355 econo-late models replace pro stocks
Port Royal – Port Royal Speedway is making a division change for the 2014 racing season, instituting an all-new 355 econo-late model class that will replace the pro stocks and at the same time afford the pro stock drivers a relatively easy avenue to transfer their talent and interest into the new class.
In an effort to create a natural segway, if desired, into full-blown super late model racing, the 355 econo-late division will take to the track in 2014 while also creating an option for veteran drivers who may find the cost of fielding and driving a super late model out of reach in today’s market.
The new class, designed to be an economical choice for stock car drivers, will utilize more easily acquired late model chassis’ as it replaces the pro stocks, however limitations regarding engines and shocks among other specifications are intended to keep operating costs more budgetary.
“Any time when you decide to make a change or try starting any new division there is always a risk factor to it,” admits Port Royal promoter Steve O’Neal.
“But over the past several years there has been a steady decline in the pro stock numbers competing not only at Port but at all the area tracks.”
“Ever since the federal government ran their ‘Cash For Clunkers’ program there has been a shortage of old streetcar frames and body parts or any cheap parts in general for the pro stocks and the result is now you have cars that really don’t resemble anything that is stock.”
“The race committee realizes that there must be a feeder class where new drivers can get a start and veteran drivers can still afford to race. The committee has seen and promoted the 305 Racesaver sprints from the beginning and has seen the success of this division and now we are hoping to do the same with this econo-late class and our late models,” O’Neal says.
“The only real difference between the 305 sprints and the 410 sprints is really the motor limitations to keep the cost down. The drivers starting in that division actually get a real feel of a 410 sprint car.”
“So now we are planning on doing the same thing with this new class of late models to give the guys that are starting out the real feel of a super late model without the large motor costs.”
“This division will also give the guys that have raced the super late model class in the past and that cannot afford to run competitively in it anymore a chance to still come out on Saturday nights and have fun racing.”
The ultimate goal of Port Royal officials is ensuring the viability of the support division while keeping costs in check.
“Since we are the only track around that runs 410 sprints and super late models weekly it just make sense to try to build feeder classes for both divisions,” O’Neal summarizes.
A minimum of 15 shows are tentatively slated on the 2014 Port Royal schedule of events.
The entire 2014 355 econo-late model division specifications are available on the track website under the rules page at www.portroyalspeedway.com.