’ll have to see how things go.”
Fans who missed the interview can watch an on-demand replay of “The Morning Bullring” by clicking here. Along with the full interview with Bailes, other guests on the show included Kyle Busch, Chili Bowl winner Christopher Bell, 2018 Money in the Bank winner Brian Campbell and 2018 Kulwicki Driver Development Champion Brett Yackey.
The Morning Bullring is a short track racing talk show for the public to watch for free on Speed51 and also its Facebook page on Monday’s from 7:30 - 9:30 a.m. For more information on the Morning Bullring, please contact Brandon Paul by emailing [email protected]
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51.com Southeast Editor - Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com