For the past few years, the fate of Mobile International Speedway in Alabama has been uncertain. In 2017, the track ran just a couple of times with Super Late Models. This year, the track is under new management and those owners are ready to end the speculation, beginning this weekend with the 95 KSJ 95-Lap Pro Late Model race on Saturday night.
Charlie Lyons and his son, Kody, have come into an agreement to promote the high-banked half-mile track with intent to purchase next year. After opening last weekend for a Bandit Big Rig Series event, the track is ready for its first traditional short track racing event of the year, a big Pro Late Model race.
“There’s just been a lot of small improvements to get the place up and running again because it’s been neglected and didn’t really run anything for the past few years other than two races last year and I think four the year before,” he said. “So the maintenance has been what was needed. We’re just getting it prepared to run a full season as well as ready for other stuff this year.”
Mobile International Speedway has been mostly a Super Late Model track when it has hosted a race the past few years. This weekend the headlining division is the Pro Late Model division, one step below the Supers. When asked why, Lyons said the decision was the result of Mobile’s sister track just over the Florida-Alabama border in Pensacola, Florida.
“Realistically, the Pro Late Model race stems from Five Flags,” Lyons explained. “We’ve done a lot of talking with Tim Bryant from there. It works out perfectly that their race track is only 45 minutes to an hour down the road and they run on Friday and we run on Saturday. Hopefully that entices drivers from all over this country so they can say they can go down and race two races and win twice as much. You can win more money because it’s a doubleheader. That was the whole philosophy behind it.”
Now that opening weekend is finally here, Lyons said he doesn’t feel nervous, but he’s anxious more than anything.
“I’m just ready to go racing. That’s about all I can say. We had a nice opener last weekend with the Bandit Big Rig Series. We learned what we needed to do with concessions to get the lines shorter, work with the county sheriff to get the lines flowing better so people can get in and out. It’s not like we don’t know what’s going on, but at the same time we’re still not 100-percent aware of how the season is going to go. We’re kind of anxious to see what’s going to happen and how the fans are going to react to the track opening back up.”
For the race fans that cannot make it Mobile International Speedway on Saturday, Speed51.com will have a live stream of the 95-lap Pro Late Model feature available on the Speed51 Video Network exclusively for premium subscribers.
To become a premium subscriber, click here.
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com