One of the slogans at Franklin County Speedway is “Modifieds were made for Franklin County Speedway” and on May 8th the mighty open wheel, high horsepower cars return. The high banks of Callaway, Virginia’s 3/8 mile speed plant await the cars and stars of the reborn SMART Modified Tour.
Modifieds have long been a huge part of racing at Franklin County Speedway but in recent years Modifieds in the south had been struggling and races with those cars were few and far between in the state of Virginia. However, last year with most of the country on pause due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Franklin County Speedway was able to emerge with the biggest Modified shows of the summer utilizing rules for Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, NC, a track that was shuttered for the year in 2020.
While Franklin County Speedway was bringing Modifieds back to a track that was built for those cars, the SMART Modified Tour was beginning to make a resurgence. In 2021 the SMART Modified Tour is the hottest touring series in short track racing in this country. With Bowman Gray Stadium still shuttered until at least June 1st, the window of opportunity was open to bring the SMART Modifieds where they belong.
“Franklin County Speedway is a perfect track for Modifieds,” said Chris Williams, SMART Modified Tour Director Being able to add a race there was important to us after we weren’t able to have them on our original schedule. I grew up going to races there and I’m looking forward to bringing the SMART Tour back there.”
Franklin County Speedway promoter Langley Austin is also excited about having the SMART Modified Tour come to town.
“This is Modified country up here,” Austin explained. “There are many fans in our immediate area that don’t attend races unless we’re running Modifieds. We’re glad to be able to give them the show they’re looking for and with what the SMART Tour has morphed into, it’s a series that every track wants to get to their venue. That series is what the southern Modified contingent has always needed and it’s only going to get better from here.”
The SMART Modified Tour will compete for 110-laps as a tribute to one of Franklin County Speedway’s top drivers of the 1980s and 1990s, Kenny Minter. Minter was also an avid supporter of the SMART Modified Tour winning races in the series and Rookie of the Year in 1993 before losing his life while racing at Caraway Speedway in Asheboro, NC on October 30, 1995.
“Kenny meant a lot to me as a young man growing up at Franklin County Speedway,” explained Austin. “Kenny Minter was the kind of guy who went out of his way to be nice to me, the promoters son, and I’ll never forget him for it. This is a special opportunity to honor one of the greats of not only Franklin County Speedway but the original SMART Modified Tour as well.”
The event will be called the Hannabass & Rowe Collision Centers Kenny Minter Classic presented by SMART Chevrolet.
The SMART Modified Tour will mark the second race of the 2021 season at Franklin County Speedway on Saturday, May 8th. The Stock4 division will compete on the same night but other divisions that will compete alongside them is still to be determined. A full schedule of the weekend’s events will be posted in the coming days.
For more information on the SMART Modified Tour visit their Facebook page. For more information on Franklin County Speedway visit their website at www.FCSpeedway.com or follow them on Facebook or call 276.613.4208