After initially taking Late Models off their schedule for the June 15th race, due to lack of competitors, East Carolina Motor Speedway has added their premier division back on the schedule for the upcoming race.
Yesterday afternoon, East Carolina Motor Speedway announced they had removed the Late Models from the schedule in a since-deleted Facebook post that read, “Due to a minimal late model car count, late models will not be running our next race on June 15th. The Charger class will run twin 40 lap races with purse of $700.00 for each race. Top 8 cars will be inverted for 2nd race.”
Friday’s decision was met with backlash from competitors, most notably two-time defending track champion Thomas Burbage who, on social media, accused the track of canceling the race because points leader Louis White would miss the race due to prior obligations. (Race22.com attempted to reach out to East Carolina Motor Speedway track owner Wayne Perry on Friday, but requests for comment were not returned.)
Early Saturday afternoon, East Carolina Motor Speedway reversed course.
“Thanks to an outpouring of friends of ECMS, we will be running the late model class on 6/15/19 due to having enough cars participating,” a post on East Carolina Motor Speedway’s Facebook page stated.
In a follow up comment, East Carolina Motor Speedway promoter Donna Mercer said the decision to put Late Models back on the schedule would not affect the planned Charger doubleheader.
While East Carolina Motor Speedway’s car count is not the strongest in its region, their base has proven to be loyal. The track, located in Robersonville, North Carolina, often averages anywhere in between 6-10 cars. The Charger division, however, has boasted a significantly stronger car count and rumors have swirled for the past year that the track would opt to run Chargers as its premier division.
Prior to its most recent Late Model race, East Carolina Motor Speedway changed the Late Model rules to more closely resemble the engine combinations allowed at Southern National Motorsports Park and Carteret County Speedway.
The 2019 season has proven to be a transitional season for East Carolina Motor Speedway with the ouster of long-time promoter John Vick. Donna Mercer took over as promoter earlier this year, working alongside track owner Wayne Perry and competition director Dalford Briley. East Carolina has also worked in alliance with Carteret County Speedway – which has also been in a state of transition after the death of Bobby Day Watson last October.