A strong field of cars, which includes many Battle of the Stars invitees, lined up on the grid prior to the start of the Old North State Nationals CARS Tour race at Orange County Speedway in April 2021. (Andy Marquis photo)
The starting field for last year's Old North State Nationals CARS Tour race at Orange County Speedway in April 2021. Catch all the action on CARS Tour TV. (Andy Marquis photo)

$30,000 To Win For CARS Tour Opener

ASHEBORO, N.C. — An offseason dominated by change will conclude for the Solid Rock Carriers CARS Tour this weekend when the series kicks off its most ambitious season yet with the Puryear Tank Lines Old North State Nationals at Caraway Speedway presented GXS Wraps. 

The prestigious event is set to open a season for the first time in its four-year history, where many of the best Late Model Stock drivers in the country will battle for 200 laps in search of a $30,000 race-winning paycheck.

Saturday’s on-track activity for the Old North State Nationals will also mark the official debut of the CARS Pro Late Model Tour, which replaces the super late model division that had accompanied late model and other national touring series since its inception back in 2015.

Both events will be broadcast live by SPEED SPORT affiliate CARS Tour TV.

Drivers like Bobby McCarty, Jared Fryar, Layne Riggs, Luke Fenhaus and others are determined to open the season on a strong note when the green flags drop for the Pro Late Model and Late Model Stock features at the .455-mile race track.

In previous years, CARS Tour owner Jack McNelly was content on holding the series’ most prestigious Late Model Stock race a few weeks into the season. 

With 2022 bringing so many changes to the CARS Tour, McNelly decided that the best way to kick off the festivities was to open the season with the division’s most storied event in the Old North State Nationals. 

McNelly has worked tirelessly to get everything prepared for the upcoming weekend but believes making the Old North State Nationals the first race is a perfect way to immediately get drivers and fans invested into the season. 

“It’s a little stressful to open the year with an event this big,” McNelly said. “We have a bunch of fellows who are anxious to go racing and I guess I took a page out of NASCAR’s playbook with us having [the Old North State Nationals] right out of the gate.” 

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This year’s Old North State 200 moves to Caraway Speedway. (Caraway Speedway photo)

Along with a new date, the Old North State Nationals will now take place at a completely different venue in the form of Caraway Speedway. 

Orange County Speedway had been the host track for the Old North State Nationals since the event’s inception except for 2020 when the race was moved to Greenville-Pickens Speedway in October due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

With the CARS Tour not returning to Orange County in 2022, McNelly wanted to pick a facility that could easily accommodate the Old North State Nationals from a racing and fan perspective, adding that Caraway checked off both boxes. 

McNelly has seen the Old North State Nationals blossom into the crown jewel event he sought to create when the first running was held back in 2019 and is confident that the event’s place as the season opener will only strengthen the growing tradition in the series. 

“This is one of our marquee events outside of the Throwback 276,” McNelly said. “We take a lot of pride in this race and put a lot of effort into holding it. We’re hoping everything goes well and we’re encouraging those who have been holed up all winter to come out and see some great racing.” 

The Late Model Stock entries:

Chase Dixon, Deac McCaskill, Andrew Grady, Brandon Pierce, Braden Rogers, Ryan Wilson, Justin Johnson, Hayden Swank, Carter Langley, Mike Darne Dylan Ward, Carson Kvapil, Chase Burrow, Janson Marchbanks, Kaden Honeycutt, Jared Fryar, Chad McCumbee, Jason York, Bobby McCarty, Mason Diaz, Peyton Sellers, Coy Beard, Zack Miracle, Trevor Ward, Conner Jones, Heath Causey, Cameron Bolin, Ronald Hill, Connor Hall, Corey Heim, Mike Looney, Jonathan Shafer, Jacob Heafner, Layne Riggs, Colby Higgins.

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