Kyle Strickler Motorsports will be at Cherokee Motor Speedway (SC) this weekend to compete in the Dirt Cup Challenge for the DIRTcar U.M.P. Modified Tour. Whether or not the team’s namesake will be competing for the $2,000 payday, however, is still up in the air.
The “Highside Tickler” Kyle Strickler has slung dirt around 17 different tracks this year, from Park Jefferson Speedway (SD) to East Bay Raceway Park (FL), picking up 13 wins and maintaining a 48.15-win percentage.
Strickler’s successful tour around the country hit a recent snag when his car was destroyed at Tyler Country Speedway (WV) on the second day of the Modified Mega 100 event. A car spun in front of the field, collecting Strickler and several other cars.
“I was hit right in about the worst spot you could hit for damaging a car,” Strickler said. “He hit me behind the right front wheel. There’s nothing there to stop it except for the frame, so it ended up knocking the center section out of that car and completely destroying it.”
Now, with a new ride in the process of being built at Longhorn Chassis, Strickler is Modified-less for Saturday’s event that will be broadcast live on Speed51.com’s Summer Thunder TV. But several opportunities may arise for Strickler to jump into a different machine, making his second potential win of 2018 at “The Place Your Mama Warned You About” that much more impressive.
“I’m not sure if I’m going to be racing this weekend, because my car got destroyed at Tyler County,” Strickler said. “But there’s been a bunch of people that have been talking to me about driving their stuff.”
Regardless, Strickler will be in attendance to mentor his new teammate Slade Parsons, who joined the program back in March. The 17-year-old will have Strickler to coach him as he races against big names like Matt Crafton and David Stremme.
“It’s still good because I can focus on Slade, my teammate there who’s driving one of my cars,” Strickler said. “He works right out of my shop and we maintain that deal. He’s a young kid and I’m trying to guide him. If I don’t race, I’ll be 100-percent focused on him and getting him a good finish.”
Considering Strickler’s season of firsts, which includes winning in three major sanctioning bodies for Dirt Modifieds (U.M.P., USMTS and IMCA) and a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut, Parsons will be in good hands Saturday night.
Strickler is already looking forward to putting together another deal to run at Eldora in the Trucks next year, an experience that gave him an entirely new appreciation for the short track racing community.
“Eldora was an awesome experience for me, I’m definitely going to try and put a deal together for next year,” Strickler said. “The support that I received from the fans and local short tracks overall was amazing.”
“You realize how many people have got your back and are cheering for you just because of the route you took to get the that position,” Strickler added. “It’s definitely one of the coolest things I’ve done.”
Race fans who can’t make it out to South Carolina’s 3/8-mile oval can watch the DIRTcar UMP Modified main event on Speed51.com’s Summer Thunder TV. Click here for more information.
-Story by: Melissa Strahley, Gulf Coast Editor
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com