NORTH & SOUTH COLLIDE IN SATURDAY’S SLM CHALLENGE AT NASHVILLE
Original story from Speed51, posted with permission from Speed51
After one year off, the North/South Super Late Model Challenge returns to Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway on Saturday as a combination event between the ARCA/CRA Super Series, Southern Super Series and CARS Super Late Model Tour. This event has historically drawn strong fields for 100 laps around the historic oval.
Two defending series champions lead the way as Stephen Nasse (SSS) and Matt Craig (CARS) are entered. Two-time ARCA/CRA Super Series champion Cody Coughlin is also entered, looking for his first Nashville win.
Reigning ARCA Menards Series West champion Jesse Love is set to make his first trip to Nashville with Wimmer Motorsports. The duo finished seventh in their first race away from New Smyrna together, that coming in the Icebreaker 100 at Dells Raceway Park.
Reigning All American 400 polesiter Kodie Conner is entered, along with Dalton Armstrong. Armstrong is the only driver currently entered that has won a Super Late Model race at Nashville, winning the CRA portion of the North/South Super Late Model challenge in 2016.
Perhaps the biggest surprise entrant into the North/South Super Late Model challenge is three-time Oxford 250 winner Travis Benjamin. He joins Archie St. Hilaire and Go Fas Racing for his first Nashville appearance.
Sammy Smith will be behind the wheel of the Wilson Motorsports No. 22 for Saturday’s event. While Smith has yet to win at Nashville, car owner Donnie Wilson has seen much success at the facility, which includes the 2016 North/South SLM Challenge win and a victory in the 2017 All American 400.
Carson Kvapil, the winner of the CARS Tour season opener at Hickory Motor Speedway, will be making his second career start at the historic Nashville oval.
Jake Garcia is in search of his first Super Late Model win Saturday night, along with Jett Noland and Hunter Jack. Meanwhile, Hunter Robbins is looking for his first win in an SLM since 2007 when he won a Blizzard Series race. ARCA/CRA Super Series championship finalist Michael Simko and Southern Super Series runner-up Jeremy Pate are also entered.
Fresh off his Pro Late Model win at Nashville during the season opener, former track champion Michael House will carry the flag for his home track.
Other drivers that will be in attendance include Florida’s TJ Duke, Georgia’s Dusty Williams and Kyle Bryant, South Carolina’s Jaremy Barclay, North Carolina’s Justin Crider, Jeff Batten and Lee Tissot, Indiana’s Scotty Tomasik and Jaren Crabtree, and Canada’s Kyle Reed.
As of right now, Cody Coughlin and Kyle Reed are the only two drivers planning double-duty, also running with the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour and Nashville Pro Late Model weekly drivers. Other JEGS Tour favorites such as Salem Speedway winner Trey Craig, Chase Burda and Tanner Jack look to take on the Nashville regulars led by former track champions Dylan Fetcho and Cole Williams, and 2019 All American 400 champion Mason Mingus.
Entry lists for both divisions can be found below.
The first edition of the North/South Super Late Model Challenge was in 2016, which featured separate 50-lap races with the ARCA/CRA Super Series and Southern Super Series before merging for a third 75-lap race. Dalton Armstrong (CRA) and Donnie Wilson (SSS) each took wins in their respective series before Wilson won the finale.
The race changed formats in 2017, becoming a singular 100-lap race. The CARS Super Late Model Tour joined the event in 2018, making it the tri-sanctioned race. Defending All American 400 winner Casey Roderick won both races in 2017 and 2018, while two-time ARCA/CRA Super Series champion Josh Brock won the most recent event in 2019.
Saturday’s North/South Super Late Model Challenge will be broadcasted live on Speed51.TV for premium subscribers.
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51 National Correspondent – Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo Credit: Speed51 Photo