NEWTON, N.C. - Saturday night’s CARS Racing Tour event was a real blast from the past, as the series held the Throwback 276 at North Carolina’s Hickory Motor Speedway, featuring today’s cars with paint schemes as legends from the past.
Tate Fogleman took the opportunity to write his own page of history in the event, as he scored the Super Late Model feature win.
Meanwhile, Justin Carroll also scored his first career series win in the Late Model Stock feature.
Matt Craig scored the pole for the Super Late Model feature, and it appeared Craig was racing toward an apparent victory in the 138-lap race.
The racing gods, however, had different ideas during the caution-free event. Fogleman took advantage of a break in traffic and a fading handle on Craig’s car to move to the lead on lap 113. Craig attempted to move the Fogleman up the track two corners later, but failed in his attempt, eventually falling five seconds behind Fogleman in the final 26 laps.
When the checkered flag flew was a Fogleman, driving a car honoring the No. 00 of the late Sam Ard, who scored the victory.
“I know we got strung out there, and we got caught in lapped traffic,” Fogleman said. “I was thinking back to the last race when got together with Lessard and was kinda thinking we were impatient then, so I tried to wait and plan the right move. When I got around him, I was praying. I didn’t want a caution to come out, that was the last thing I wanted to see.”
A short track legend in his own right, Tate’s father Jay was overcome with emotion.
“Sam did a lot for me. If it wasn’t for him, I would’ve never driven what was a Busch car back then. He just gave a broke kid a chance, and I worked for Sam, and…” the elder Fogleman trailed off while visibly fighting back tears. “It’s…. a good deal”
Craig held on for second, with Brandon Setzer in third, Senoia, Georgia’s Bubba Pollard in fourth and Tyler Ankrum in fifth.
The Late Model Stock field was filled with throwback schemes on nearly every car, making their portion of the Throwback 276 exceptionally special for fans and racers alike.
Layne Riggs captured the pole and led the opening laps despite a handful of early cautions, one of which eliminated Stefan Parsons and Craig Moore when they collided after sliding in oil laid down by Ty Gibbs’ car when its engine erupted in smoke in turn three.
Riggs continued to show the way through lap 58 when Justin Carroll, who made four total practice laps on Saturday afternoon, worked his way around Riggs for his first lead of the night.
Carroll was up front when the largest incident of the night occurred. Second place driver Ryan Repko failed to come up to speed initially on a lap 94 restart and caused a chain reaction which severely damaged the cars of Josh Berry, Jared Fryar, Riggs, Brandon Grosso and others.
A subsequent slip by Carroll on a lap 98 restart allowed Austin McDaniel to take the lead for the first time of the night. McDaniel fought off multiple charges from Carroll as the laps began to wind down, but a caution on lap 111 set the stage for the run to the finish.
Over the course of the final 27 laps, Carroll, McDaniel and Anthony Alfredo waged a three-wide battle for the race lead where multiple instance of bumper tag were initiated. The trio found themselves three-wide for the race lead in several instances, and on more than one occasion sparks flew from the competitors involved. McDaniel finally bounced off the turn two wall with less than five laps to go, allowing Carroll the go-ahead to his first CARS Tour victory.
Carroll, driving a Dick Trickle/Junie Donlavey tribute, captured his first series win at the same track where the Trickle captured his first NASCAR Xfinity Series triumph.
“You have no idea, oh my gosh, I think that was Dick driving because I don’t know if Justin Carroll was in that racecar, but Dick was definitely with me,” Carroll said. “He won over 1000 short track races, and I’m not sure if I want to take the ’90’ off the car now, but we had such an awesome car today. Yesterday, we didn’t even practice, but we knew we had a good car.
“I can’t thank that guy over there, Jason Stanley, enough because we’ve worked really hard on this car and we’ve been really, really good and really fast everywhere we go. To finally get a CARS Tour win, in a crazy race like that, I don’t think the fans could get any better of a show than that. That was the best racing I’ve ever been a part of, and if I was a fan, that’d be one of the best races I’ve ever seen.”
Alfredo, McDaniel, Brandon Grosso and Ryan Repko rounded out the top five finishers.
The CARS Racing Tour returns to action at Concord Speedway for the Race to Remember 250 on August 26, the penultimate race of the series’ third season.
For more information, visit CARSRacingTour.com.
CARS Racing Tour
Hickory Motor Speedway – Newton, NC
Throwback 276 – August 5, 2017
Super Late Models
1. 00 Tate Fogleman
2. 54 Matt Craig
3. 4 Brandon Setzer
4. 26 Bubba Pollard
5. 58 Tyler Ankrum
6. 7 Tyler Church
7. 33 Bradley McCaskill
8. 49 Jeff Batten
9. 6 Matt Wallace
10. 17 Mike Speeney
11. 34 Nolan Pope
12. 88 Garrett Jones
13. 87 Matt Thomas
14. 55 Hailie Deegan
15. 21 Riley Thornton
16. 57 Cole Timm
17. 11 Roy Hayes III
18. 51 Cole Rouse
19. 99 John Gustafson
Late Model Stock Cars
1. 90 Justin Carroll
2. 8 Anthony Alfredo
3. 12 Austin McDaniel
4. 32 Brandon Grosso
5. 14 Ryan Repko
6. 1 Dexter Canipe, Jr.
7. 96 Danny O’Quinn, Jr.
8. 2 Cody Haskins
9. 37 Landon Huffman
10. 11R Layne Riggs
11. 3 Deac McCaskill
12. 07 Ronald Hill
13. 44 Jared Fryar
14. 28 Chris Hudspeth
15. 4 Annabeth Barnes-Crum
16. 38 Josh Berry
17. 82 Justin Johnson
18. 27 Tommy Lemons, Jr.
19. 11G Ty Gibbs
20. 55 Stefan Parsons
21. 18 Evan Swilling
22. 22 Craig Moore
23. 51 Robert Tyler