PENSACOLA, FL :: The teams and drivers that compete in the Southern Super Series have requested more affordable races for next season and the Florida-based Super Late Model tour has listened based on the schedule and format released late on Monday afternoon.

The 2015 Southern Super Series schedule features at least 12 events and has room for two additional races that may be announced in the coming weeks. The series has retired the six-tire, 125 lap format from years past, replacing it four-tire, 100 lap sprints in order to help teams cope with the expenses of tour racing in the Southeast.

For the second year in a row, the SSS will start its season in Opp, Alabama in the prestigious Rattler 250 at South Alabama Speedway on March 14 and 15 while the series will also visit Watermelon Capital Speedway in Cordele, Georgia for the first time on June 6.

The tour will also return to stalwarts Five Flags Speedway, Mobile International Speedway and Montgomery Motor Speedway for multiple events next season.

“We’ve got some great new events, stops at our trademark facilities and a new format that will make the racers and the fans excited, so we can’t wait to kick off the third Southern Super Series season in just a few months,” said SSS director and co-founder Tim Bryant. “Currently we have four extra-distance races which makes up approximately a quarter of our schedule. Every other race is going to be a 100-lap, four-tire race.

“What we want to provide is a racing format that is good for our racers and also provides quality excitement for our fans.”

In that spirit, Bryant also announced that the 100-lap races will utilize an invert of eight, 10 or 12 cars after qualifying to enhance the quality of racing in those events. The changes, Bryant says, was born from listening to the demands of both their fans and drivers.

“We heard the voice of the racers asking for four-tire races,” Bryant said. “In an effort to accommodate that, we shortened the distance of our regular-distance races to 100 laps. The racing will be all-out at that distance. By going to an inverted start of eight, 10 or 12, we’re ensured to have some passing, which is what our fans are screaming for.”

Defending SSS champion Bubba Pollard approves of the decision to adopt a four-tire format and believes it should help attract additional entries for the 100-lap races.

“I think it’s good to help cut down on the expenses of racing, especially for the teams who travel to all the races,” Pollard said. “Hopefully this will make it more affordable for the local racers as well. We need more cars to make this series survive.”

No one understands the expenses of traveling for Southern Super Series races quite like Donnie Wilson, who drives back and forth from his home base in Oklahoma to compete in the tour. Wilson won three races in 2014 and finished fourth in the championship races despite missing the season-opening Rattler 250. Like Pollard, Wilson says he appreciates the changes Bryant has made to the tour as well.

“I like four tires and 100-lap races with an invert in qualifying,” Wilson said. “They haven’t said how many tires the extra-distance races are but I’m sure it’s six-to-eight tires, which all looks good to me.”

The 2015 season will conclude with three extra-length races, including the Lee Fields Memorial 150 at Mobile on August 22, which has traditionally been run as a 100-lap Pro Late Model race in recent memories. The Alabama 200 at Montgomery becomes the penultimate races on the schedule on September 12 while the championship race moves to Five Flags on September 26 and also becomes 150 laps.

“We want to end the season with a bang,” Bryant said. “We’re excited to end the season with two stand-alone events at Mobile and Five Flags, sandwiching one of the most prestigious short track races in the country, the Alabama 200. For the first time, the Lee Fields Memorial at Mobile will be a Super Late Model event, which we’re excited about.

“Stan Narrison has done a great job bringing the Alabama 200 at Montgomery back to what it was known for for so many years. Then we’ll have our season championship race at Five Flags. It will be a 150 lap event and that will be a great prelude to what will be coming up two months later in the 48th Annual Snowball Derby.”

Sunoco Racing Fuels will also return as presenting sponsor for a third-consecutive season.

2015 Southern Super Series Schedule

March 15th: Rattler 250 at South Alabama Speedway — Kinston, Alabama
April 24th: Five Flags Speedway — Pensacola, Florida
April 25th: Mobile International Speedway — Irvington, Alabama
May 2nd: To Be Announced
May 22nd: Five Flags Speedway — Pensacola, Florida
May 23rd: Mobile International Speedway — Irvington, Alabama
June 6th: Watermelon Capital Speedway — Cordele, Georgia
June 20th: Montgomery Motor Speedway — Montgomery, Alabama
July 3rd: To Be Announced
July 24th: Five Flags Speedway — Pensacola, Florida
July 25th: Mobile International Speedway — Irvington, Alabama
August 22nd: Mobile International Speedway — Irvington, Alabama
September 12th: Montgomery Motor Speedway — Montgomery, Alabama
September 26th: Five Flags Speedway — Pensacola, Florida