PHOTO BY ANDREW FULLER
Trent Barnes racing for J&J Motorsports at Hickory (Corey Latham/RACE22.com)
By Andy Marquis
Updated: February 23, 2015
By Andy Marquis
Updated: February 25, 2015
By Andy Marquis
Updated: February 26, 2015
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Trent Barnes in victory lane after his win in the SELLM Challenger race at Myrtle Beach Speedway. (Corey Latham/RACE22.com)
Trent Barnes put himself on the radar with a victory in the Southeast Limited Late Model Series (SELLM) Challenger race at Myrtle Beach Speedway last November. Now, he’s making the move up to Late Model Stock Cars as he will be racing for Scott Whitaker and J&J Motorsports in the Championship Auto Racing Series (CARS) Late Model Stock Tour.
Along with his victory in the 50-lap SELLM Challenger race at Myrtle Beach Speedway, Barnes has been competing at Hickory Motor Speedway in the Limited Late Model division. The 14-year-old from Whiteford, Maryland knows that the move to Late Model Stock Cars and a run in the CARS Tour will be much
“My goal is just to gain knowledge from the tracks,” Barnes said. “We’d like to go out there and score some top-five finishes and top-10 finishes. We’re definitely going to try to win races. It’s a lot more competition.”
Like most of the drivers running in the CARS Tour, Barnes says he is impressed with the level of competition and hopes to learn a lot as he climbs the racing ladder in hopes of one day running in NASCAR.
“I thought it was going to be really good because I saw the drivers that signed up. Going to have a lot more competition and it’s going to be better.”
Barnes considered his victory at Myrtle Beach to be a confidence booster and a learning experience.
“That was definitely a confidence booster. It allowed me to gain more knowledge about leading races and winning races. I also learned I’ve just got to pace myself a lot more and go too hard at the beginning.”
In between the CARS Tour races, Barnes will run other races – likely at Hickory Motor Speedway. He says he’s looking forward to the races at Southern National Motorpsorts Park and Myrtle Beach Speedway the most. At this time, he’s not sure if he will race at Martinsville Speedway in the Valley Star Credit Union 300, saying that all depends on how things go in the CARS Tour.
[Doug Barnes at a season ending awards banquet (Barnes family photo)]
Doug Barnes, Jr. will be joining his younger brother, Trent, in competing in the Championship Auto Racing Series (CARS) Late Model Stock Tour in 2015. Barnes, 17, will be racing full-time for Scott Whitaker and J&J Motorsports.
Barnes, who comes from Whiteford, Maryland, started racing Go-Karts in Maryland as a kid where he won several races and championships before running Legends and progressing up to Late Models. Last year, he raced in a Late Model at Hickory Motor Speedway in Newton, North Carolina.
Barnes competed part-time in the X-1R Pro Cup Series, which is now the CARS Tour, last season, scoring two-top five finishes and four top-10 finishes in four starts with a career high third place finish coming at Southern National Motorsports Park – the track which will host the inaugural race for the CARS Tour.
“We were planning on doing some Late Model races and Pro Cup Series but since Pro Cup turned into CARS, we’ll do the full schedule in that and find what else we can do,” Barnes said. “I’m looking forward to the first one to see how the competition stacks up. I’m sure it’s going to be crazy. I’m just excited to race against everybody.”
Barnes hopes to get some top-five finishes and some wins.
“I guess we’ll shoot for top-five finishes to start but I want to get some wins in there. We definitely need wins to get recognized.”
When asked if he could score wins, Barnes said he has the equipment to score wins and said that it’s mostly his fault he hasn’t – but he has learned a lot and expects to be able to win this season.
“These guys bring the best cars to the track each week. It was mostly my fault we couldn’t win. I learned a lot about tire conservation. If we don’t win any races, it will be my fault because they bring great equipment each week.”
Along with the CARS Tour, Barnes might run the season ending races at Martinsville Speedway, Myrtle Beach Speedway and Southern National Motorsports Park if he can get the funding to do so.
Six drivers will compete for Scott Whitaker and J&J Motorsports in 2015. Two of those drivers will run in the brand new CARS Tour while the rest will compete at Hickory Motor Speedway.
Trent Barnes, who won the Southeast Limited Late Model Series (SELLM) Challenger race at Myrtle Beach last November, will compete in the Championship Auto Racing Series (CARS) Late Model Stock Tour along with his brother, Doug. The Barnes brothers will also compete in a few other select races throughout the 2015 season.
“They’re going to run a limited number of races along with the CARS Tour,” Whitaker said.
Spencer Boyd, who won the Super Truck division championship last season at Hickory Motor Speedway, will compete in eight Limited Late Model races for J&J Motorsports. Kenneth Pardue will also run in up to eight Limited Late Model races.
Kristen Wallace, Amber Colvin, and Dakota Ratcliff, son of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series crew-chief Jason Ratcliff, will also race for J&J Motorsports. Ratcliff will race in the Super Truck division while Wallace and Colvin will race part-time in the Limited Late Model division.
“I’m looking forward to this year,” Whitaker remarked. “We’ve got a good lineup. Dakota’s going to follow up trying to win that championship in trucks; he’s trying to back that up. Amber and Kristen have done Limited races. I’m trying to help them. I’ve got a sponsor that wants to help a female drive rand these are good ones so I’ll try to get them for three or four races each. Amber needs a big break in a bad way.”
Whitaker is a former racer himself, having raced Legends cars most recently in the Winter Heat series at Charlotte Motor Speedway where he won the Legends Masters championship.The 2015 season will get underway for J&J Motorsports on Saturday, March 7th at Hickory Motor Speedway.