This past Saturday, the fledgling Modified Touring Series revealed its brand new Sunoco Fuels “Quest for the Cup”. After days of the format being available to the eyes of race teams, race tracks, and race fans, including here on Speed51.com (click for original story), many in the racing community voiced their opinions to Gary and Alichia Knight. The founders of the Modified Touring Series made the decision to go back and retool the system.
The first big change is the elimination of the requirement that race teams must participate in the first six races of the 10-race schedule, this being an incentive for part-time drivers running tracks at their home base who win a race to step up and participate in more races during the season’s second half.
The second being that there will only be one elimination of championship eligible drivers in the Quest, and that will determine the five drivers who will race for the championship in the season finale. There will be no prior eliminations before the one following race nine.
Here is the revised championship system from the MTS:
-10 race season
-A win in the first five races automatically advances team to championship segment.
-First five races are based on points or wins to move onto the next segment.
-Championship rounds will consist of races six through nine.
-12 teams will qualify for championship segment based on points and wins in the qualifying round
-Points for the 12 qualifiers will be reset to 300 points.
-Bonus points for wins will transfer to race six only and will be added to the reset.
-Bonus points (2) per win will be given in races six through nine.
-At the end of race nine, the top five teams in points will transfer to the championship segment.
-In race ten, the champion will be decided on finishing order only, not points.
The Knights spoke with a number of participating tracks as well as team owners and drivers including Mike Holdridge, Art Barry, Rob Walendy, Charlie Pasteryak, Norm Smith, Jon McKennedy, Brian Brady and a few others, who voiced their input which helped shape the revised system.
Speed51.com powered by JEGS spoke with series director Gary Knight Wednesday afternoon who wanted to emphasize that the MTS is doing all they can in taking and implementing as much input from teams, tracks, and fans. The main goal of the changes is to keep drivers who have invested time and energy in play for the championship as long as possible while simplifying things for the fans.
“There was a lot of different of opinions and the opinions seemed to go that it is better for the series, it’s better for them, and better for the fans if we keep them in play up to race nine and then put it all on the line,” says Knight. “We feel like we came up with a simpler way for the fans to understand it and a simpler way for guys to show up and win a race, because you only show up to win a race and go for ten grand (in the championship).”
Knight also plans to provide some sort of easy to spot markings on championship eligible cars to assist fans.
The series is also floating around the possibility of a change for the final race which Knight had heard from Jon McKennedy. The proposal is that the five drivers in championship contention during the final race all start at the rear of the field and race their way to the front.
Knight is making a big push for race fans to voice their opinions on this driver’s proposal.
He has also stated that while the series will go forward with the revised system to start the season he wants to continue to hear what everyone from drivers to race fans have to say.
“The fans need to know that the drivers and owners really have a say, they have a play in this deal.”
-By: Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com CT, MA & Long Island Editor – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com/Rick Ibsen