The final meeting for Motor Mile Speedway’s return to racing was held this past Sunday, October 7th. The meeting was more of a rules meeting than anything else but also many procedures were discussed for the new season.
Among those procedures, a couple of clarifications for fans and additional wins for fans were announced to the racers. They clarified that the cooler policy of a soft-sided six-pack cooler being allowed would be one per fan. That includes adults and children and for a family of four, that would allow for a lot of options for drinks and snacks. Additionally, they announced that they would allow lounge chairs in the first five rows of the bleachers for fans.
They also said that a finalized schedule would likely come by the end of October. They are planning to have at least two rain dates to allow the events to be made up if weather cancels some events. If more than two events get rained out likely they would use twin races for support divisions to make up the missed races.
For the racers (to make racing better for the fans) they talked about potential redraws for the top six or eight qualifiers in each division. They are also going to likely add weight to cars/drivers who win often to level competition. Time limits will be in place for some divisions to keep the show trimmed to a two and half hour window to ensure fans get to see the full show. Caution laps will not count in any race.
The racers will also not have to spend their entire day at the track as the projected gate open time on Saturday is 2:00 pm. To help spotters with lineups they are going to investigate putting a tv screen in the spotters stands as well as for the first time using Race Monitor if they can get a better internet connection in the tower. Also, all five core divisions will be NASCAR sanctioned.
Additionally, the cost for drivers and teams to get into the pit area will be less in 2019. A NASCAR licensed driver or team member will pay $25 while non-licensed crew members will now pay $35. Kids pit passes will also be reduced to $15 for nine to 12-year-olds and children eight and under will get in free. Those prices are a change from the $30 licensed, $40 non-licensed and $20 for kids.
A test day will take place in the next six weeks for the Limiteds, Super Street and U-Cars to test the new rules that will be implemented. Rule changes in every division are fairly minimal especially for the Mod4 class which will only change the carburetor spacer plate to an open hole spacer. They additionally will be allowed 10 tires for the season and a durometer test will help keep tires policed.
Many of the rule changes that will be put in place are covered in the previous Motor Mile rules article. The U-Cars will now weigh their cars with the driver in the car, allow a cold air intake, allow race wheels (13″ and 14″) with a 3″ backspace, Hoosier 790’s will be used (about 90% sure they’ll stick with Hoosier) and up to six for the season. Race director Randy Merriman is worried about speed changing to race wheels and tires but that is part of the reason the cars will test before this year is over.
The Super Street division will also have minimal changes however one major point of emphasis will be to even the conventional street stocks and the tube chassis cars. Tube Chassis cars will now weigh 150 pounds more than a conventional street stock with stock clip cars weighing 75 pounds more than the conventional street stocks. They will likely allow the conventional street stocks to drop to 3100 pounds. The Super Streets will get 12 tires for the season and will stick with the same tires as they ran in 2017.
The Limiteds and the Late Model Stock Cars will also likely make the switch to the Hoosier F50 once a deal is completed with Hoosier for tires for 2019. The Limited division will not allow the GM 604 Crate engine but will allow a GM 602 Crate engine likely with a 390cfm carburetor. Teams will be allowed to flip tires and put them where they want. They will stay on a 2-tires every three races schedule and will only be offered two or three sizes of tires. They also discussed adding a claimer rule on the shocks, which was suggested by the competitors. They will also have sets of shocks for out of town drivers to rent for events during the season as previously discussed.
The Late Model Stock Cars will, of course, go by the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series rulebook or a close variation of it to fit the tracks needs. Changes for the Late Models include the tires to F50’s as mentioned above and the teams will have either two or three sizes to pick from and they will not get to pick them out but rather just tell the officials what size and have tires handed to them. The two tire program will be in place and new tires will go on the left. The track is planning to invest in a scan tool.
Late Model Stock Car teams that don’t run every week will be allowed to come on Friday and put laps on tires to have equal scuffs to the drivers who race every race. Those who don’t come on Friday will have to pick tires from the tracks scuff pile, which will likely be very good tires given that the F50 doesn’t give up much from new to used.
I think that about covers everything that was covered in the over three-hour meeting. Talking to drivers who were there, they are all excited about the return of racing. Many are excited to get on track in the next few weeks to test and they seem willing to do anything that the track needs to increase awareness about their racing program. To increase awareness for the track they also discussed doing more car shows including a potential New River Valley Mall show, events at Shelor Motor Mile and events with the Pulaski Yankees an Advanced Rookie League team in the Appalachian League in Minor League Baseball, a farm team for Major League Baseball’s New York Yankees.
RACE22.com will be in attendance if possible for the test session in the next six weeks and if there any more meetings or updates we will bring you the information as it is available. Racing will start next April and one major announcement that has already come out will be the CARS Tour returning to the track on May 18th with both the Late Model Stock Car and Super Late Model tours.
Note: Everything discussed here is NOT final until the track releases it. This is simply an overview of what was discussed in the meeting.