CORONA, California – A 10-round battle for the championship, two lucrative special events and four dates combining the West Coast’s top touring divisions are the highlights of the 2017 schedule for the Lucas Oil Modified Series.
It begins February 11 with the third Winter Showdown on the ultra-fast half-mile oval at Kern County Raceway Park in Bakersfield, California, and ends with the traditional West Coast Short Track Championships at The Bullring at Las Vegas (Nevada) Motor Speedway November 18.
Those special events, two of the four in which the exciting open-wheel Modifieds will share headline status with the SRL Southwest Tour’s Super Late Models, are the bookends for the 10 races that will determine the series’ Hoosier Tire West points champion.
Those 10 races will take the series back to the eight tracks in four states that produced the closest points race in the series’ 11-year history in 2016. A record eight different drivers had parked in the winner’s circle and the points lead had changed hands a record four times before Lakeside, California’s, Matthew Hicks emerged with a 4-point win over Taylor Miinch, with Scott Winters 10 points back in third.
The smallest winning margin previously had been the 12 points that separated champion Jim Mardis and runner-up Austin Barnes in 2011.
“We’re looking forward to another extremely competitive season,” series promoter Greg Scheidecker said. “We think the tracks in our series offer the most varied racing you’ll find in any touring series and the results would seem to indicate it’s also the best racing you’ll find. That’s ultimately a tribute to our drivers and teams, of course, but we’ve tried to help them as much as possible by maintaining continuity and familiarity.
“The dates of this year’s races almost mirror last year’s, but we have changed the track rotation a little. One reason for that was so we could say yes to the opportunity to headline the show at Kern County on the weekend before the Fourth of July, and we had to make a change at Orange Show Speedway. We’ve moved that race two weeks later, to September 23, because of a date conflict with the National Orange Show that would have impacted our race teams and fans.
“Changing the date there means we’ll close the regular season with three events in five weeks. That’s asking a lot of our teams, but they’ve shown over and over that they’re the best around. It definitely will add some drama to those last three races.”
The 2017 schedule for the Lucas Oil Modified Series:
February 11 – Kern County Raceway Park, 1/2-mile oval, Bakersfield, California*
March 11 – Havasu 95 Speedway, 1/4-mile oval, Lake Havasu City, Arizona
April 8 – Tucson Speedway, 3/8-mile oval, Tucson, Arizona
May 20 – The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, 3/8-mile oval, Las Vegas
June 10 – Madera Speedway, 1/3-mile oval, Madera, California
July 1 – Kern County Raceway Park, 1/2-mile oval, Bakersfield, California
July 22 – Rocky Mountain Raceways, 3/8-mile oval, West Valley City, Utah
August 19 – Irwindale Speedway, 1/2 mile oval, Irwindale, California
September 23 – Orange Show Speedway, 1/4-mile oval, San Bernardino, California
October 7 – Madera Speedway, 1/3-mile oval, Madera, California
October 28 – Havasu 95 Speedway, 1/4-mile oval, Lake Havasu City, Arizona
November 18 – The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, 3/8-mile oval, Las Vegas*
* — indicates non-points races
Race distances, purses and other details will be announced when they are finalized