Last week as Hurricane Dorian rolled up the east coast with landfall predictions all over the coast, East Carolina Motor Speedway made the decision to postpone their Saturday, September 7th race and rescheduled it for Sunday, September 15th.
The race was quickly anticipated as the final NASCAR Whelen All-American Series races of the season as it fell on the final day to obtain points on a state and national level. However, East Carolina Motor Speedway management had not followed the procedures outlined in the sanctioning agreement with NASCAR for rescheduling a race. The fact that it also was rescheduled for a day that wasn’t their regular day for racing moving it from Saturday to Sunday was also a part of the question.
East Carolina officials had hoped to hold the event on Sunday as not to conflict with Southern National Motorsports Park, a track located just 55 miles west of East Carolina. Southern National Motorsports Park has twins planned for this Saturday with the expectation of a full-field of cars as Bradley McCaskill and 2019 Hickory Motor Speedway track champion Thomas Beane will battle for the North Carolina State championship there.
After questions were raised as to whether this postponement was approved by NASCAR, East Carolina Motor Speedway contacted NASCAR officials and it was determined that the race could count for track points but would not count for North Carolina State or National championship points.
A petition started by Late Model driver Kenneth Mercer, who is also the husband of East Carolina Motor Speedway promoter Donna Mercer, was floated around on Facebook for several days this week asking NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Director (Not sure that’s the correct title but that’s how it was written in the petition) to allow the race to count for State points.
The petition reads: “Drivers and supporters of ECMS ask for Nascar to reconsider approving the rain out date of 9/15/19. 9/7/19 was cancelled due to Hurricane Dorian. Even though the weather was permittable, we had many drivers affected by the storm and our number one concern is our drivers and fans. Our track has not raced since June 29th due to 4 cancelled races due to heat and rain.
Our track pays sanctioning fees and a posted end date should be a posted end date.
With consecutive rain outs our own track teams are cut short from state points. It’s only fair to allow a make up race, some tracks were allowed to run twin races on Sundays.
We ask that you allow us to run the last race for points on Sunday 9/15/19.”
The petition is about 50 signatures short of 500 as of print time.
NASCAR has denied East Carolina that opportunity as they are trying to allow the tracks to determine their track championship without unduly influencing the state or national championship picture. The move doesn’t affect any regular at East Carolina Motor Speedway as none of them are even in the top 20 of the North Carolina State points. Bradley McCaskill is the only driver in the top 20 who has competed there this season.
East Carolina Motor Speedway will race on Sunday at 3:00pm but will do so without NASCAR Whelen All-American Series points on the line.
Cover photo by Erin Hall.