As part of a new incentive program for Southern Super Series competitors, four teams received two free Hoosier racing tires ahead of their second race of the season at Five Flags Speedway last Friday. That program will continue for the remainder of the 10-race schedule in 2019.
Hoosier and the Southern Super Series both stepped up to offer 40 free tires each to racers, with a total of 80 tires being offered to race teams this season. Before each event, a drawing will be held to determine which four teams will receive two free tires.
In order to be eligible for the drawing, a driver must simply participate in that given Southern Super Series race as well as the most recent event. Thus, Friday’s drawing was open to teams who had competed in the season-opening Rattler 250 at South Alabama Speedway and were present for the Deep South Cranes Blizzard Series opener at Five Flags.
Plott was surprised to be one of the first winners of the program, but was thankful to series director Tim Bryant for the assistance.
“I think it’s a really good thing Tim and them are giving back to the drivers,” Plott told Speed51. “I ain’t never won nothing like that in racing. Being one of the first ones to get it is pretty cool. For them to give back to the drivers and show their appreciation is pretty cool.
“The way my luck goes, I never win anything like that,” Plott added. “I can’t win a one-dollar scratch-off. To be able to get that was pretty cool.”
Earlier on Friday, before the drivers’ meeting where the drawing took place, Roderick had posted on Instagrama passionate plea for changes in Super Late Model racing and cited tires as a chief issue in the sport.
Roderick offered his appreciation for the tire program, acknowledging it was a small step towards improving the situation he described but that every little bit helps.
“Obviously, any time we can get tires as racers, it’s good,” Roderick said. “It’s good that they’re trying to give back to us a little bit. That’s a very small part of what’s going on right now. They’re trying to make an effort to help us out right now, and I’d never go against anything like that. I applaud them for trying to do that.
“For the most part, everybody’s on board with what I said,” Roderick added. “I posted that before the driver’s meeting, so I got those two tires after all of that. I’m certainly not against that.”
Anthony Sergi was making his first appearance at Five Flags Speedway in several seasons, as he has teamed up with Ben Kennedy Racing to compete in the four-race Blizzard Series in preparation for the 52ndAnnual Snowball Derby.
“It’s pretty awesome, my first time back at Five Flags in a while, to get that was really cool,” Sergi said. “I was going no matter what, but it definitely helped us out getting tires, especially at Five Flags where the track really eats up the tires and was really hard. This weekend wasn’t the best for us, but the tires helped us out and hopefully we can get the car where we want it and be more of a threat next time.”
Sergi hopes that competing in the Blizzard Series will help him stack up against the elite in Super Late Model racing when the Snowball Derby rolls around December 4-8.
“Last year, we saw [Jesse] Dutilly come up here from Central Florida and really make his name for himself,” Sergi stated. “What I’m trying to do in my career is make a name for myself in the Central Florida area. Traveling the whole country would be awesome, but really, the only way to do that is to go to Five Flags and put on a show racing against Pollard, Roderick, Okrzesik, all those guys who have been doing really good. This year we’re going there just to get ready for the Snowball and the tires definitely helped us with our practicing.”
Dutilly was at the Blizzard Series opener but was not eligible for the drawing after missing out on the Rattler 250. Still, he was pleased to see the program and appreciated its beginnings.
“I think that’s spectacular,” Dutilly said. “I think anything they can do to help the racers is a great thing. I think it’s super cool that they’re doing something for the racers.”
The next Southern Super Series event will be May 4 at Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville. That event is a tri-sanctioned race, with the Champion Racing Association’s ARCA/CRA Super Series and the Championship Auto Racing Series (CARS) Super Late Model Tour also participating.
Drivers who entered Friday’s Southern Super Series race at Five Flags Speedway and compete in the event at Nashville will be eligible for the drawing to win two free Hoosier tires.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51.com photo