NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Keepin’ it Short – Local tracks need to make money too

The race tracks and sanctioning body that run the national touring series of NASCAR are not the only tracks that are struggling to make ends meet in the modern world of auto racing. When the economy went south not only did attendance at the big races go down but the attendance and car counts at local short tracks took a hit too. People who showed up every week to race were losing their jobs or taking pay cuts to stay employed so the disposable income that racing rapidly devoured was no longer there to spend.

And the trickle down effect didn’t stop there. When racers stopped showing up every week their fans decided to stay away as well. It was a vicious cycle that fed on itself and still is even as the economic climate begins to turn around. Now more than ever it is very important for race fans to support their local short tracks as fuel and other expenses continue to rise, making profitability at the local tracks even harder to accomplish.

This past weekend the Pro AllStar Series South division hosted a 300 lap Super Late Model race at North Wilkesboro Speedway which cost $35 to attend on the day of the feature race. PASS rules call for only green flag laps to count towards the race total so fans who attended were guaranteed to see 300 green flag laps in the feature race. They were also assured of seeing 100 green flag laps in the Tour Type Modified race that was to be run immediately before the 300 lap race.

In addition to those two races the Last Chance qualifying races were to be run before the Modified event with two races that were 40 green flag laps each. When it was all said and done fans would see 480 green flag laps of racing with most of the best Super Late Model racers in the country competing for the main event checkered flag. Add to the fact that the races were held on one of the two race tracks that are still in existence from the very first NASCAR season and $35 is a very reasonable price for an adult ticket. In addition, kids 6-12 were allowed to attend for $15. Tickets could be purchased in advance online and were available for a $10 discount for adults and $5 off of kids tickets.

Many people used the $35 ticket price as an excuse for not attending the big event, saying they could go to a Truck race or even a Nationwide race for that kind of money. While that is true, there have been zero Truck races this season and only two Nationwide races this season where the winner of the event took home $75,000 to win the event. None of the Truck or Nationwide races were 300 laps in length, let alone 300 green flag laps. None of the other series had a 100 green flag lap support race or any Last Chance heat races on the day of the event. In the end, the folks from PASS put on the richest Super Late Model race in the country with guaranteed green flag racing for a very economical price. Somewhere between 12 and 15 thousand people took advantage of the opportunity to see the races but there should have been many more who made the trip to watch the event.

One couple who did make the trip were Steve and Mary Ellen Corro who came down to watch the race from Maine. They attended the Cup race the weekend before in Martinsville but that was a perk that they added to their trip after they had booked the accommodations for North Wilkesboro. The couple attends at least 40 races every year with their favorite type of vehicles being Super Late Models. They are big fans of Mike Rowe who ran in the race. Their longest trip to watch a race was from Maine to Las Vegas. They have also travelled from Maine to Florida to see races and love going to races in Nova Scotia because, like the scenery the province also has beautiful race tracks. They have been fans of racing for years and they love short track racing.

Like the Corros, there were racers from all over the map competing at North Wilkesboro. Garrett Evans hauled his car from the state of Washington along with Brian Levant who towed his race entry from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Five different Canadian provinces were among the entrants along with people from Arizona, Maine, Oklahoma and Florida. In all there were 23 states represented among the 74 drivers who took times during qualifications. Hopefully, if PASS decides to do it again there will be a few more people in the stands.

In another indication that local short tracks need fan support, Tri-County Speedway in Brasstown, NC announced this week that they’re closing the doors effective immediately. They have a couple of special races scheduled for this year and they are going to fulfill their obligations for those races, but weekly racing is done. Add to Tri-County the shut down of Southside Speedway in Midlothian, Virginia and two more tracks have been taken out of the mix in the Southeast. Hopefully they will be the last two for a long time to come.

Short tracks are the lifeblood of auto racing. If drivers don’t have a place to hone their skills and adjust to bigger, heavier, faster race cars, then the upper levels of racing will be doomed to eventually fade away with no one to fill the seats. Fans need to get out and support their local race tracks, whether they’re dirt or asphalt, and cheer on the local shoes who are trying to make it to the big time or who just enjoy getting out and running in circles on a Friday or Saturday night.

Racing Schedule for the Upcoming Weekend

April 15th

Elko Speedway, Elko, MN – Cornbelt Clash
Cleveland County Speedway, Lawndale, NC – Carolina Clash
Davenport Speedway, Davenport, IA – Deery Brothers Summer Series
Lincoln Speedway, Lincoln, IL – Monster Midwest Series
Tennessee National Speedway, Hohenwalk, TN – Southern Regional Racing Series
Boothill Speedway, Shreveport, LA – Southern United Professional Racing
Virginia Motor Speedway, Saluda, VA – World of Outlaws Late Models
Talladega Superspeedway , Talladega, AL – ARCA Late Models
Ocean Speedway , Watsonville, CA – Taco Bravo Ocean Sprints
Gas City I-69 Speedway, Gas City, IN – USAC National Sprint Cars
Paducah Int Raceway, Paducah, KY – WoO Sprint Cars
Callaway Raceways, Fulton, MO – United Late Model Association
Valley Speedway, Grain Valley, MO – USMTS Modifieds
Eagle Raceway, Eagle, NE – ASCS / Midwest Series
Eagle Raceway, Eagle, NE – Good Ol Time Racing Association
Golden Triangle Raceway Park, Beaumont, TX – ASCS / Gulf South Region

April 16th

Eldora Speedway, Rossburg, OH – American Late Model Series
Friendship Speedway, Elkin, NC – Carolina Clash
Elko Speedway, Elko, MN – Cornbelt Clash
Jackson County Speedway, Maquoketa, IA – Deery Brothers Summer Series
Greenville Speedway, Greenville, MS – Mississippi Championship Challenge Series
Smokey Mountain Speedway, Maryville, TN – Southern All Star Series
Gordon Park Speedway, Grovetown, GA – SASE
Thunderhill Raceway, Summertown, TN – Southern Regional Racing Series
Baton Rouge Raceway, Baton Rouge, LA – Southern United Professional Series
Antioch Speedway, Antioch, CA – Western All Star Dirtcar Racing Series
Virginia Motor Speedway – Saluda, VA – World of Outlaws Late Models
Madera Speedway, Madera, CA – NCMA Sprints
Marysville Raceway Park, Marysville, CA – BCRA Midget Lites
Marysville Raceway Park, Marysville, CA – BCRA Midgets
Shasta Raceway Park, Redding, CA – NASCAR Camping World West Series
Thunderbowl Raceway, Tulare, CA – Golden State Challenge
Thunderbowl Raceway, Tulare, CA – USAC 360 Sprint Series
Thunderhill Park, Willows, CA – National Auto Sport Association
Thunderhill Park, Willows, CA – U.S. Touring Car Championship
Ventura Raceway, Ventura, CA – California Lightning Sprints
Pikes Peak International Raceway, Fountain, CO – National Auto Sport Association
Delaware International Speedway, Delmar, DE – United Racing Company
Autobahn County Club, Joliet, IL – National Auto Sport Association
Blackhawk Farms Raceway, Rockton, IL – Midwest Council of Sports Car Clubs
Quad City Raceway, East Moline, IL – IMCA Deery Brothers Late Model Series
Anderson Speedway, Anderson, IN – CRA Super Series
Lawrenceburg Speedway, Lawrenceburg, IN – USAC National Sprint Cars
Montpelier Speedway, Montpelier, IN – USAC Mopar D1 Midgets
34 Raceway, Burlington, IA – Sprint Invaders
Champion Park Speedway, Haughton, LA – Ark-La-Tex Winged Modifieds
Sabine Motor Speedway, Many, LA – Southern Thunder Sprints
Central Missouri Speedway, Warrensburg, MO – USMTS Modifieds
I-55 Raceway, Pevely, MO – WoO Sprint Cars
Lucas Oil Speedway, Wheatland, MO – United Late Model Association
Scotland County Speedway, Memphis, MO – United Late Model Association
Eagle Raceway, Eagle, NE – ASCS / Midwest Series
New Jersey Motorsports Park (Lightning), Millville, NJ – National Auto Sport Association
Columbus Motor Speedway, Columbus, OH – Buckeye Super Sprints
Lawton Speedway, Lawton, OK – Oil Capital Racing Series
Lincoln Speedway, Hanover, PA – Central Pennsylvania LegendCars
Path Valley Speedway, Spring Run, PA – PA Sprint Series
Port Royal Speedway, Port Royal, PA – Super Sportsmen
Newport Speedway, Newport, TN – United Auto Racing Association
I-37 Speedway, Pleasanton, TX – Dwarf Car Series of Texas
Royal Purple Raceway, Houston, TX – ASCS / Gulf South Region
Texas World Speedway, Bryan, TX – ChumpCar World Series
South Boston Speedway, South Boston, VA – NASCAR Camping World East Series
South Boston Speedway, South Boston, VA – NASCAR Southern Modified Tour
Dodge County Fairgrounds, Beaver Dam, WI – Interstate Racing Association

April 17th

Quad City Speedway, East Moline, IL – Deery Brothers Summer Series
East Alabama Motor Speedway, Phenix City, AL – UDLMS
Thunderhill Park, Willows, CA – National Auto Sport Association
Thunderhill Park, Willows, CA – U.S. Touring Car Championship
Pikes Peak International Raceway, Fountain, CO – National Auto Sport Association
Stateline Stadium, Post Falls, ID – MMRA – Baby Grands
Autobahn County Club, Joliet, IL – National Auto Sport Association
Blackhawk Farms Raceway, Rockton, IL – Midwest Council of Sports Car Clubs
Rockford Speedway, Rockford, IL – Mid-American Stock Car Series
Kokomo Speedway, Kokomo, IN – USAC National Sprint Cars
71 Speedway, Butler, MO – USMTS Modifieds
Lee USA Speedway, Epping, NH – ACT US Tour
New Jersey Motorsports Park (Lightning), Millville, NJ – National Auto Sport Association
Little Rock Speedway, Rockingham, NC – INEX Legend Cars
Texas World Speedway, Bryan, TX – ChumpCar World Series

Share this article

Sign up for the Frontstretch Newsletter

A daily email update (Monday through Friday) providing racing news, commentary, features, and information from Frontstretch.com
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.

Sign up for the Frontstretch Newsletter

A daily email update (Monday through Friday) providing racing news, commentary, features, and information from Frontstretch.com

Frontstretch