Haley Moody, pictured at Carteret County Speedway in May.
Andy Marquis | Race22.com
By Andy Marquis
SNMP/Carteret County Speedway
It has been nearly three years since Haley Moody last visited victory lane, but a third place finish in June at Carteret County Speedway has Moody feeling optimistic about her chances Wednesday night.
The 22-year-old from Kinston was the first woman to win a Late Model championship in North Carolina when she clinched the Limited Late Model championship at Southern National Motorsports Park on Sept. 14, 2014 by virtue of a win. The victory that clinched her championship was her most recent victory.
Since then, the long road back has been a bumpy run for Moody. In 2015, she scored only two top-five finishes – one at Myrtle Beach Speedway and another at Carteret County Speedway. Last season, the highlight for Moody was making the field for the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 – becoming the first woman to do so in their first attempt. However, up until June 10, she had not finished in the top-five since Sept. 2015. That third place finish in June has renewed her confidence.
“We’ve had some bad luck, wrong place at wrong time moments these past couple of years, but I feel like our luck is turning around,” Moody said. “Each time we race, we are getting better and better and I think I, as well as my team, have the potential to be back in victory lane shortly. We just have to keep working hard and doing our very best every week. Our third place finish means a lot to me and also everyone that sponsors me and helps me
Moody, who is racing a car prepared by Wendell Davis in Kinston, will compete in Wednesday night’s Late Model Stock Car doubleheader at Carteret County Speedway. She hopes Wednesday night is the finish line on her long road back to victory lane.
“I’m really excited about our next race, Moody remarked. “We have a really good car. I enjoy racing down there. It’s good for us racing family as also for the fans. It would mean so much to me to get back to victory lane. I know it’ll be a turnaround moment for sure.”
While Carteret is known for producing first-time winners, Moody knows it’s not a track she can just cherry pick. The track has produced some of the most competitive racing in all of Late Model Stock Car racing in its short history and victories do not come easily.
“We have some tough competition and a tight field at Carteret so it’s really fun getting to race with Tyler Matthews, Tyler Horne, Chris Burns and all of them. I’m excited for July 5th and to get back behind the wheel of the No, 50 Solid Rock Carriers, I Dig Pigs Ford. I think we have a good shot. “I’d have to think Kirk Ipock for giving me this opportunity to race. My uncle, Wendell Davis, for keeping the car up, and everyone that helps in any way make this possible.”
If Moody scores a victory on Wednesday, it would statistically be her first career Late Model Stock Car victory and her first win in a NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Division I race. She has three Limited Late Model wins at Southern National, which all came in 2014, as well as a sentimental Limited Late Model win at Myrtle Beach Speedway, along with wins in the Charger division at Southern National.
The green flag will wave on Wednesday night’s races at 7 p.m. In addition to the Late Model Stock Car division, Street Stocks, Mini Stocks, U-CARs and Legends will be in action.
For more information about Carteret County Speedway, visit the track’s website at www.carteretspeedway.com.