Why Dale Jr. Is Back in the No. 3 at the South Carolina 400
Nov 14, 2022
Dale Earnhardt Jr. is the headline attraction but an increased purse throughout the field for the South Carolina 400 at Florence Motor Speedway has attracted an incredibly diverse and robust entry list for the third-year autumn classic.
For starters, the South Carolina 400 is the spiritual successor to the Myrtle Beach 400.
The marquee event at Myrtle Beach Speedway was moved an hour inland when the track was sold to redevelopers three years ago and its final promotional group moving their events to Florence Motor Speedway instead.
There are 57 cars on the entry list, a reflection of an increased purse, not only for the winner but throughout the field as well. The winner will earn $12,000 with $4,000 going to the runner-up but a majority of those gains can be found 14th on back.
The race pays at least $1400 to start and escalates up to $1650 up to 14th.
The event was won by Ty Majeski in its first two seasons, but Chad Bryant Racing has Mason Diaz in the No. 77 instead so there will be a new winner this year as a result.
Joining Earnhardt at JR Motorsports for this event will be reigning CARS Tour champion Carson Kvapil. Josh Berry will serve as crew chief for Earnhardt as he did in August at North Wilkesboro Speedway. Lee Pulliam Performance will bring its 2023 duo to Florence in Brenden Queen and the returning Brandon Pierce.
Other regional or track champions included on the entry list includes Super Late Model champion Matt Craig, Langley Speedway champion Mark Wertz and Hickory Motor Speedway champion Landon Huffman.
The 200-lap South Carolina 400 will be divided into three stages.
Each of the first two stages will run 75 laps, and a 50-lap shootout will determine the winner of the event. The final stage is named in honor of former Myrtle Beach competitor Terry Evans, who tragically passed away from injuries sustained in a car accident in 2017.
The South Carolina 400 will utilize a European style time trials format with groups of four for three laps. The first round will lock in the 20 fastest cars. The second round will lock in the 10 fastest cars. The third round will lock in the 10 fastest cars
WHAT WILL THE RACING LOOK LIKE?
Much like Myrtle Beach, Florence has an extremely abrasive racing surface but is four-tenths of a mile compared to the .538-mile short track on the grandstrand. As a result, when the field inevitably rides around to save tires early in the race, it will look like Daytona or Talladega style pack racing but on a bullring short track. Inevitably, there will be a driver that gets antsy in the pursuit of track position and risks causing a big crash with so many cars packed together. For the final stage, everyone will go full-send and the results will be dictated by who saved the best.
A love letter to this style of racing can be found here.
The complete race schedule can be found here and it will air on FloRacing.
MYRTLE BEACH 400 WINNERS
SOUTH CAROLINA 400 WINNERS
|00||Bobbie Tumbleston III||Cameron, SC||N/A|
|02||Justin Milliken||Shallote, NC||Milliken Racing|
|03||Brenden ‘Butterbean’ Queen||Chesapeake, VA||Lee Pulliam Performance|
|07||Averitt Lucas||Manning, SC||Lucas Racing|
|0||Landon Pembelton||Amelia, VA||Landon Pembelton Racing|
|1||Trent Barnes||Forest Hill, MD||Barnes Racing|
|1||Andrew Grady||Youngsville, NC||Mike Darne Racing|
|1||Jamie York||Reidsville, NC||N/A|
|2||Brandon Pierce||Oak Ridge, NC||Lee Pulliam Performance|
|3||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Mooresville, NC||JR Motorsports|
|4||Adam Resnick||Surf City, NC||Yeoman Racing|
|5||Bryant Barnhill||Conway, SC||Barnhill Motorsports|
|5||Dexter Canipe Jr.||Conover, NC||3D Motorsports|
|5||Casey Kelley||Hartsville, SC||Kelley Racing|
|7||Jason Kitzmiller||Claremont, NC||3D Motorsports|
|7||Tristan McKee||Williamsburg, VA||International Trading Racing|
|8||Carson Kvapil||Mooresville, NC||JR Motorsports|
|9||Riley Gentry||Easley, SC||Riley Gentry Racing|
|9||Ashton Higgins||Weaverville, NC||ALH Motorsports|
|10||Kaden Honeycutt||Troutman, NC||R&S Race Cars|
|11||Blaise Brinkley||Sanford, NC||Brad Brinkley Racing|
|13||Bobby June||Darlington, SC||June Motorsports|
|15||Ryan Millington||Statesville, NC||Leisure Tyme Racing Team|
|16||Kade Brown||Denver, NC||AK Performance|
|18||Anthony Adams||Simpsonville, SC||Adams Racing|
|18||David Roberts||Simpsonsville, SC||N/A|
|19w||Kyle Wood||Moseley, VA||Ramco Motorsports|
|21||Tim Allensworth||Bladenboro, NC||Allensworth Racing|
|21||Jimmy Wallace||Lexington, NC||Tutterow Racing|
|28||Ryan Glenski||Mooresville, NC||RG Racing|
|32||Zack Miracle||Indian Trail, NC||Miracle Motorsports|
|41||Whitney Meggs||Riegelwood, NC||Hawk McCall Motorsports|
|44||Conner Jones||Fredericksburg, VA||R&S Race Cars|
|44||Justin Whitaker||Burlington, NC||Be Aggressive Racing|
|47||Ryley Music||Norfolk, VA||Ryley Music Racing|
|50||‘Boo Boo’ Dalton||Greensboro, NC||Ross Dalton Racing|
|51||Matt Cox||Longs, SC||McCumbee Elliott Racing|
|52||Jordan Stillwell||Kannapolis, NC||Stillwell Racing|
|54||Matt Craig||Concord, NC||R&S Race Cars|
|55||Isabella Robusto||Mooresville, NC||Lee Faulk Racing|
|55||Mark Wertz||Chesapeake, VA||Mark Wertz Racing|
|59||Heath Causey||Snow Camp, NC||N/A|
|60||R.A. Brown||Chapin, SC||Brown Racing|
|61||Justin Hicks||Thomasville, NC||Hicks Motorsports, MDR|
|63||Chris Throckmorton||Myrtle Beach, SC||Throckstar Motorsports|
|70||Jeremy McDowell||Conway, SC||Ricks-McDowell Racing|
|71||Katie Hettinger||Conniver, NC||Matt Piercy Racing|
|75||Landon Huffman||Claremont, NC||Jason Smith Racing|
|77||Mason Diaz||Vale, NC||Chad Bryant Racing|
|88||Doug Barnes Jr.||Forest Hill, MD||Barnes Racing|
|94||Jamie Weatherford||Darlington, SC||JWR|
|95||Jacob Heafner||Dallas, NC||Carroll Speedshop|
|95||Sam Yarbrough||Myrtle Beach, SC||McCumbee Elliott Racing|
|98||Cody Kelley||Hartsville, SC||AK Performance|
|99||Austin Somero||Landrum, SC||Somero Motorsports|
|170||Dylan ‘Mamba’ Smith||Huntersville, NC||Lee Faulk Racing|
|T2||Travis Truett||Conway, SC||Truett Racing|