PLATTSBURGH, NY – Modified stock car racing teams at Airborne Park Speedway are crunching the numbers as the season opener looms on Saturday night, May 2, at 6:00 p.m. For the first time in recent memory, fuel strategy and a mid-race pit stop may come into play for racers in the J&S Steel Modified division during the FedEx Ground 100.
Saturday’s feature event for NASCAR Whelen All-American Series presented by Yandow Sales & Service and John Deere will run 100 green-flag laps without a scheduled break. Many past 100-lap races have counted laps run during caution periods as part of the total race distance, thereby extending fuel mileage. Races have also included a “competition caution” break near the halfway mark that would allow teams to refuel and make setup adjustments without losing position; neither will happen on Saturday night.
Race control will allow teams that make pit stops during caution periods ample time to safely refuel, but all cars that stop will be forced to give up their position and rejoin the field at the rear of the running order.
“I know I’m going to have to stop, it’s just a matter of when,” hometown driver Bucko Branham said. “We’ll can adjust the setup, and that can work to your advantage, but it’s risky coming back through traffic and passing a lot of cars. It’s going to make the race more exciting, that’s for sure.”
Jason Durgan of Morrisonville, NY said that he knows some teams will try to go the distance without stopping, but that they may be in trouble at the end of the race.
“Caution laps don’t count and that burns more fuel,” Durgan said. “That alone is enough to make you worry, but you also don’t have the luxury of being able to make any changes on the car if you stay out on the track. I’m sure someone is going to roll the dice and go for it.”
Saturday is race day all day in Plattsburgh, with a free car show at Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel on Tom Miller Road in Plattsburgh from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon, followed by the opening FedEx Ground Night event at the Speedway starting at 6:00 p.m. In addition to the J&S Steel Modifieds, championship openers will be held for the Ground Round Late Model, Key R-D Trailer Sales Renegade, and Busch Beer Mini Modified divisions.
Buy-one-get-one-free general admission tickets are available at the gate for just $15 for adults, while all kids age 12 and under will be admitted free.
Airborne Park Speedway is located on Broderick Road in Plattsburgh, NY, one mile south of Exit 36 on the Interstate 87 Northway. Visit www.airborneparkspeedway.com for more information, or call (518) 647-4444. Airborne Park Speedway is on Facebook at Facebook.com/AirborneParkSpeedway and on Twitter at @AirborneSpeed.
-Airborne Park Speedway Press Release. Photo Credit: Dave Brown Photo