Jared Fryar made history Saturday night at Caraway Speedway (NC), winning the Super Late Model portion of the Rusty Harpe Memorial to take the victory in the first-ever PRA Tours Super Late Model Series event.
After Mother Nature intervened multiple times in the opening months of the season, the new Super Late Model circuit based in the Carolinas contested its maiden race Saturday night. In that race, the grandson of the legendary Freddy Fryar beat a collection of some of the best Super Late Model racers in the region to take the win.
Fryar faced stiff competition from both Brandon Ward and Kodie Conner before ultimately pulling away for the win.
“I started to worry,” Fryar said in victory lane. “Brandon [Ward] was really good. I was struggling trying to get by him. It’s so hard to pass nowadays with these cars. Once you get by them, you can run your line.
“He raced me clean, that was good racing,” Fryar added. “I hope the fans enjoyed it. Thank you PRA Tours for having us. I’m glad to be here.”
Fryar was very happy to pick up the win in hopes of turning around a 2019 season that has not met his standards thus far.
“It means a lot to get a win,” said Fryar. “We’ve been having a tough season. It feels good to come get a win I feel very thankful and lucky.”
Conner ultimately came away with the runner-up spot, also getting by Ward in the closing laps. Conner was quick in the early stages, but battled brake issues which had plagued him all weekend.
“At the beginning, we had a really good car,” said Conner. “I’ve had some problems with the brakes this weekend. Yesterday I boiled the brakes in practice. They’re not glowing, so I really wasn’t using them that hard. I just had to keep bleeding the brakes”
Overall, Conner was pleased with the second-place finish, happy to see the PRA Tours finally get a race in without rain interrupting.
“I’m happy [promoter] Renee Hackett finally got a race in with this PRA Tour,” said Conner. “This is beginning to be a good series. Thanks to all the fans for your support.”
Ward settled for a third-place finish on a busy night which saw him also compete with the Southern Modified Racing Series. The race served as a test for his New Day Motorsports team, as they had just finished putting together a Super Late Model in time for Saturday’s race.
“Congratulations to Jared Fryar, he did a great job,” said Ward. “Kodie Conner, it’s fun to race these guys. Last Saturday, this race car was a chassis and a body. No transmission, motor, seat, all the suspension was off of it. These guys wanted to run this race, they worked hard, we didn’t get to test. We basically used this race as a test. I feel like it was pretty good.”
Ward was also honored to be able to compete in the race held each year in memory of Rusty Harpe, a former racer beloved in the region before his passing in 2007.
“It’s an honor to participate in this event,” said Ward. “Rusty and I came up together racing go-karts. We came up through racing together, racing a lot of the same cars at the same places. Being able to race in this is an honor.”
Gil Linster of Frisange, Luxembourg finished fourth in his first-ever race in the United States, while Toni Breidinger rounded out the top five.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51.com photo