(Special to Kelley Carlton)
For the first time in history two of the Southeast’s most recognized Dirt Late Model Series will co-sanction a pair of events in 2017. Carolina Speedway in Gastonia, North Carolina will host both series on Friday night, May 19th for a $4000 to win / 40 lap feature event. The doubleheader will conclude on Saturday night, May 20thwith another $4000 to win / 40 lap event at Lavonia Speedway in Lavonia, Georgia. Details of the possible bonuses and other incentives are still being considered.
The Carolina Clash and the ULTIMATE Super Late Model Series have long been thought of as rivals in the region but today’s announcement ushers in a new era of cooperation between the groups.
“It’s just the right thing to do. We all need to work together rather than against each other to continue to be successful in this region. I was thrilled when Kelley (Carlton ULTIMATE Series Director) and I sat down and talked about working together. I think this is a great thing for racing and for our racers, promoters and race fans. It’s a true win-win situation.” commented Carolina Clash Co-Owner Bruce Arrants.
Carlton echoed the same sentiment. “The entire 5 years that I have been with the ULTIMATE Series one of the constant questions or suggestions I received was to do a co-sanctioned race with the Carolina Clash. Without fail I have gotten that at least once or twice a year. So when a promoter mentioned it to me this year I thought ‘why not?’. So I called up Bruce and we got together and hashed out the details. I have always thought it was a best practice to try to work with instead of against your competition in this business. So we also shared schedules and compared dates to try and give all of customers the best season we can have in the region. There are some dates that we are racing at the same time but there is enough distance between us that it shouldn’t have any effect on each other.” Carlton said.
Carolina Clash PR Director Mark Huey says it was time. “With all of the new rules that are coming out to improve safety we want to make sure we can do everything we can to maximize our fields for our promoters. The idea of working together is the right one. At the end of the day in addition to the entertainment that we provide, we are a business. And we need to do smart things to improve our business for everyone involved. I am excited about what this kind of cooperation can lead to.”
At these events drivers will earn points with both series each night. Both events will utilize a Hoosier 1350 & 1600 or American Racer 48 & 56 tire rule. Both series use a similar format for setting the field which will also be used at these events. The only difference will be the starting field of 24 will allow for 2 point provisional starts for each series. Otherwise event rules will be governed by the respective lead series. The Carolina event will be led by Clash Officials and rules while the Lavonia event will be under the auspices of ULTIMATE.