Every New Year’s Eve, it’s a tradition to stay up until the ball drops at Time Square in New York to mark a new beginning. This year, everyone in the Dillner house decided to turn in a lil earlier, except me. A staunch believer in tradition, my eyes wrestled with the tiredness that had overcome me. So, rather than put toothpicks in my eyelids to remain awake (that can be a bit dangerous), I turned to Facebook (which can also be pretty damaging these days).
And in true holiday fashion, when what to my wondering eyes did appear, but a big schedule declaration and 12 hefty dates. It was an odd, no, let’s call it unique time and way to make an announcement, but Renee Hackett decided to hit Facebook in the final hours of 2016 to reveal the entire 2017 Southern Modified Racing Series schedule.
In some ways it’s a joyous time for the Hacketts and the second-year Southern Modified Racing Series. The dissolving of the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour has opened up a huge opportunity the size of the grand canyon for the series to take sole possession as the home for touring Modifieds in the Southeast.
All of the events on the 2017 slate are in the Tar Heel state of North Carolina. And much like its predecessor with the NASCAR tour, Caraway Speedway, not surprisingly, will be the home base for series by owning five dates, including the season opener on March 12 (also April 14, July 23, August 26 & September 9). The Hacketts operate the half-mile track outside of Asheboro. NC and Caraway does not have a single date on the new unified NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.
Two other tracks have multiple dates on the docket, including Concord Speedway (April 1 & September 23) and Hickory Motor Speedway (July 1 & September 30).
The series will also visit Orange County Speedway in a double-header with the PASS Super Late Models (March 25) and Southern National Raceway (April 8).
One TBA date is listed for Labor Day Weekend, on Saturday, September 2.
Two tracks missing that might be a surprise to some are Anderson Speedway (SC), which hosted a SMRS race in 2016, and South Boston Speedway, which has been a home for southern modifieds in recent years. Virginia’s SoBo facility still has ties to NASCAR with its Whelen All-American Series.
There was an attempt by another group to create the Southern Modified Racing Tour in 2016, but there has been no word from that camp as to its plans for next year. In fact, the Tour’s website is void of any mention of racing in 2017.
There ya have it, an announcement, on Facebook, on New Year’s Eve, an so we have the schedule for the Southern Modified Racing Series.
|3/12/17||Caraway Speedway||Sophia, NC|
|3/25/17||Orange County Speedway||Rougemont, NC|
|4/1/17||Concord Speedway||Midland, NC|
|4/8/17||Southern National Raceway||Kenly, NC|
|4/14/17||Caraway Speedway||Sophia, NC|
|7/1/17||Hickory Motor Speedway||Hickory, NC|
|7/23/17||Caraway Speedway||Sophia, NC|
|8/26/17||Caraway Speedway||Sophia, NC|
|9/9/17||Caraway Speedway||Sophia, NC|
|9/23/17||Concord Speedway||Midland, NC|
|9/30/17||Hickory Motor Speedway||Hickory, NC|
Story By: Bob Dillner, Executive Editor, Speed51.com
Photo Credit: Speed51.com