April (By Tyson Graves)
The COVID-19 pandemic swept across the country on March 15th. Sports all over the country were shut down as government restrictions were put in place. At one point many of us racing fans wondered if we would even see another race the rest of the year. But forty-five days later on April 30th Ray Cook hosted the first super late model event at Tri-County Racetrack since the nationwide shutdown.
Despite the many restrictions Ray had to follow, he was able to bring the whole racing community together for a $4,000 to win event that brought hope to us all. Streamed LIVE on Dirt on Dirt & FloRacing for the whole world to see a select field of invited drivers took to the high banks at Tri-County.
After winning the dash Shane Clanton started on the pole of the nights 40 lap feature event that even had some big money on the line for drivers who were willing to drop to the back of the pack and try to win the event. Up to $25,000 could have been won but only one driver, Michael Chilton made the attempt. Michael was only able to get up the 9th at the finish. It was Shane Clanton who held off a late charge from Donald McIntosh to pick up the $4,000 payday.
The Tar Heel Invitational was not just a regular Ray Cook promoted race. It was the start to the opening of racetracks around the county. The event had no fans, limited crews, and media but was one of the moments we will never forget in 2020.
Photo: Michael Boggs