Race season has arrived in the Southeast and the pilots of the “Mighty Modifieds” are ready to fire up their 600 horsepower engines. Once again, the Southern Modified Racing Series will be a battleground across the state of North Carolina all year long, with the region’s best looking to claim the title in 2019.
The fourth SMRS season begins this coming Sunday, March 10 at the series’ flagship track, the half-mile Caraway Speedway. A further four races will be contested at the Sophia, NC oval on April 6, July 6, August 24, and the season finale on October 19.
SMRS will also compete in eastern North Carolina on the high-banks of Southern National Motorsports Park on March 23 and again on September 14. Orange County Speedway also welcomes in the ground pounders for competition on April 13 to conclude the four-race springtime stretch.
Hickory Motor Speedway will play host to the penultimate series event for the season on October 12. The race will be a great warmup for many Modified teams looking to compete in the postseason North-South Shootout, which moves to Hickory for 2019 on November 8 and 9.
Leading the roster of drivers for 2019 will be the man who has won the title the last two seasons. Florida’s Jeremy Gerstner returns to SMRS this season looking for the championship hat-trick. But, he will go up against a strong band of stars looking to claim their first series championship.
Ten-time Bowman Gray Stadium champion Tim Brown is looking to go one spot better in the SMRS chase in 2019 after a runner-up season in 2018 to go along with his three wins.
Mike Norman, John Smith, and a returning Bobby Measmer Jr. are not only gunning for their first SMRS title, but they will also be fighting to get back into victory lane after missing the mark in 2018.
The 2019 season will also have ace drivers making majority appearances in SMRS competition with the goal of totting up as many wins as possible. Brandon Ward is expected to be one such driver, as he looks to repeat his three-win performance of 2018, while 2016 SMRS champ Burt Myers will make a number of appearances throughout the year.
Tom Buzze Jr. will be another gunning for race trophies during the season, while Trey Hutchins will be making starts in between his time at school. Later in the season fans should also keep their eyes peeled for James Civali and Hillbilly Racing to get into the fray.
As always, fans should also expect a number appearances by Northern Modified drivers during 2019. The first will be this weekend as New Jersey’s Jimmy Blewett will compete in his familiar No. 76 Modified at Caraway.
Stay with Speed51 this weekend and all season long for live coverage, race highlights, stories, and more from the Southern Modified Racing Series.
-Story by: Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com Northeast Editor – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo credit: Speed51.com