On the heels of honoring the 2016 champions at the annual CARS Tour banquet held at Hendrick Motorsports Team Center in Concord, NC. The CARS Tour is proud to announce multiple qualifying and race event formats for the upcoming 2017 season, set to kick off March 11th at Concord (NC) Speedway. The formats are meant to add identity, strategy, and variety to the young touring series heading into its third season of competition.
Three different qualifying formats will be used over the course of the twelve race season. Traditional single car qualifying will continue to set the starting field at select events, with the fastest car starting from the pole position, just as has been done since the series inception in 2015. New for 2017 will be Group Qualifying, in which drivers will be grouped via random draw, and have five laps to set fast time. The fastest qualifier overall will start from the pole position for the feature event. Perhaps the most intriguing new qualifying format for 2017 will be Knockout Two Step Qualifying. Teams will get eight minutes in round one to make a qualifying attempt, with the fastest eight competitors advancing to round two. After a short four minute break between rounds, round two participants will get five minutes to qualify on the pole position for the events feature race. With hopes of increased fan attendance for qualifying CARS Tour officials will make an effort to schedule these timed sessions closer to the feature event start times.
Similar to qualifying, three different race formats will be utilized throughout the 2017 season. The majority of the events will still see the traditional 100-150 green flag lap races that followers of the CARS Tour have become accustomed. The two new race formats introduced for the upcoming year will be Duel and Live Pit Stop race formats. In duel events, each division will have two 50-75 lap feature events each paying $2,500 to win and $300 to start with each race awarding championship points. Thus the 2017 championship battle will see drivers have fifteen chances to earn points at twelve different events.
The live pit stop format has the ingredients for suspense and unpredictability that fans of short track racing desire. Competitors will be required to make two pit stops, for position, under yellow flag conditions throughout races 100-150 laps in distance. The pit stops will consist of a single crew member removing an item from the car as set forth by CARS Tour officials. No tires or fuel can be changed or added during the stops thus the format will add no additional cost to teams, while still adding a vast amount of strategy.
“You have to be adaptive, unique, and create fresh new ideas that keep people interested and entertained. As a society it’s pretty evident that we think, act, and socialize different than we did even as a little as five years ago. At the end of the day we understand that we as a series are in the entertainment business while our competitors are in the competition business. We feel these new formats not only add to the entertainment value, but in fact add to the competition value with a true team effort via strategy now necessary to win at some CARS Tour events, “ explained Chris Ragle, CARS Tour Series Director. “Our sport, unlike that of many stick and ball sports, has gotten complacent at times over the years when it comes to changes. That’s something we want to make sure doesn’t happen within the CARS Tour. We feel these are changes that will add to our series overall and make for an exciting 2017 season.”
As part of the continued education process of these formats as well as the major events at Bristol, Anderson, and the new Mid Atlantic Classic on the 2017 schedule, the CARS Tour will host two Facebook Live question and answer sessions open to fans, drivers, owners, and sponsors. The first one will be Monday January 23rd at 8pm, followed by another one on Wednesday February 8th at 8pm. These two sessions will lead up to the 3rd Annual CARS Tour Media Night at SRI Performance in Mooresville, NC on Wednesday March 1st at 7pm.
All 2017 forms for the upcoming season including rulebooks, owner/driver registration forms, annual race entry, and the hard card application have been released on the CARS Tour website at www.carsracingtour.com.
For more information on the CARS Late Model Stock Tour and the CARS Super Late Model Tour visit www.carsracingtour.com. Be sure to stay active and social with the tour by liking “CARS Tour” on Facebook, following @CARSTour on Twitter, and scrolling through photos on Instagram car_tour. Additional series information can be obtained by calling the CARS Tour series office, located in Mooresville, NC, at704.662.9212.
2017 CARS Tour Schedule – Formats
March 11 Qualifying Format: Knockout
Circle Track Warehouse 200 Race Format: 100L Live Pit Stop Races
Concord Speedway-Concord, NC
March 25 Qualifying Format: Single Car
Duels at Dominion 300 Race Format: 75L Duel Races
Dominion Raceway-Thornburg, VA
***Highest average SLM finisher in both races locked in US Short Track Nationals at Bristol***
April 22 Qualifying Format: Group
Orange Blossom 300 Race Format: 150L Green Flag Races
Orange County Speedway-Rougemont, NC
May 6 Qualifying Format: Single Car
Catawba Valley 300 Race Format: 75L Duel Races
Hickory Motor Speedway-Hickory, NC
***Highest average LMSC finisher in both races locked in US Short Track Nationals at Bristol***
May 21 Qualifying Format: TBA
U.S. Nationals of Short Track Racing Race Format: 100L Green Flag Races
Bristol Motor Speedway-Bristol, TN
June 10 Qualifying Format: Single Car
CARS Tour/SSS 250 Race Format: 125L Green Flag Races
Anderson Motor Speedway-Williamston, SC
June 24 Qualifying Format: Group
Do The Dew 200 Race Format: 100L Green Flag Races
Tri-County Motor Speedway-Hudson, NC
July 22 Qualifying Format: Single Car
Mid Atlantic Classic Race Format: SLM 150L Special TBA
Orange County Speedway-Rougemont, NC LMSC 100L Green Flag
*** SLM – $50,000 Purse-$10,000 to Win-$1,000 to Start***
August 5 Qualifying Format: Single Car
Throwback 276 Race Format: 138L Live Pit Stop Races
Hickory Motor Speedway-Hickory, NC
August 26 Qualifying Format: Knockout
Race to Remember 250 Race Format: 125L Green Flag Races
Concord Speedway-Concord, NC
September 16 Qualifying Format: Knockout
BakerDist.com 200 Race Format: 50L Duel Races
Myrtle Beach Speedway-Myrtle Beach, SC
October 14 Qualifying Format: Knockout
SoBo 250 Race Format: 125L Live Pit Stop Races
South Boston Speedway-South Boston, VA
Qualifying Format Breakdown Race Format Breakdown
Single Car: 5 Green Flag Traditional: 6 (LMSC) 5 (SLM)
Group: 2 Duels: 3
Two Step Knockout: 4 Live Pit Stop: 3
TBD: 1 TBD: 1 (SLM)