The 2019 season has been one of change for Super Late Model driver Matt Craig, with the Kannapolis, North Carolina native hitting the road more often amid the shifting climate of SLM racing in the Upper-Southeast. This past Saturday, it all came to a head as the former Pro All Stars Series South champion celebrated his first career Southern Super Series victory in the Rumble by the River 125 at Alabama’s Montgomery Motor Speedway.
While Craig has done well in touring races close to home, Saturday’s win at Montgomery grabbed the attention of the entire Late Model community, not just in the Deep South, but all across North America. This week, the win took on even more meaning on Monday morning, as Craig accepted an invitation presented by Speed51’s Bob Dillner on the Morning Bullring, to the Speed51 Super Select at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indiana on Saturday, September 7.
“It really means a lot, for a while we did really good out our way, but with PASS fading away in the South and CARS Tour having only eight races in our area, that kind of made us travel to different tracks. It feels really good to out of the Carolinas and do well,” Said Craig during his Morning Bullring appearance.
The event, to be held under the banner by the ARCA/CRA Super Series, was called off in its first attempt in 2018, due to volatile weather that had been sweeping across the Midwest. But now, the field is building up once again for attempt number two for the winner-take-all, $10,000-to-win 75-lap special. It is an opportunity that Craig is eager to take on.
“I’m really looking forward to that one now, I like that track, I’ve never been there before. So, I’m really looking forward to it, should be a lot of good cars there. This race, it’s a really cool way to do it. The purse is definitely higher than most races, and that really gets people wanting to go race there.”
With the 51 Super Select being winner-take-all, Craig is expecting a rough and tumble race for the win. Something that he is fully prepared for.
“I think winner-take-all is going to make for a crazy race, people ain’t going to hold back, nobody is going to be happy with finishing second on back.”
With the Montgomery win in hand, Craig has proven to not just the racing community, but also to himself that he has what it takes to win at any track, on any day, and against any and all drivers. Just the confidence to have going to Lucas Oil Raceway come September.
“It means a lot, to have an invitation with people believing we’re good enough to be there is awfully good. We’re looking forward to it a lot more now because we got the Rowdy car, we got a great notebook behind us; we can just show up to places now and we know we can compete with those guys.”
-Story by: Connor Sullivan, Speed51 Northeast Editor – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo credit: Speed51