SCDRA Stingerz In Spotlight For $5,000 Fayetteville Payoutby Press Release July 10, 2019 0 comments
When Kyle Jenks’ wife suggested he try short-track racing, she didn’t have to say it twice.
He ran with the idea three years ago, and he’s become a winner in the Stingerz class — a start-up division in which a street car is turned into a racer.
In Jenks’ case, it was a 1995 Nissan 200 SX that had 318,000 highway miles on the odometer that has been to Victory Lane three times in the past month. Jenks, 35, is one of the best shots a local driver has of pocketing the $5,000 first prize Saturday night, when Fayetteville Motor Speedway hosts Boom City July Jam, a 50-lap race sanctioned by the Sport Compact Dirt Racing Association.
“My wife took me to Wake County Speedway one night, and there was a Bomber class. One of the cars was a version of what I drove daily,” Kyle Jenks said. “I said, ‘Check that out — my car running around the racetrack. I laughed and she said, “You should turn your car into one.’ After the race, she said, ‘You should definitely build a racecar and go do this.”
The Fayetteville resident and the local contingent will be among the dozens of entrants in the SCDRA portion of a two-night show. Action begins Friday night with a full program for the Legends division, and continues Saturday with a program that includes the SCDRA Stingerz, Late Model, Diet Mountain Dew Modified, Sportsman and Renegades classes.
Jenks’ father raced stockcars in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Kyle and Vanessa competed in drag racing and off-road competition until they had children, and the visit to the quarter-mile bullring in Raleigh rekindled their racing flame.
Kyle gutted the interior of his car and added a roll cage to transform his street car into a racer and said he was able to hit the track for “seven or eight races” late in the 2017 season. He was lapped twice in his debut at Fayetteville, at which point his competitive nature took control.
“Since then, it’s become a day-in, day-out struggle to figure out what kind of tire size to use, tire pressure, spring rate with rubber spacers — all that stuff you have to figure out to make the car go faster,” he said. “It’s taken me this long to figure that out.”
It all came together June 28 with a win at Fayetteville. He followed that with victories on back-to-back weekends at Lake View (S.C.) Motor Speedway, where he was the 2018 track champion in his division.
He’s hoping to have a new car completed for this weekend’s SCDRA event against racers such as Pooler, Georgia’s Andrew Smith, who won last year’s inaugural tour show at Fayetteville and is the series’ all-time winningest driver.
Joey Kelley of Travelers Rest, South Carolina, took the $14,000 winner’s purse in SCDRA’s February season opener in Georgia. Jonathan Sarratt of Shelby, the 2018 series champion, captured the May race at Cherokee Speedway in Gaffney, South Carolina.
Sarratt is tied for the points lead with Ellabell, Georgia, racer Justin Stephens, and Shannon Barnhill of Gastonia shares third with Chelsea L’Huillier of Sumter, South Carolina. Competitors from Florida to Indiana race with SCDRA.
Jenks was one of more than 100 entrants at the Georgia event, and those racers were separated by just 1.4 seconds. Jenks said his car fell “dead smack in the middle” of the pack in qualifying, but he didn’t make the main event.
“I honestly just went there for the experience,” he said. “I learned a lot on set-up and on changing things, factory stuff that helps, amazing stuff — just a huge learning experience. … Honestly, I’ve got to drop about a second off the times I was running and I’ll be competitive in the top 10 of SCDRA.”
Admission to Fayetteville’s grandstands Friday night is $5, and the pit admission fee is $20 per person and $20 per racecar. Pit gates open at 5:30, followed by a drivers’ meeting at 7 and hot laps at 7:30. The Legends will battle in a Triple Threat Throwdown program in which the race is divided into segments that pay $150, $250 and $350 to win. A pit party will follow the racing.
On Saturday, the pits gates open at 4 o’clock and the grandstands at 5. The drivers’ meeting is set for 6 p.m. and hot laps will begin at 6:30. Grandstand admission is $20 for adults, $18 for seniors/military, and $10 for students. Pit passes are $35. Action in the Renegades ranks includes a $25 entry fee, and the feature will pay $1,000 to win and $100 to start.
Fayetteville Motor Speedway is located off Doc Bennett Road near Fayetteville Regional Airport.
Source/Photo Credit: Fayetteville Motor Speedway