Open-Wheel Modified racing across the Southeast is set for another great year of tough competition amongst some of its top drivers, with the Modifieds of Mayhem Tour ready to take to the road once again. With more races scheduled and larger core of drivers expected, few are ready to make a definitive pick for who might be the champion in 2018.
With 2017 champion Joe Aramendia expected to concentrate on Super Late Model racing this coming year, the door has been opened for the possibility of a new title holder. Heavy hitters like 2017 runner-up Donald Crocker, Kory Ruble, Adam Crawford, Zach Knowles, and Jason Morman are such favorites. They will most likely have to deal Jeff Letson as well, who is gunning for a second title.
“This will be our fourth year for the tour. There’s a good chance that we could end up with a different champion this year with some of the circumstances lining up this year. It’s pretty neat when you have that talent level, you don’t have any one car dominating the tour,” said Modified of Mayhem organizer Stan Narrison.
Perhaps the biggest news making waves in the offseason is the 12-race Mayhem Tour schedule, the largest schedule in the tour’s short history. The flagship race tracks, Montgomery Motor Speedway (AL) and Five Flags Speedway (FL), will be at the center once again along with Crisp Motorsports Park (GA) and Mobile International Speedway (AL), which returns for the first time since 2015. There is also a new track for the tour, which will add new territory and a new challenge for race teams.
“We’ve got the same great tracks back,” Narrison said. “There is also a new facility, we’re going to head over to Houston Motorsports Park (TX) for a race. That is going to be one of our Gold Cup races, we have three of them: the Houston race (July 7), the one at Montgomery on Alabama 200 weekend (September 1-2) and the season finale at Five Flags Snowball Derby weekend (November 30). It’s a separate little deal where we’re going to recognize the highest in points out of those three at the Snowball Derby.”
After witnessing the largest Modified field in Snowball Derby history in 2017, Narrison expects it to be a fantastic crown jewel to conclude the year in 2018, especially after the 2017 race helped to bump up the hype.
“We had 44 Modifieds go to the Snowball Derby last year, some of them are tour regulars, but a lot of other guys found out about the Tour from when Tim Bryant and I made that announcement,” Narrison explained. “Now they’re ready to go racing with us this year.”
The mayhem begins this Saturday, March 3 with the 50-lap season opener at Montgomery Motor Speedway. Fans who are premium subscribers (monthly or yearly) to the Speed51 Video Network will be able to watch for free. Click here to subscribe today.
-By: Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com Northeast Editor – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo credit: Speed51.com