The roar of racing engines will once again fill the air in Callaway, VA as Franklin County Speedway will operate for the 53rd consecutive season in 2021 with a full slate of action beginning on March 27th.
After what was an overwhelmingly successful 2020 campaign, 2021 will see the high banks 3/8-mile track come to life for 20 events over the course of 18 weekends during the Spring, Summer and Fall. Track promoter Langley Austin is excited to get things back to normal and deliver another great season of racing for the drivers and fans.
“2020 was an incredibly challenging year for everyone and while we made the most of it racing nearly every week starting Independence Day weekend, this year is setting up for things to return to a normal pace,” Austin explained. “2020 put this track back on the map in so many ways. We are out in the middle of nowhere, so we were able to operate when a lot of the tracks in the middle of cities or bigger areas were not able to. We had a special year that we made the most of but 2021 is going to be more of a rebuilding year for us as we adjust to the current climate and try to find budget friendly ways for racers to go racing.”
2021 will see a narrowing of the classes that compete on a regular basis to try and bolster car counts in the long run while offering less options to someone who wants to go racing.
“Racetracks are sometimes their own worst enemy when it comes to how many options to go racing there is,” Austin said. “When I took over here for the first time in 2013, I think there was seven divisions of racing and most classes were struggling for car count. We have narrowed that down overtime and now we are down to just four divisions for 2021 with a couple of series and divisions that will compete on a part time basis.
It just does not make sense to have multiple classes with the same cars able to compete in anymore with where we are at with the economy and other factors. Last season we had cars able to jump from one division to another with small changes but this season we have four decidedly different divisions as our core. We’ll run some special events with some other divisions but this narrowing down should help us long term to build these classes and have something that fits everyone.”
The four core divisions competing in the 2021 season are headlined by the Late Models, which will compete under rules from the 2020 Charger division. This division puts the racing back in the hands of the racer and not whoever has the biggest budget with rules set to keep the blue-collar racer in the mix.
The Mini Stock division is a modified four-cylinder division of both rear wheel drive and front wheel drive cars that put on a great show week in and week out. The third division is the Stock4, which is a completely stock 4-cylinder division, which is perfect for anyone who just wants to go racing cheap.
Our final division is the always popular Any Car division. This is just as the name suggests a car that most any car can compete in with little to no modifications. This class is a little rough around the edges and entertains the fans greatly with a mix between a lighthearted demolition derby style beating and banging and a true old school Enduro class. This is the class that literally anyone can get into with any old car they have sitting around and this season they will compete for a points championship for the first time in recent years.
The 2021 season will be dotted with both Saturday night and Sunday evening events to stay off other regional tracks as much as possible.
“With most tracks in the region back to operating at a somewhat normal pace this season, it just doesn’t make sense for us to try and divide up the fan base,” Austin stated. “There’s a lot of opportunity out there for racetracks to be successful if they work together and with us getting a late start to developing our schedule it gave us a unique opportunity to craft things around as many other events as we possibly can.”
The season will kick off on Saturday, March 27th with the Star City Stunner featuring twins in three of the four core divisions with a 50-lap $1,000 to win Any Car race completing the evening. The schedule bounces around a little between Saturday’s and Sunday’s until after Memorial Day weekend and focuses on Saturday nights mostly aside from holiday weekends until the season points finale takes place on Sunday, September 19th.
The season will be highlighted by several touring series making visits to the track including the recently announced July 10th Battle of the Commonwealth with the Carolina Pro Late Model Series and the Carolina Crate Modified Series. The Virginia Vintage Racers will make at least four stops this season including Sunday, April 11th when the Carolina Mini Stock Challenge Series also makes their first ever stop in Callaway, VA.
Additional series and bigger events are expected to be announced as additions to the current dates on the schedule over the next few weeks as those become clearer. The October and November dates will be announced soon as well. These events will include Halloween Havoc and the Southern Turkey Derby, which are becoming staple events.
“We’re still trying to finalize so many different things about the schedule for the rest of the year, but we needed to get our dates out there so people could begin to plan around them,” Austin commented. “Hopefully, this won’t be like 2020 when we seemingly had to change the schedule every week in some way. That was a trying but rewarding season, but we’ll take some normalcy and work hard to build this track back into something special for every event.”
To view the entire schedule and see more about the season ahead visit the track’s website at www.FCSpeedway.com and check them out on their Facebook. If you have any questions, please call 276.613.4208 for more information.
March 27th – Star City Stunner Season Opener
April 11th (Sunday) – Commonwealth/Carolina Clash – Carolina Mini Stock Challenge Series & Virginia Vintage Racers
April 17th – TBA
May 2nd (Sunday) – Cinco de Raceo – Mexican Themed Event
May 9th (Sunday) – Shinerz Revenge – Day of Destruction
May 15th – Ridgerunner Rendezvous
May 30th (Sunday) – Memorial Day Bash
June 12th – TBA
June 26th – TBA
July 3rd – World Championships Day #1
July 4th (Sunday) – World Championships Day #2
July 10th – Battle of the Commonwealth – Carolina Pro Late Model Series
July 24th – Bullring Battle
August 21st – TBA
September 4th – Labor Day Classic Day #1
September 5th (Sunday) – Labor Day Classic Day #2
September 18th – Championship Celebration
October TBA – Halloween Havoc
November TBA – Southern Turkey Derby
Cover photo by Jaden Austin.