There are two huge costs a weekly race track can help control: tires and motors. South Boston Speedway has worked diligently over the years to keep those costs in check.
Just a year ago, South Boston Speedway implemented a two-tire rule in the Late Model Stock division to cut teams’ tire costs in half. At the same time, the track also increased the purse, guaranteeing $500 to start every night of racing.
That work continues.
Last week, South Boston Speedway implemented some rule changes to bring a new engine used by some teams back in line. That new engine had skewed what was a level playing field toward those that can readily afford the new engine.
The result of that change was effective with three different engine combinations qualifying in the top three last Saturday night separated by only three one-hundredths of a second (.031).
The track has always been adamant that it would do what was necessary to keep competition balanced and to help insure the health of the sport.
“We want everybody to know regardless of the engine combination you choose, you will have a chance to win at South Boston Speedway,” said Nick Igdalsky, Chief Operating Officer of South Boston Speedway and Pocono Raceway, which owns South Boston. “
Affordability is the key to the health of weekly racing. Forcing teams to switch to a new engine combination when you have a perfectly good one under the hood of your car is counter to that philosophy.
“We want to go back to the roots of racing where a driver, with the help of their family and friends, can put a car together in their garage and be a competitive weekly racing team,” said Igdalsky. “They do it because they love the sport dearly. We want to make sure that as many of these teams can still be as involved in the sport as possible. The more people active in a sport they love is vital to the future of short track racing. We want the talent of the drivers to be the determining factor at South Boston.”
But talent can’t overcome an uneven playing field. That’s why South Boston Speedway will continue its efforts to keep rules equitable regardless of a team’s finances.
“We can’t force other competitors to upgrade. We want them to be competitive in what they can afford to have,” said Igdalsky. “We have been adamant about that since day one: that no motor would have an advantage at South Boston Speedway. We want to keep the sport healthy and to give the fans and competitors coming to South Boston for another 60 years of great racing.”