New Year's Bash Continues to Grow as Street Stock Marquee
Jan 2, 2024
The popular vlogger, competitor and promoter heads to Dillon Motor Speedway this weekend for his biggest event of the year as a 'blue-collar racer.'
For short track racing fans, there’s a good chance you’ve seen Boo Carlisle or heard his voice even if you’ve never watched him race.
Carlisle is best known for his vlog, Kick’N Asphalt, where a following of more than 5,000 subscribers follow his journeys as a Street Stock racer, promoter and all-around supporter of grassroots racing.
And when it comes to racing, no weekend is bigger for Carlisle than the New Year’s Bash at Dillon Motor Speedway, taking place on January 5-7.
“This is our Martinsville for Late Model Stocks, Snowball Derby for Super Late Models, this is the big one,” Carlisle told Racing America. “Everybody that is somebody comes to this.”
Thanks in part to its timing on the first weekend in January, the $2,500-to-win race draws Street Stock racers from the Northeast, Midwest and beyond to Dillon, South Carolina, where traditionally more than 50 racers tackle the 4/10-mile oval hoping to add their name to the list of New Year’s Bash winners.
“It’s at the time of the year where nobody’s racing in the northeast. We never quit racing in the southeast, but we know we’ve got to slow down once [the South Carolina 400 at] Florence and [the Thanksgiving Classic at] Southern National end, because we’ve got to start getting ready for our biggest race.
“It’s 100 laps, it’s on national TV and on Racing America. $2,500 to win is one of the biggest purses in the southeast, if not the biggest purse in the southeast. It’s bragging rights if you can make it in on time. You bring your best equipment to this race. It’s like the NASCAR Cup Series, everyone brings their best piece to Daytona in February.”
Beyond the purse money and the competition, it’s also one of the rare events where Street Stock racers are the stars of the show, rather than a supporting act for a larger race featuring Late Models or Modifieds. For Carlisle, that distinction is one of the biggest reasons the New Year’s Bash matters.
“It is absolutely huge for the blue-collar racer. The man that’s not the supervisor or CEO of a company or has great funding behind him. The guy that works beside the people in the grandstands every Tuesday or Wednesday, punching the same time clock, eating at the same lunch table.
“You get to go out for one weekend a year and see your buddy on the main stage with cars lined up on the frontstretch and driver intros. Everyone needs to feel special, and this is our weekend to feel special with the Street Stocks.”
It is absolutely huge for the blue-collar racer. The man that’s not the supervisor or CEO of a company or has great funding behind him. The guy that works beside the people in the grandstands every Tuesday or Wednesday, punching the same time clock, eating at the same lunch table.
An extra wrinkle to the New Year’s Bash stems from Carlisle’s work not as a racer, but as a promoter. Carlisle’s STAR Super Stock Tour hit the track for the first time in 2023, with five-time New Year’s Bash winner Gary Ledbetter, Jr. crowned as its inaugural champion.
In a display of cooperation between the STAR Super Stock Tour and the Mid-Atlantic Street Stock Series operated by Dillon Motor Speedway owner Ron Barfield, there will be a provisional starting spot available to one of STAR’s top points finishers from 2023 who does not qualify for the New Year’s Bash.
Carlisle says this is just the beginning of what he hopes will be a productive relationship between the two series.
“Ron Barfield reached out to me a few weeks ago and asked what I thought about it,” said Carlisle. “I thought it was great. Me and him will be working together. We’re not going to schedule races on top of each other. He’s got ideas and I’ve got ideas. We’re going to try to stay as far apart as possible so there’s no back-to-back weekend races.
“It’s a huge honor to know one of my guys who doesn’t get in on time and is not able to last-chance race their way in, one of our top 10 points guys will get in with a provisional.”
Carlisle is intimately aware of how important that provisional spot can be. Only 20 drivers will make the field on qualifying speed, with the rest of the field determined by Last Chance Qualifier racing on Sunday and provisionals. Qualifying into the field on time can save Carlisle and "Bittersweet" a lot of trouble on race day by avoiding the LCQ.
“I absolutely tell people walking up and down pit road my hand is shaking like Ty Majeski’s likely is on Friday night at the Snowball Derby. I get where I don’t want to talk to nobody. I just want to focus on it. Man, 21st through 56th last year had to last-chance their way in, and we know how hooligan races can get.
“Everyone turns their brains off, me included last year. I started 16th and got up to third. I got knocked out of the way and missed the transfer by one spot, I ended up fourth. That’s the nature of the beast, you know? I had some trouble in qualifying and had to start at the rear. I was a ping pong machine coming through there, but that’s the nature of the beast.”
So far, Carlisle is 0-for-2 on making the big show, a trend he hopes to change in 2024. His biggest goal for this year’s race is to be part of the main event on Sunday afternoon.
“My main goal is just to make it in the feature. Making it in on time would be nice, but if I get to roll off for 100 laps on Sunday, that’d be the first time out of the three years going I’ve been able to achieve that feat. That’s the main goal, number one.”
After that, Carlisle can turn his focus to winning the 100-lap Street Stock Nationals. And if he can do that, it will be a victory celebration fans will never forget.
“I’d frame the firesuit and call it a career. I’d just be a promoter from now on. You’d see me in victory lane with two bottles of Jack Daniel’s and I wouldn’t care what social media said about me for the next 24 hours, because I would completely show both sides of my ass for the next 24 hours. Promoter hat off, I would. I don’t think I’d sit in a racecar again if I won.”
Race fans unable to attend the New Year's Bash at Dillon Motor Speedway can watch the event live on Racing America. Click here to order your broadcast ticket today to watch all of the feature racing from Dillon on Saturday and Sunday, January 6-7.
-Photo credit: Will Bellamy/Racing America