A pair of All American 400's will be held during the same year at Fairground Speedway Nashville (TN) in 2019. However, only one of those two races will be contested at the traditional 400-lap distance.
Event promoter Claire Formosa told Speed51.com Tuesday afternoon that the first All American 400 of the year on April 14, which is the make-up race from November 2018, has been reduced to 300 laps with the budget of Super Late Model racers in mind.
The second All American 400 of the year on November 3 will remain at the traditional 400-lap distance.
"We’ve decided to do this to try to help cut down on the cost of the event and try to help cut down on the wear and tear of the event," Formosa explained. "Eight hundred laps for two races is a lot of wear and tear on equipment for one year at one track. We’ve talked to several drivers and we’ve really done our homework on this.
“We’re excited to see how it is. I know a lot of people aren’t going to agree with what we are doing because everyone was so pumped about it going back to a true All American 400. We are too but this is a special circumstance that we hope we don’t ever have to do again. But given the circumstances, the time of the year and all of the other races going on, we just felt like 400 laps is a really big budget for those guys early on in the year.”
The 34th Annual All American 400 was scheduled to be completed on November 4, 2018; however, rain showers throughout the weekend forced track officials to postpone the race. Due to other scheduled events at the Nashville Fairgrounds and other major Super Late Model events at the end of the 2018 season, track management decided to move the race to April 13-14, 2019.
"This is not a decision that any promoter ever wants to have to make. It’s certainly tougher on us as promoters planning two All American 400s in one year," Formosa stated. "We just had one in November that we didn’t get to do successfully, and now we’re basically having to prepare for that again, so early on in April where normally we wouldn’t have to prepare for it again until the following year. It’s difficult for us and it’s difficult for the racers. It is a crown jewel event and having to make decision like this, we’ve never had to make a decision like this. We’ve never been put in a position where we’ve rained out and we’ve had to come back and make the race up five or six months later. We just ask that everyone bear with us. That’s why we made sure to reach out to all of the racers. I personally called and texted each one of them and talked to them about this.”
According to Formosa, the decision to reduce the distance to 300 laps will cut down on the cost of tires and fuel associated with the event, as well as the wear and tear on the race cars. She believes this was the right thing to do given the time of the year and the three major Super Late Model events scheduled at the track for the 2019 season.
In addition to the All American 400 make-up date in April and the regularly scheduled All American 400 in November, the North/South Super Late Model Challenge for the ARCA/CRA Super Series and Southern Super Series is scheduled for May 4 at the Nashville oval.
“In this situation we’re trying to think of the racer and the budget that they would need to compete at the Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville alone in 2019," Formosa said. "Let’s just say you have a racer that runs all three of those races – the April race, the May race and the November race – that’s a big budget to have for a Super Late Model to have for one track for one year.
“Our goal is to make sure that people don’t say, ‘Well, I’m not going to go to the April race, I’m going to go to the November race’ or ‘I’m not going to the November race, I’m going to go to the April race.’ We want people to go to both.”
The tire allotment for the 300-lap race in April will be reduced to 12 tires, giving each race team a set of tires every 100 laps. According to Formosa, this decision was made after receiving feedback from many of the racers who will be competing in the April event.
“We’ve called all the racers who were registered and here in November. We asked them what they thought and if they wanted to leave it at 400 laps, cut it down to 250 or cut it down to 300," Formosa said. "The majority of the vote was to cut the race down, so we decided to cut it down to 300 laps. We’re going to cut the tires down, cut the fuel down, and we’re hoping that will help the drivers as well not having to spend as much money on tires and fuel, as well as wear and tear on the cars.”
The 34th Annual All American 400 will be contested as a 300-lap race on April 13-14, 2019.
The 35th Annual All American 400 will be contested as a traditional 400-lap race on November 2-3, 2019.
For more information on both events, visit www.fairgroundsspeedwaynashville.com.
-Story by: Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor - Twitter: @Brandon_Paul51
-Photo credit: Speed51.com