Set for double duty in the K&N East Series and in the NWAAS Late Model series. Track regular Tyler Hughes stands to have a very genuine opportunity to race both events at his home track at Dominion Raceway this Memorial day weekend. Hailing from Cordova, Maryland, Hughes racing career began at the age of five racing quarter midgets before jumping up big to the Legend’s series at the age of thirteen at Old Dominion Speedway in Manassas, Virginia. Along the way, collecting up wins in over four states and various series championships aiding into the dreams of one day making it to the top. Soon after, Late Model racing was next for Tyler Hughes where in his debut season at Old Dominion Speedway, nabbed up his first race win to what has already been a story book beginning for Tyler Hughes.
Well respected racer himself and car owner Paul Green, owner of G2 Racing Inc. Green recognized the potential, saw the race talent which soon developed a relationship with Tyler Hughes that lead to him racing his Ford Fusion Late Model at Langley Speedway. At this point, the opportunity put Hughes skills to the test, running up against some of Late Models best race talent in Greg and Danny Edwards, also of the likes of Mark Wertz. It also placed Hughes against some of the nations best race teams like three-time National Champion Lee Pulliam and standout Matt Bowling just to name a few. Of that 2015 race season at Langley Speedway, Tyler Hughes impressed many when he collected his first Late Model win at the track, earning the praise and competitor respect every step of the way.
That same year, Hughes was approached with the opportunity from car owner Paul Green to field an entry into the K&N East Series at Langley Speedway and Richmond International Raceway. Once again for Tyler Hughes, the K&N East series opportunity at Dominion Raceway has presented itself in 2016 for the Maryland native. Looking to further advance his seat time in that series and seek a strong finish, Hughes will also race in the Late Model feature this Memorial day. Hughes to his credit has already collected one feature win at the new race facility and currently sits fourth in points in the Late Model series. No doubt for Tyler Hughes, a genuine opportunity to perform at his very best is now, an opportunity in front of his home crowd and at his home track. Race22.com spoke with Hughes about his double duty weekend and exactly his plans to make the best of his given opportunity.
Race22: Tyler, doing double duty is no easy task. Is there a possible advantage of racing Late Models that could help in the K&N East race?
Tyler Hughes: “The only advantage that I think that I might have is the track time and the race time in a Late Model. Obviously set ups don’t transpire over into the K&N car and both cars are driven differently. I think the fact that I know where the race grooves are on the track, I know where to push and where I need to conserve,” shared Hughes.
Race22: Tyler, describe how much this opportunity means and the challenges that lies ahead in running both a Late Model and a K&N East series car?
Tyler Hughes: “Its an awesome opportunity for me, we have a very strong Late Model program and were expecting a win this weekend, ya know, ever weekend when we go to the track we expect to win,” says Hughes. “When we turn to the K&N side, it’s a little bit different cause we haven’t had a top ten finish in that car yet. Our first goal is to get that top ten and anything past that will be great especially if we could win, man, that would be awesome!” “Otherwise, my expectations is a top ten finish and a solid finish with the K&N car”.
Race22: Not to long ago, your father who is such a pivotal member of your race team, was diagnosed with cancer. Courageous as he has been in his fight, describe the emotions and how he has influenced your drive to succeed?
Tyler Hughes: “Obviously I really want to succeed for him because he’s fighting as hard as he can as the chemo has made him weaker than what he used to be,” explained Hughes. “He’s ninety percent of what goes on here in the race shop and he always told me that when I am gone what are you going to do. That was during a time when I didn’t work as hard on race cars, but when he started going through the chemo I knew I had to step it up realizing how much work he put into the race team, my racing, my whole program,” tells Hughes. “It opened my eyes a lot, all of the work involved in getting the cars to the race track every week. Ya know, the team Don and Cancer ribbon logo on the hood of my car, we just wanted to support my dad in the biggest most possible way. Keep him pushing, keep him strong, keep him fighting even during times when he feels weak. When we unveiled the hood to him for the first time it was such a surprise for him. Man, it had to be one of the coolest feelings, after all he has been going through, to see him happy again I believe it helped gave him a push to keep on.”
Race22: I’m sure there are some special people who have helped make this weekend possible?
Tyler Hughes: Paul Green (car owner) is one of my biggest supporters of keeping me moving up in my racing career. He’s put a lot of faith in me in racing his race cars without having to put up hundreds, thousands and millions of dollars to get in these cars. I would never be where I am now without him else we would still be racing Legends just because we didn’t have the money to go any further,” explains Hughes. “Also all my crew members who are there in the shop every single week, every weekend who keeps it fun and keeps us going. My mom is the backbone of the team too, she keeps us fed throughout the whole weekend and also my girlfriend Nicole. She never wants to miss a race and is very supportive of my racing. Its funny, she hates how long it takes to get the car ready throughout the week but loves to come to the track on race day”.
This Memorial Day weekend at Dominion Raceway is certainly going to be special for Tyler Hughes Motorsports and G2 Racing. With the love and support from family, a great relationship with his car owner and a tireless crew. Just as Tyler’s father who is the inspiration wishes for his son to succeed, so does Tyler wish to be the same inspiration for his fathers fight against cancer.