EASLEY, S.C. (Oct. 25, 2020) — Jared Fryar won the 2020 Solid Rock Carriers CARS Tour Late Model Stock Car championship in Sunday’s second annual Heritage Transportation Risk Management Old North State Nationals presented by GXS Wraps at Greenville-Pickens Speedway, while JR Motorsports’ Josh Berry won the race and $30,000.
Fryar won the title by a single point over Layne Riggs. With the championship, Fryar became the first driver in Solid Rock Carriers CARS Tour history to win both the LMSC and Super Late Model titles. Berry’s race win capped off a week that included a NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series national championship and an announcement that he will drive 12 races next season for JR Motorsports in the NASCAR XFINITY Series.
Sunday was the first time Berry had competed in a Solid Rock Carriers CARS LMSC Tour event since his suspension following an on-track incident with Bobby McCarty at Ace Speedway, but he provided the field a strong reminder as to why he is the CARS Tour’s all-time wins leader.
“This is truly unbelievable,” Berry said. “These guys have done such a great job all year staying on top of things. We ran a lot of laps Friday and Saturday, and all of that paid off today. I knew taking tires with 100 laps to go was too early, and we were in a prime position with new tires by restarting eighth after the second rain delay.”
Berry surrendered the lead from the pole to Deac McCaskill before Layne Riggs passed both of them to take the lead early. Riggs had explored the high line during the three heat races on Saturday and used it to assume control of the race.
After passing McCaskill for second, Josh Berry attempted to use the bottom line to power his way by Riggs, but the 2017 CARS LMSC Tour champion was forced to tuck in line and ride behind Riggs until a competition caution was displayed at Lap 68.
On the ensuing restart, Berry worked his way by the slower cars of Chad McCumbee and Peyton Sellers, both of which had stayed out under caution, to retake the lead. Berry led the race until an incident between Boo Boo Dalton and Taylor Satterfield brought out the yellow just before the halfway point.
Berry, Mike Looney and several other front runners elected to save a set of tires for the end of the race while Riggs led a group of cars down pit road. Riggs and the other cars that pitted used their fresh tires to race back towards the front of the field.
Berry believed that the race was in his hands when a rain delay halted the Old North State Nationals with 52 laps remaining, but he admitted that patience would be imperative depending on how many cars decided to come with him to get fresh tires once the yellow flag was displayed.
“We were concerned about how many cars would stay out during the break, but only seven did,” Berry said. “We lined up eighth with fresh tires, but you’re always worried about getting caught up in a wreck and you have to control what you can control. I felt like we put ourselves in the best position to win.”
Berry wasted no time charging towards the lead and found himself on Riggs’ rear bumper after only ten laps. A strong run by Berry under Riggs in Turn 3 gave him the momentum to drive away from Riggs and easily claim his 19th win in CARS Tour Late Model Stock Car competition.
While Berry celebrated in victory lane, Fryar was overcome with emotion after backing up his 2018 SLM title with the 2020 LMSC crown, despite dealing with an ill-handling car for most of the weekend.
“Josh [Berry] gave me some words of wisdom,” Fryar said. “He told me he ran like crap in the last race when he won it in 2017, but it’s awesome to have so many good runs all year long and a win, which is all I could have asked for. The competition is so tough in the CARS Tour, so it feels good to finally get a championship in a Late Model Stock Car.”
Fryar was confident in his chances about battling Berry for the $30,000 paycheck on Sunday evening, but he said that his car did not agree with some adjustments that his crew made following the heat races on Saturday.
Fryar and his crew kept trying to diagnose the issues with his No. 14 Sterling Building Group Ford once the green flag dropped for the Old North State Nationals, but Fryar ended up spending most of the event’s opening half clinging to a Top 10 running position.
With Riggs collecting a bonus point for leading laps, Fryar knew how important track position would be to maintaining the points lead, but he believed that his crew finally got the car right after they put tires on it during a Lap 102 caution.
Fryar used the fresh rubber to work his way through slower traffic up to the ninth position before weather brought another yellow flag out with 52 laps to go. Fryar elected to stay out on track with Riggs and a handful of others once the race got back going, meaning that he would have to fight to keep his points lead.
The final green flag run of the evening saw Fryar struggle to corral his car as drivers like Looney, Connor Mosack and more passed him. For most of the last 50 laps, the live points lead swapped between Riggs and Fryar on multiple occasions.
“It just went away there at the end,” Fryar said about his car. “We could just never get through Turn 1 like we needed to. I don’t know if we made the wrong changes or if there was just something wrong with the car. We’ll celebrate and go back to the shop and look at the car so it’s ready for next year.”
With six laps to go, Riggs and Fryar were tied in the points standings. At that point, Riggs would have won the title off the first tiebreaker — most wins. However, Fryar’s fortunes turned when Timothy Peters retired from the race. Peters’ retirement moved Fryar into the 13th position and gave him the championship by just one point.
Riggs, who spent a good portion of the closing stages battling Corey Heim for second, did everything he needed to do in order to have an opportunity to win both the race and the championship, but he said that consistency ultimately decided which driver celebrated on the frontstretch.
“We had a good race,” Riggs said. “We got off on strategy when we changed tires early, and the fresh rubber that Josh [Berry] and Corey [Heim] at the end prevailed. I enjoyed racing with Corey, but we came up short. Congrats to Jared on being super consistent all year, but without those DNFs at Hickory and Florence, I think we would have had a good shot at it.”
Fryar was unaware of the actual points situation until he received confirmation from CARS Tour officials after the race, as he was focused on nursing his struggling car to the checkered flag while simultaneously respecting everyone out on track.
“I knew it was close,” Fryar said. “I was just trying to hold off all those guys behind me, but Josh was trying to lap me and I was trying to stay off of him. This wasn’t the prettiest way to win the championship, but my name is on the trophy at the end of the day.”
While the Late Model Stock Cars have completed their 2020 season, the Super Late Models of the Solid Rock Carriers CARS Tour finish their 2020 campaign with the All-American 400 at the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway on Nov. 1.
Results: Heritage Transportation Risk Management Old North State Nationals presented by GXS Wraps — Greenville-Pickens Speedway — Oct. 25, 2020
LATE MODEL STOCK CARS – 200 LAPS
- 8 Josh Berry
- 78 Corey Heim
- 99 Layne Riggs
- 19 Deac McCaskill
- 4 Jonathan Findley
- 22 Bobby McCarty
- 1 Nolan Pope
- 16 Chad McCumbee
- 99s Austin Somero
- 88 Connor Mosack
- 87 Mike Looney
- 08 Justin Johnson
- 14 Jared Fryar -1
- 67 Cameron Bolin -1
- 40 Taylor Satterfield -1
- 63 Tyler Matthews -1
- 2 Brandon Pierce -1
- 2c Ralph Carnes -1
- 12 Timothy Peters OUT
- 19c Jessica Cann -7
- 112 Trey Gibson OUT
- 51 Matt Cox OUT
- 54 Mike Darne OUT
- 26 Peyton Sellers OUT
- 09 Riley Gentry OUT
- 10 Janson Marchbanks OUT
- 50 Boo Boo Dalton OUT
- 74 Ronald Hill OUT
- 81 Mini Tyrrell OUT
- 28 Jackie Manley OUT
- 41 Jeremy Burns DNS
- 41a Anthony Anders DNS