After running two seasons in a Limited Late Model, Haley Moody is making the step up to a Late Model Stock Car in Sunday's Thanksgiving All-Star Classic.
The 20-year-old from Kinston, North Carolina will be racing Jamey Caudill's Late Model Stock Car in the 200 lap feature at Southern National Motorsports Park, the longest race Moody has entered in her career. The race will be her first in one of the heavier, higher horsepower Late Model Stock Cars and the 2014 Limited Late Model champion respects the differences.
“It's different from my car in many ways,” Moody said. “It's fast. I have to be more careful about tire wear, stuff like that. I think it's going to be a tough race for sure.”
While Moody already respects the challenges ahead of her, she is also in need of a strong showing on Sunday. The success she enjoyed in 2014, which was capped off with a championship at Southern National, has not been duplicated in 2015. She had three wins in 2014 but has only scored two top-five finishes in 2015 and, most recently, has been involved in accidents in her last three starts.
“I'm very excited to run my first true Late Model race especially in Jamey's car,” Moody stated. “I really need a good run and especially a win after the season we've had. It's been a rough year and we really need a good run for a confidence boost especially going into next year. I think we all need a good run, me and my team.”
Moody has raced against childhood heroes Matt McCall and Deac McCaskill before, back in May. Howver, Sunday will be her first time against many of the elites in Late Model Stock Car racing, such as three-time NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national champion Lee Pulliam, two-time Martinsville winner Tommy Lemons, Jr. and UNOH Battle at the Beach winner Myatt Snider.
“It would mean everything to me,” Moody commented. “Racing with some of the best guys out there, like Lee Pulliam, Tommy Lemons. It's going to be a great experience that's for sure.”
While the deck is stacked against her, she's heading into the Thanksgiving All-Star Classic with the hope and the expectation of winning – a win that would be considered a major upset in Late Model Stock Car racing even with her success at Southern National taken into consideration.
“I'm really going to try my best,” Moody remarked. “I know I can. If I didn't I wouldn't even go.”
To date, Moody has eight top-10 finishes on the season, but her last three races have ended in disappointment. She was involved in a last lap crash in the Championship Auto Racing Series (CARS) Late Model Stock Tour race at Myrtle Beach Speedway. A month later, she was again swept up in an accident in a Limited Late Model race at Southern National Motorsports Park. Moody returned to action in the Southeast Limited Late Model race at Myrtle Beach Speedway a couple weeks later but was a victim in one of the 23 incidents that plagued the infamous race.
For more information about Haley Moody Racing, visit her website at www.haleymoody.com, “Like” Haley Moody Racing on Facebook or follow Haley Moody (@HaleyMoody50) on Twitter. For more information about Southern National Motorsports Park, check out SNMP’s website at www.snmpark.com, “like” Southern National Motorsports Park on Facebook or “follow” @SNM_Park on Twitter.