JACKSONVILLE, NC – T.J. Barron hopes his fourth win of the season at Goodyear All American Speedway comes on Sunday in the biggest race that’s been held at the Onslow County motorsports complex in a generation.
Barron, 31, from Wilmington, North Carolina, won the track championship at Goodyear All American Speedway, then called Coastal Plains Raceway, back in 2010. He is one of over 25 drivers who will compete in Sunday afternoon’s Solid Rock Carriers Battle of the Stars, which pays $10,000 – and he is looking forward to competing against elite competition in his back yard.
“I don’t think the track has ever put on a big event such as this,” Barron said. “The most I’ve ever ran against there is about 12 or 15 cars or so. The last time I remember a big field of cars was the Southeast Limited Late Model races [in the early 2000s]. Just about every car coming to this race could probably win this thing. It’s not quite Martinsville, but it’s up there with the quality of cars. Everybody’s going to be good. There won’t be many ducks in the field, so you’ve got to be on your game.”
Barron knows the competition will be stout but, like any racer, he is showing up with the goal of winning.
“Winning would be almost like the cherry on top,” Barron stated. “I’ve won a bunch of races here, won at Carteret, and been competitive all over Eastern North Carolina. This is home track, and it would be very gratifying to win a big event at Goodyear All American Speedway.”
Barron expects the race to be entertaining but also expects there to be some in-race strategy during longer green flag runs. However, with close to 30 cars on the track, lapped traffic and the timing of cautions will play a factor and make it hard to predict how the race will play out.
“It all depends on cautions, I think,” Barron explained. “If we have a lot of green flag runs, it’s going to get spread out a little bit, similar to Myrtle Beach. The difference between Myrtle Beach and Jacksonville is the asphalt. Jacksonville’s asphalt isn’t as abrasive as Myrtle Beach’s was. I’ve won a lot of races at Jacksonville leading every lap, getting out front and riding – but not with 30 cars on the track.”
Barron began racing at Goodyear All American Speedway in the early 2000s, starting out in a Bandolero and moving up the ranks into Late Models.
“My dad used to be in drag racing when I was younger, before I got into racing, and we took off on a Saturday night to watch a drag race there and had no clue they opened a round track there,” Barron commented. “We ended up getting into racing and been racing there since then. We started racing Bandoleros there in 2001 or 2002, and then went to Legends, and then Late Models in 2007. It’s been a while.”
Barron is as enthusiastic about seeing his home track in the spotlight for the first time since its infancy as he is about competing in the race – and believes it is the start of bigger things to come at the 4/10-mile track in Jacksonville, North Carolina.
“It’s very exciting to have the cars and exposure for this race,” Barron observed. “It’s the start of big things to come for everybody at Goodyear All American Speedway. Anthony [Goodyear]’s done an awesome job promoting it. I think it’s only going to get bigger from here and I’m excited to see what happens next year and the years to follow.”
Sunday’s Solid Rock Carriers Battle of the Stars will commence at 3pm. Tickets are available at the gate on race day for $20 for adults; $15 for active and retired military, students and seniors (with ID); $5 for kids ages 6-12; and kids five (5) and under free. The race will also be broadcast live on Racing America powered by Speed51.TV for people who are unable to attend the race.
Goodyear All American Speedway is Jacksonville’s Action Attraction featuring racing and other events. For more information about Goodyear All American Speedway, check out the speedway’s website, like/follow “Goodyear All American Speedway” on Facebook, or follow the track on Instagram.
-Goodyear All American Speedway Press Release
-Photo credit: Andy Marquis