A freak lightning strike just outside of turns three and four zapped the lighting system at Montgomery Motor Speedway and forced the cancellation of Show Me The Money event.
The 75-lap Pro Late Model race is rescheduled for July 2, as part of the track’s Independence Day Celebration.
Summertime pop-up thunderstorms are commonplace in Alabama. As humidity levels and temperatures rise throughout the day, storms build up in random spots.
It’s almost impossible to predict where the storms will hit. Saturday just happened to be the track’s bad luck.
Montgomery Motor Speedway General Manager Stan Narrison said the strike damaged the facility’s electrical system
“I don’t think I have been close enough to feel it before,” Narrison said. “We know it hit on the property. The scoreboard got hit, and it knocked out one of the phases in the system. The lights run on a three-phase system, and we just can’t run without lights. I’ve called races for a lot of reasons, but this is the first I have ever had to call due to the power being knocked out.”
Veteran racer Casey Roderick has toured the Deep South for years. He’s seen his fair share of rain outs, but Saturday was his first “lighting out,” as well.
“This is the first time for something like this,” Roderick said. “It’s unfortunate for everyone that spends the money to come race to have to go home for an issue like that. No one can control Mother Nature, so you have to race when she allows it.”
Prior to the lightning, Pro Late Model cars took part in one practice session with Bill Bethea, III fastest. Any team wishing to race in the July 2nd make-up event, can do so without penalty. As an added bonus, Narrison is paying the top-finishing Pro Late Model car in next week’s Super Late Model race an extra $500.
Montgomery is set to play host to Southern Super Series presented by Sunoco Saturday June 18.
Narrison feels the electrical issues will be a distant memory by then.
“It will in no way be an issue next weekend,” Narrison said. “The power company said it could maybe get it fixed tonight, but the problem is that it’s ‘tonight’ and not ‘today’.”
-By Ryan McCollough, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com