It’s been 10 years since NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Bobby Labonte threw the first green flag, opening his quarter-midget track in Salisbury, North Carolina.
Labonte had the vision to create a state of the art facility for kids to race, just as he and older brother Terry had spent their weekends growing up in Texas. Labonte, wanted a fairly flat track so drivers could learn car control. He wanted the facility to be one that club members would be proud of and he wanted to host national events.
The United States Auto Club hosted Round Five of their Honda National Touring Series from June 19-21. After visiting San Bernardino, Calif., Phoenix, San Antonio, Texas, and Nashville, Tenn., the Carolina Clash featured the speeds of the smooth concrete surface at Salisbury.
The event commemorated the 10-year anniversary with several alumni drivers returning to the track for autographs.
Ryan Blaney – NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and Nationwide Standout, Jared Irvan – PASS Late Models, Todd Gilliland and Tyler Ankrum – NASCAR Lt Models, Jared Fryer – PRO All Star Late Models, Lucas Jones – PASS Pro Late Model Series, & Nolan Allison, Wil Raber, and Jessica Bean who currently participate in the USAC Honda HPD Midget Series.
A live radio show by Triad Sports Coverage was on hand Thursday during practice to talk to the alumni drivers and get their stories.
Carson Hocevar of Portage, Mich. had a stellar weekend taking home 4 wins. (Hvy Honda, Hvy 160, Briggs Hvy WF, Hvy AA) Local driver Ryan Repko wore gold three times, (Sr Honda, Lt 160, Briggs Lt WF) and Brady Johnson of Mooresville, N.C. was the victor in Briggs Jr Animal and Lt Mod. Gage Painter of Huntersville, N.C. won Briggs Sr Animal and Jack Wehmeyer of Crystal Springs, PA won Lt ‘AA.
Six-year-old Luke Riffle of Greensboro, N.C. (Jr Honda) and ten-year-old Danny Sams, III of Lakeland, Fla. (Unrestricted Animal) recorded their first ever National Tour wins.
All Rookie drivers received gold participation medallions, but local drivers Jared Orrell, John Macartney, and PJ Majors crossed the finish line first in their main events.