SMT: Caraway III preview

* Going for Three: Whelen Southern Modified Tour Returns to Caraway Speedway April 16 *Up Front: Jay Foley Leads Laps and Looks for First Win of 2005 DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (April 13, 2005) -- The NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour returns to...

* Going for Three: Whelen Southern Modified Tour Returns to Caraway Speedway April 16

*Up Front: Jay Foley Leads Laps and Looks for First Win of 2005

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (April 13, 2005) -- The NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour returns to familiar territory this week, with a 150-lap event at Caraway Speedway in Asheboro, N.C. April 16. The race is the third event of the Tour's inaugural season, and the last before the Tour takes an 11-week mid-season break. The Whelen Southern Modified Tour will resume its season July 1, also at Caraway.

Jay Foley, of Stuart, Va., has been a familiar sight at the front of the pack during the first two Whelen Southern Modified Tour events, which both have been held at Caraway. Foley's No. 57 has paced the field for 120 of the 300 laps contested this season.

"We came last week with our car in good shape, but missed just a little bit," said Foley, referring to his runner-up finish April 9. "I haven't really had the car the best it could be yet, so when I get to that point and I'm still second -- then I'll be more worried about it."

Foley, 41, is a veteran Modified driver who also builds engines for several of the teams on the Whelen Southern Modified Tour as well as NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series Modifieds at Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, N.C. Foley says the new Whelen Southern Modified Tour has been a welcome addition to the southeastern racing scene.

"The [NASCAR] officials are doing the very best job they possibly can to make it fair for everybody," said Foley. "I think that's helped me. It's evened the field. I think it's made it better for me and the competition is there, especially when some of the northern drivers come down.

"The bottom line is, you've got to race the best so you've got to beat who's there."

NASCAR WHELEN SOUTHERN MODIFIED TOUR NOTES

Tomaino and "T.C." Return ... Inaugural Whelen Southern Modified Tour race winner Ted Christopher, of Plainville, Conn., also won the Whelen Modified Tour season opener at Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway on April 10. With another break from the Whelen Modified Tour this week, Christopher is scheduled to return to the Southern ranks at Caraway, along with fellow Whelen Modified Tour star Jamie Tomaino, of Howell, N.J.

Modified Masters at Caraway ... Modifieds have raced at Caraway on a regular basis since 1990, when the Southern Modified Auto Racing Teams (SMART) Tour held its first event at the track. The winner of that first Caraway Modified event was High Point, N.C.'s Jay Hedgecock, who went on to record nine wins at the track from 1990-2004. But the real master of Modified racing at the 4/10-mile oval has been Junior Miller, known to fans as the "King of the Southern Modifieds." Miller, of Pine Hall, N.C., won 22 SMART Tour events at Caraway from 1990-2004. Frank Fleming, of Mount Airy, N.C., is tied with Hedgecock, with nine wins at the track.

Variety is the Spice of Second Half Schedule ... Once the Whelen Southern Modified Tour resumes on July 1, the variety of tracks on the remaining schedule will challenge even the most veteran drivers. The Tour visits the tough quarter-mile at Bowman Gray Stadium Aug. 6, before heading to a prestigious combination race with the Whelen Modified Tour, on Sept. 3 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. The 250-lap Labor Day weekend event will be the first night race held at Martinsville. Along with additional stops at Caraway (Sept. 10 and Sept. 24), the Tour will visit Ace Speedway in Altamahaw, N.C., Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, Va., Concord (N.C.) Motorsport Park and historic Hickory (N.C.) Motor Speedway.

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR
Drivers Jamie Tomaino , Junior Miller , Ted Christopher