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Barneycastle thriving in dirt modifieds

Jake Barneycastle has more than held his own as a second-year, 21-year-old racer in dirt modifieds.

In fact, the 2020 season he just completed is one he won’t soon forget. In 18 races, he took first place two times, second three times and “finished fourth numerous times,” his father, Jeff Barneycastle, said.

“He raced all over the Southeast and was always in the top seven or eight,” Jeff said. “When you win in these cars, you’ve done something. There’s so much competition. It’s tough to run up front in these cars. It’s unbelievable how much competition there is. I mean, every week seven or eight cars could win the race easily.”

The biggest event was the World Short Track Championship at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Jake qualified fifth out of 62 cars and finished fourth.

He knows he couldn’t do it alone.

“You’ve got to credit the people around you, all these wonderful sponsors (Magnolia Construction, Sensible Air Systems Inc., Barnhardt Farms, Springboard Inc., Elite Chassis, Infinity Insurance and LB Drywall) and the people that help the car get better every week,” Jake said. “It’s easy to drive a car that pretty much drives itself. My uncle Dale (Barneycastle) is a pretty big part of it. Of course, my dad and mom (Carla) have helped a lot, and also my girlfriend (Kayli Lanier).”

Although Jake had more victories during his 2019 rookie season, he said he was better overall in 2020.

“We ran consistent,” he said. “Our equipment held up. We pretty much didn’t have a DNF (did not finish) all season. It’s good to run up front almost every weekend. Really it was the equipment holding up and me getting better as a driver.”