Each Solid Rock Carriers CARS Tour trip to Hickory Motor Speedway is always eagerly awaited by fans and drivers alike.
One of the oldest and most cherished short track facilities in the Southeast, Hickory has been a staple of the CARS Tour schedule since its inception in 2015, where veterans and young short track prospects have engaged in some of the track’s most memorable battles in a brief history of the series.
Saturday’s Tuff Shed 250 will be the first of two CARS Tour visits to Hickory in the 2023 season. Late Model Stock Car Tour drivers look to stop the momentum of defending champion Carson Kvapil as the Pro Late Model Tour returns to action after a month-long hiatus from their opening at Southern National Motorsports Park.
song: Hickory Motor Speedway
location: Hickory, North Carolina
Length: .363 miles
Tours: 150 (LMSC) / 100 (PLM)
CARS LMSC Tour races: 17
CARS PLM Tour races: 2
LMSC Hickory Winners: Josh Berry (4), Bobby McCarthy (3), Anthony Alfredo (2), Brayton Haws (1), Deac McCaskill (1), Justin T Carroll (1), Taylor Gray (1), Ryan Repko (1), Corey Heim (1), Chad McCumbee (1), Connor Hall (1)
PLM Hickory Winners: William Savalich (2)
LMSC entry list (41 cars): #00 Jody Measamer, #03 Brenden Queen, #04 Ronnie Bassett Jr., #08 Deac McCaskill, #09 Riley Gentry, #0 Landon Pembelton, #1 Andrew Grady, #2 Brandon Pierce, #2W Ryan Wilson, #4 Dylon Wilson, #5B Bryant Barnhill, #6 Bobby McCarty, #8 Carson Kvapil, #8B Chase Burrow, #8F Tate Fogleman, #9 Ashton Higgins, #10 Kaden Honeycutt, #14 Lanie Buice, #15 Ryan Millington, #16 Chad McCumby, #19 Jessica Kahn, #20 Josh Dickens, #22 Cale Gayle, #23 Cade Brown, #24 Mason Diaz, #32 Zach Miracle, #42 Carson Brown, #43 William Savalich, #44 Connor Jones, #55 Isabella Robusto, #57 Connor Zielisch, #59 Blake Lothian, #67 Cameron Bolin, #75 Landon Huffman, #77 Connor Hall, #77G Tyler Gregory, #81 Minnie Tyrrell, #95 Jacob Heffner, #97A Jason Kitzmiller, #98 Cody Kelly, #99 Lane Riggs
PLM entry list (29 cars): #03 Kyle Campbell, #2 Hudson Canipe, #5 Zac Fowler, #5B Gavan Boschele, #6 George Phillips, #7 Tristan McKee, #7T Tyler Church, #8 Rusty Skewes, #9 Ashton Higgins, #13 Austin MacDonald, #15 Brett Suggs, #15B Luke Baldwin, #24 Brent Crews, #24D Jaydn Daniels, #25 Connor Zilisch, #26 Dawson Sutton, #27 Lee Tissot, #28 Isabella Robusto, #43 Nick Loden, #43H Josh Horniman, #44 Justin Whittaker, #44L Michael Lichtfeld, #48 Jeff Batten, #49 Luke Morey, #54 Matt Craig, #77 Logan Jones, #81 Katie Hettinger, #96 Caden Kvapil, #97 Dylan Garner
Chad McCumby is ready to defend Hickory’s win
Last year’s Tuff Shed 250 at Hickory produced a long-awaited victory for Late Model Stock veteran Chad McCumbee.
That race remains McCumbee’s only CARS LMSC Tour triumph to date. However, McCumbee is confident they can shake off a year-long winless drought this weekend if he and his team learn from the flaws that hindered them in their second trip to Hickory for Throwback 276.
“As good as we were in the spring competition, it seemed like we were just bad in the fall,” McCumby said. “Hickory is a place where you’re good until you’re not, but we were one for two [last year]so hopefully we can recreate that success on Saturday.”
McCumbee has extensive experience at abrasive South Carolina tracks like Florence Motor Speedway and the now-defunct Myrtle Beach Speedway, but he acknowledged that Hickory has few similarities to those facilities.
Along with being much smoother and rougher than the South Carolina tracks, McCumby believes Hickory changes slightly with each race, which he says is the main reason he excelled at the Tuff Shed 250 in 2022, but struggled at Throwback 276 just a few months later.
The competitive depth on the LMSC Tour also presents a small margin of error for McCumbee to work with. He added that Saturday’s Tuff Shed 250, featuring one of the largest entry lists in LMSC Tour history, will only put more emphasis on nailing the setup and securing stellar track position in qualifying.
“It’s going to be like this all year,” McCumbie said. “With that, your mindset stays the same week in and week out, the goal is to stay competitive and have the best results you can. As the number of cars continues to increase, we need to make sure we stay on top of our game. You can’t get comfortable because everyone else is trying to make their program better.