RD Smith (16), Jared Fryar (81) and Lee Pulliam (5) battle during the Season Opener in 2017 at Caraway Speedway. Corey Latham Photo

Caraway Speedway is revamping their racing program with an eye toward offering drivers, teams and fans exactly what they’ve been asking for.

Track promoter Darren Hackett has been working every year since taking the reigns of Caraway Speedway to elevate the tracks racing program. Last year’s move to Friday nights helped take the track in a better direction, giving them a night for racing with most other tracks not competing. This season he’s making more changes in hopes of raising car count and fan attendance.

This season among the changes is a move to make the Limited Late Models the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Division I and moving the Late Model Stock Cars to a part-time schedule. That schedule will give Late Model Stock Car teams a chance to still compete but in bigger, higher profile and better-paying races.

“The Late Models have got so expensive to run that most of the teams are chasing money these days,” said Hackett. “We have to adapt to what they’re doing and you can’t blame them for wanting to run in higher-paying races with what it cost them to race today. We’re hoping our three race schedule will give them the incentive to come run with us on three dates that not many other tracks are racing and a chance to win some big money.”

The three races will take place on Sunday March 4th, Saturday July 7th and Saturday October 27th. The first two events will be 99-lap races with a base payout of $3,000 to win with the finale having a base payout of $5,000. Additional money can be won through a “Gambler’s Challenge” which will allow teams to pay a slightly higher entry fee and win nearly twice as much money or more.

“The Gambler’s Challenge brings a whole new element to these races. Regular entry fee for the first two events will be $125 for $3,000 to win but they can gamble on themselves and for a $250 entry fee they can win $5,000. At the Mid-Atlantic Shootout, it’ll be $5,000 or $10,000 depending on the entry fee. It’s our way of letting the racers decide what they want to pay for an entry and what they hope to win at the end of the night.”

The format for the “Gambler’s Challenge” is similar to what was used at last years Thanksgiving Classic event at Southern National Motorsports Park with great success and high marks from the regions racers.

Additionally, Late Model Stock Cars will follow the 2018 CARS Tour rulebook instead of the NASCAR Late Model rulebook. A change that Hackett hopes will lure some of the touring drivers to come race with him since he’s not up against any CARS Tour dates.

“Going with the CARS Tour rulebook is going to help us,” commented Hackett. I’ve talked to a bunch of racers who just plan to run CARS this season and with us running the same rules, they say they’ll come and run with us. It won’t take much changing for a guy running at a track by NASCAR rules to compete with us.”

The first of the three big Late Model Stock Car races will be a part of the season-opening event at Caraway. Sunday March 4th kicks off another season of racing and with the changes made and money available it should be one of the races to put on your bucket list this season.

For more information on Caraway Speedway, visit their newly redesigned website at www.CarawaySpeedway.com or visit them on Facebook at @caraway.speedway. You can also call the track office at 336.629.5803