Zack Staley and Bobby “Junior” Smith were the first Bowman Gray drivers to arrive at Carteret County Speedway this week. “Oh this track is huge,” said Staley as he compared the surroundings to his home track in Winston-Salem.
Bowman Gray Stadium is the size of a football field and on any given Saturday the stands are packed with 17,000 avid fans. Bowman Gray Stadium has hosted racing since 1949, that’s NASCAR’s longest running weekly series and Bowman Gray Stadium has been called the definition of excellence in short track racing.
This Saturday the celebrity field of drivers from Bowman Gray will strut their talents right here at Bobby Watson’s Carteret County Speedway, America’s Nicest Short Track. “This is a driver’s track,” said Smith. “At home we go for the lead and here we will have to pick our spots but first we have to get used to the track,” Smith added.
This is the first time many Bowman Gray stars have competed at Carteret Speedway and that should only add to the atmosphere Saturday when the green flag drops on “Madhouse at the Beach” at 6pm. Bowman Gray racing is known for their bumping and grinding racing style but as Staley says, “At the end of the day everyone wants to go home with a car intact.” That being said, Staley added, “If there is an issue on the track expect it to be dealt with on the track.”
The Bowman Gray season is over and all four of their division champions have been crowned so this is bonus racing, kind of like a Bowl Game in football. What better facility than Carteret County Speedway?
Tim Brown won the Bowman Gray season modified title, Tommy Neal the sportsman championship, Billy Gregg wrapped up the Street Stock division and A.J. Sanders won the stadium stock crown. All four will be at Carteret County Speedway Saturday and all but Sanders (injured) will be racing.
Many of the Bowman Gray drivers are celebrities in Winston-Salem where the track has been a part of history. Richard Petty logged his 100th win at Bowman Gray Stadium while Junior Johnson, David Pearson, the Allisons and Earnhardts all have ties to Bowman Gray.
“Racing at Carteret Speedway Saturday will be a thrill,” says Staley, who arrived in town Wednesday to take in the entire week of racing.
Don’t forget, the Driver meet and greet starts at 5pm and includes a trunk or treat, plus there will be a Halloween Costume contest before the racing starts at 6pm. Bowman Gray racing at Carteret County Speedway a match up made in racing heaven!