Race day has finally arrived at Carteret County Speedway but excitement is not the only thing in the air in Swansboro, North Carolina.
Teams have been greeted by rain showers, which are in the forecast for much of the afternoon and early evening hours. However, promoter Adam Resnick is confident that they will be able to get the race in tonight.
“Most of the cars here have got practice so, if we can get a little bit of practice for them today, then we’re good to go,” Resnick said. “I feel great about everything.”
While the car counts for Saturday’s practice day were underwhelming, Resnick says cars that raced at other venues on Saturday are coming to Carteret County for today’s opener.
“We’ve got a bunch of U-CARs coming,” Resnick commented. “I hope we get some more Late Models. I think we have 15 or 16 of them right now which is unheard of nowadays especially with the weather like it is as far as people having to travel.”
Already, a strong cast of cars are parked in the infield ready for racing action today. All eyes are on Jeff Oakley as the favorite to win this race based on his performance on Saturday and his experience at Langley Speedway which is another flat track. However, Haley Moody, Michael Fose, Taylor Howard and Clay Jones are among the drivers hoping to upset Oakley.
“You’ve got a blanket over about five or six cars,” Resnick explained. “You’ve got Jeff Oakley with his CARS Tour experience, very good contender, top-five car every week. Haley Moody with Jamey Caudill, she’s amazing how fast she is right now. Michael Fose is a CARS Tour regular. Clay Jones, he’s always a winner. They’re all fast. Taylor Howard, Wesley Johnson. If you ask me who’s going to win this race, I would not bet on it right now.”
Resnick does have one regret about Sunday night’s race – he wishes he could be in the event. Resnick is a racer himself who competes all over the region, but racing is taking a backseat as he works as the promoter of Carteret County Speedway under track owner Bobby Watson.
“It kills me,” Resnick stated. “Everybody knows that I’m not a track promoter. I’m not a general manager. I’m not a track owner. All I want to do is race cars and and it always bothers me. That’s where I want to be, in the seat of a racecar.”
Danny McQueen, a long time friend of track owner Bobby Watson, is an investor in Carteret County Speedway. McQueen is among the many in Swansboro who are happy to see race weekend finally arrive.
“I’ve been with Bobby for about 10-12 years,” McQueen explained. “It’s his dream. Bobby does everything in his head and he’s so loyal and so thankful and humble. He’s the type of guy you can’t say no to. Bobby’s dream has come true and I’m happy to be here and help … I knew Bobby from being a hard worker in the construction and landscaping business and I knew how hard he worked and I just jumped in. He made his dream come true. I was just there to assist.”
Like all the competitors who have congregated at Carteret County Speedway, McQueen was astonished by the Carteret County Speedway facility.
“It’s something, it’s hard for me to describe it. People have to be here and see it. Until you come here, you’re not going to believe it. It’s one of the finest tracks in all of North Carolina. It speaks for itself.”
Following Saturday afternoon’s practice session, the Kinston, North Carolina classic rock band 8 Track performed a two hour concert in the Moonshiner’s Cafe, which is the name given to the restaurant located in the infield at Carteret County Speedway. Many of the teams stayed at or near the track in a campground located adjacent to the facility.
Today, the hype and the pageantry has given way to what will hopefully be a great day of racing. Temperatures for Sunday are expected to hover around the low 80s with mostly to overcast conditions throughout the day and a 70 percent chance of rain. However, that 70 percent chance of rain will drop to 40 percent by 8pm.