ASA STARS National Tour
North Wilkesboro Shows Off Its New Look at Open House
May 11, 2023
If you told Matt Craig the next four ASA Southern Super Series races were going to be in his home state of North Carolina then you could expect him to be tickled to death. The multi-time Super Late Model Champion has won at almost every asphalt venue in the Tar Heel State. However, two stops among the next four will be new, even for the Kannapolis, North Carolina driver.
“I am excited to see it [North Wilkesboro] and get out there and make laps,” said Craig. “We didn’t get to run there last year as we had some plans that weekend and we missed out. We stopped by there a few years back when the track was not running to check it out. To get a chance to run it now after we didn’t think it was going to be around will be cool.”
“If I had to compare it to another race track I would think Myrtle Beach,” added Craig. “It’s flat compared to some of the tracks we run like Nashville. I might change my opinion on it after we practice, but I’ll start looking at it like Myrtle Beach.”
During the last ASA STARS event at Madison, Craig was watching from afar and wanting to be at the event. However it was not in the cards to make that trip for the second race in the series. Craig will be in the third and fourth events as they combine with the Southern Super Series.
“Super Late Model racing has really improved over the last two years,” added Craig. “We went from having a handful of cars at each race to 15-20 that can beat you each time you roll out. Then you have all these guys coming to the ASA races and it makes it that much harder. It just makes things more exciting.”
Super Late Model racing has really improved over the last two years. We went from having a handful of cars at each race to 15-20 that can beat you each time you roll out.
What might be bad news for the rest of the field when they shift to Hickory Motor Speedway (NC) the following week is the history that Craig has there. He had four career wins with the CARS Tour Super Late Model Series. In all, he had 11 podium finishes and almost 4,000 laps of action.
“I hope we have a hand up on those guys, but I am not going to expect that,” said Craig. “Some of these guys like Chase Elliott and William Byron can go to a place for the first time and run well. Hickory is a strange little place and it has little nuances and you have to be ready to make changes to be fast. 250 laps is a long race at Hickory so you have to expect that things will change during the event as far as handling.”
While Craig is looking to hold his ground in the western part of North Carolina, the June Southern Super Series double in the eastern part of the state could be a challenge as Craig and his wife Adrianna are expecting their baby girl at the end of the month. Racing plans are on hold at this point.
“I’d love to be there, but I can’t say that I will for sure be there until we get a little bit closer,” said Craig. “The track is about a four or five hour drive if we do end up going so we’ll be on baby watch if we get to race that weekend.”
Statistically Southern National is one of Craig’s best tracks with five wins in his last six starts. In those races he led over 600 laps across three different Super Late Model Series.
Carteret County Speedway would be a new venue for Craig to race at. He hopes that he’s at the event as the baby’s due date gets closer.
The North Carolina swing gets underway with the ECMD 150 at North Wilkesboro Speedway on Tuesday, May 16th. The 150-lap combination race with the ASA STARS National Tour will be the first of two combination events in the month of May. The series will shift to the Hickory Motor Speedway on Thursday, May 25th for the Tar Heel 250.
The northern swing continues for the Southern Super Series in the Tar Heel State with a doubleheader at Southern National Motorsport Park on Thursday, June 22nd and then at Carteret County Speedway on Saturday, June 24th. Both races will be a 100-lap contest with a $5,000 bonus if a driver can win both races.
For more information on the ASA Southern Super Series visit the series website www.southernsuperseries.com and visit the ASA Stars Tour site starsnationaltour.com.
-ASA STARS National Tour Release
-Photo credit: Will Bellamy/Racing America