Carteret County Speedway’s layout could make Jeff Oakley, the 2011 Southside Speedway track champion, the favorite in Sunday night’s race.
That is because Carteret County Speedway, opening Sunday night in Swansboro, North Carolina, is very similar to Langley Speedway, the nearly flat .396-mile oval in Hampton, Virginia — a track where Oakley has logged a lot of laps.
“That’s what I’m told,” Oakley, who has not yet been to Carteret County Speedway, said when asked about the similarities and if it makes him a favorite. “I hope so. Langley’s flat and tough to get around. If some of the other guys haven’t run on flat tracks, hopefully it will help us.”
Another advantage Oakley has is experience racing on the American Racer tires. Oakley has run all eight races in the Championship Auto Racing Series (CARS) Late Model Stock Tour — seven of those races being run on American Racer tires. In fact, Oakley has scored one top-five finish in the series, a fourth place finish in the second race at Southern National Motorsports Park.
“I don’t know if it hurts us or helps us,” Oakley remarked. “We know how the tire reacts because we have some experience with it. After about 30 laps, everybody’s running the same pace. It’s just hard to really get much passing done after 30 laps. A whole lot of follow the leader after 30 laps. That doesn’t mean restarts don’t bunch everybody up. If they’re nose to tail, they just pace each other.”
Oakley has had strong runs in the CARS Tour but just has not been able to finish the job. He hopes that he will be able to do just that in Sunday night’s race at Carteret County Speedway and snap a winless drought that dates back to August 5, 2011.
“We want to go down there with intentions to win but we’d be happy with a good finish,” Oakley commented. “Hopefully there will be a good car count and we’ll be racing with the best guys on the east coast.”
Carteret County Speedway’s inaugural race will be held on Sunday night with the green flag flying at 7pm.