About 10 years ago Pro Late Model racing was created to cut costs for drivers wanting to run Late Models in around the Southeast who didn’t have the budgets to go Super Late Model racing. The growth of the lower-horsepower racing has moved up into the Midwest as the success has been seen best in the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour. Down south the racing is still there, but just not in a touring series formula.
Still there are big races in and around the region to keep the Pro Late Models on the track. Some year-end shows that will bring cars from every direction will be the All American 400 at Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville (TN) and the Snowflake 100 at Five Flags Speedway (FL) in December.
Both shows will likely draw more than 60 cars in a time when some people might have said Pro Late Model racing was going away.
Justin South is a multi-time winner and a regional contender in Pro Late Models and will be hitting every show he can before the season ends.
“I am glad it’s not going away,” said South. “In fact I’d like to see a full series just like the Southern Super Series but for Pro cars.”
South started the year trying to make the move up to Super Late Models, but the team just didn’t have the budget to keep things on track.
“I had spent almost 75-percent of my budget in those first few races,” said South. “I was just spending so much money so we decided to switch back to Pros before it doomed us.”
Money-wise, the Pro Late Models don’t require a full pit crew as teams don’t have to change tires during most events. At some tracks, a special special blend of fuel, Sunoco 102, is available for Pro Late Model teams at a 25-percent lower cost than what is run in Super Late Models.
“I’ve talked to several track promoters and owners about how to increase car counts and increase purses and Nashville has a good thing going,” added South. “I feel like Pros are always going to be around and so will Supers too and I feel like they come and they go with numbers.”
South had to make up for lost ground and has not really found his stride until recent races. He finished fifth in the final Pro Late Model race at Gresham Motorsports Park (GA) this season and hopes to carry the success into the Pro Late Model season finale at Five Flags Speedway (FL) this weekend.
Saturday’s race at Five Flags is the final Pro Late Model tune-up before the Snowflake 100 on December 6.
“I’ve given away a couple of races down there,” said South. I’ve been really close to winning a couple of these Snowflake races. I think the packaged we’ve been working on this year though I think it’s going to benefit us. Since we’ve been going there for the first time of the year we’ve had an awful year and maybe we can turn it around down there.”
South expects 30 cars to be on the grounds when things fire up on Saturday afternoon for practice.
– By Elgin Traylor, Speed51.com Operations Manager. Twitter: @ElginTraylor. Photo credit: Speed51.com