The Myrtle Beach 400 at Myrtle Beach Speedway (SC) will return to a one-weekend format in 2019, going back to its roots after spending four years as a two-weekend event. The race will now take place on November 15-16, 2019.
Since 2015, a Limited Late Model 100-lap feature has headlined the first weekend of the Myrtle Beach 400, giving those competitors a stand-alone event prior to one of the crown jewels of Late Model Stock Car racing. That was initially the plan for this November’s event as well, but a combination of factors has led Myrtle Beach Speedway officials to condense this year’s event.
“The effort that we have to put in, personally as a facility, to pull off two weekends is probably more than a lot of people understand,” said Steve Zacharias, General Manager of Myrtle Beach Speedway. “The confidence level of car counts in our support divisions has been getting slimmer and slimmer. The second weekend would be a great Late Model race, but a lot of work to really just have one division running all weekend.”
The event will now feature Late Model Stock Cars, two divisions of Limited Late Models (Pro and Challenger) and the track’s weekly Super Truck division. Specifics regarding the event schedule will be released by Myrtle Beach Speedway in the coming days.
“Everyone can come out one weekend, whether they have Limited teams and Late Model teams,” said Zacharias. “We’re working on the rules for the Limited stuff to make it more compatible for the Late Models, so if anyone racing in the LImiteds has the capability, they can possibly switch a carburetor and run the Late Model race.”
Zacharias said that early feedback has been largely positive for the change on the event.
“Once we decided this was the way we were going to go, the biggest thing was getting the word out so that drivers and teams that have booked hotels weren’t going to get hit with a reservation change. Speaking to a lot of drivers and teams, I’ve heard a lot of positive feedback on the change. I think everyone’s excited.”
The Late Model Stock Car portion of the Myrtle Beach 400, widely regarded as a crown jewel of the discipline, has traditionally been contested on the weekend prior to Thanksgiving. However, given the choice between the two originally scheduled weekends, track officials opted for the earlier weekend to avoid conflict with the NASCAR Regional, International and Local Awards Banquet in Charlotte that weekend.
“We moved it to this weekend because the banquet is on the [originally planned Late Model Stock] 400 weekend,” said Zacharias. “That’s not why we cancelled it, but it is why we moved it forward rather than bringing the Limiteds and Trucks the week after. It was better to move the Late Models forward, get off the banquet date. Next year, if this all works out well, we plan on running one weekend again next year, but the weekend before Thanksgiving like the 400 has always been.”
For more information about the Myrtle Beach 400, visit www.myrtlebeachspeedway.com.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51.com photo