CALLAWAY, VA :: After an incredible 2016 campaign climaxing with four drivers in each division racing for the championship in the season finale in September, Franklin County Speedway is gearing up for another year of Chase for the Championship with many more drivers set to compete for the championship.
The Chase format will be used this season in the core four divisions including Late Models, Mini Stocks, V8 Street and U-Cars. Competitors in these four divisions will be racing a little over the first half of the season to lock themselves into the Chase for the Championship. A win in the first segment will lock a driver into the Chase while others can earn a spot by competing in all the races or being among the top 10 in points at the cutoff point.
Drivers in the second segment will advance to the final race by a mix of formats. The highest in points before the final race automatically advances to the final round. The winner of the most races during the second segment will advance to the final round. The driver who wins the Buster Carroll Memorial, if competing for points gets an automatic bid to the final round as well. If the winner of the Buster Carroll Memorial is not a points competitor the second highest in overall points will advance. The final spot in the championship Final Four goes to the driver who is awarded the most passing points during the course of the whole 2017 season.
Passing points you say? Yes. Passing Points. Every position gained from the starting lineup to the finishing order is awarded one point. Whoever gets the most positions gained in each race is awarded an additional five points per event. Passing points is being added with the hopes that drivers will take advantage of them to gain points throughout the season and put themselves in a better position to race for the championship. That in turn will give the fans a better race.
“Fans want to see passing,” said track promoter Langley Austin. “Fans want to see good racing and while we have the best racing of any area track there’s always ways to improve upon the product. The Chase for the Championship did exactly that last year. It made the racing more entertaining to watch and it made drivers really want to win a race, maybe more than usual.”
Passing points will not only count for the season long points standings but will be kept up with separately for the final spot in the Final Four of the Chase for the Championship.
“Passing the most cars this season will get you a spot in the Final Four on Championship Night in September. That should be enough of a reward for drivers to want to start further back and really go after those points. I think as the season goes on more drivers are going to be looking at that and looking at how they will get themselves in the mix for the final race for the championship.”
“We’ve got a lot of top notch racers who could find themselves in the mix for the championship in all divisions,” continued Austin. “This season is going to be one of the most storied championship battles we’ve ever had in our four core divisions. The Chase for the Championship format and now passing points will make things more interesting for the fans and the drivers.”
One driver who is all for the Chase for the Championship format is Wesley Thomason, who made the Final Four in last season but finished fourth among the Late Models.
“It’s really exciting,” said Thomason. “In the past you knew with a couple races to go who was going to win the championship, there was no great build up. Now you don’t know who’s going to be in the final group of drivers and what’s going to happen. You don’t sleep at all for a week before it. You have to work hard just to get into it and then you’ve got as good of a chance as anyone. I love it. You really have to earn it now and not just race all season and take home the trophy.”
The Moonshine Modifieds and the newly formed Blue Ridge Mini Cup Series will compete for the championship this season via an old school championship format. Both will however obtain passing points for every car passed from starting lineup to finishing order same as the other divisions.
Twin 35-lap Late Model Stock Car features are set for Sunday and the Moonshine Modifieds will compete for 35-laps as well. Moonshine Modifieds is a mix of IMCA style and Tour style Modifieds on scuff tires. The Mini Stocks will compete for 30-laps, V8 Street for 25-laps, U-Cars for 25-laps and $500 to Win and the East Coast Flatheads will go for 20-laps on Sunday afternoon.
Tickets are $10 for Adults, $5 for Kids 5-12 years old and Children under 4 get in free. Grandstand Gates open at 1pm with practice starting at 1pm, qualifying at 2:30pm and racing action hitting the track at 3pm. Make plans to attend the Spring Throwdown on Sunday afternoon for the best racing action around.
More information check out www.FCSpeedway.com or find us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/MoonshineCapitalPromotions/ or contact Langley Austin at 276.613.4208.