As most of the northern part of the West Coast sits under snow, many drivers and race teams are gearing up for events in the Southwest like the Chilly Willy 150 and Winter Showdown. The offseason for the West Coast has been a busy one with schedules being released, tracks adding events and changing staff.
The Western Auto Racing Promoters Association held their annual meetings in November for the 48th year. The meetings are for race tracks, series, specialty acts and racing industry vendors to discuss their upcoming season, marketing, rules, organize their schedules and more. This year included 18 different tracks and 17 different series from Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho, Utah, northern California and British Columbia.
Let’s look at all the workings during a busy season for racers, tracks, series and more along the Pacific Coast.
NWSLMS-SRL Southwest Tour Shootout in Utah
Maybe one of the biggest announcements on the West Coast during the offseason came with the Northwest Super Late Model Series and SRL Southwest Tour aligning for a $10,000-to-win Shootout at Rocky Mountain Raceways in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The event will be held September 2, 2017 during Labor Day Weekend. This will be the first ever joint event between the NWSLMS and SRL Southwest Tour. Officials with both series have been working with the track since last season to put the event together.
The SRL Southwest Tour participated in a similar shootout with the Rocky Mountain Challenge Series at the Utah facility in 2015 featuring 28 cars with Jacob Gomes getting the win.
NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Schedule
There will be many familiar stops for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West in 2017 but some new events will add a little shake up to the schedule. The series’ 14-race schedule will see teams travel to six states and 12 different tracks.
The season kicks off with a busy stretch that includes four races in just seven days. The first race will be at Tucson Speedway (AZ) on Saturday, March 18. The series will travel north to Kern County Raceway Park in Bakersfield, CA, on Thursday, March 23, followed by racing in twin 100-lap features at Irwindale Speedway (CA) on Saturday, March 25.
Some other highlights of the schedule will be the series returning to Spokane County Raceway (WA) for the first time since 2013. Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, WA will host the series the for the 54th time in track history.
Both the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and West will hold their annual combo race at Iowa Speedway on July 28. For the first time, drivers who are competing in both series full time can earn dual points for the race.
NWSLMS Expands in 2017
Fans in the Pacific Northwest will see the Northwest Super Late Model Series expand their footprint for the 2017 season with a schedule showcasing the series at nine races held at seven tracks across Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Utah.
The series will open the season at the familiar Wenatchee Valley Super Oval (WA) April 29 along with the track hosting the 2017 championship race in September. Other tracks seeing the series return will be Spokane County Raceway with two dates and Yakima Speedway.
For the first time the series will head to South Sound Speedway (WA), Meridian Speedway (ID), Douglas County Speedway (OR) and Rocky Mountain Raceways (UT) for the dual SRL Southwest Tour Shootout races with one race at each facility.
Evergreen Speedway Makes Additions to Staff and Date Change for Summer Showdown
Evergreen Speedway announced the promotion of Kevin Guthrie to Director of Motorsports. Guthrie has been serving as the NASCAR Technical Director as well as the Evergreen Drift and Evergreen AutoX Director.
In addition, a new NASCAR Race Director for Evergreen Speedway was announced with Jay Carpenter stepping into the role. Carpenter brings NASCAR and S.C.C.A. racing experience as well as high level sports officiating skills.
Another key addition will be Jeremy Anders as the new Media & PR Director and Lead Announcer. Anders previously worked with Wenatchee Valley Super Oval, NW Super Late Model Series, and Speed51.com.
Officials with Evergreen Speedway also worked hard in the off season to try and grow their premier event, the Summer Showdown by moving the event from June to July 20-22. One of the main reasons for the move was to make sure there wasn’t a conflicting date with a NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race, giving more teams a chance at the $25,000 winner’s check.
SRL Southwest Tour Schedule Released
Once again the SRL Southwest Tour will kick off the season with their biggest event of the year with the $30,000-to-win Winter Showdown at Kern County Raceway Park February 11. This will be a non-points race.
The 2017 championship season will start at Irwindale Speedway on March 25 as the series’ nine-race season will make stops at six different tracks along the way including Tucson Speedway, Madera Speedway and Rocky Mountain Raceways for the shootout with the NWSLMS.
The series championship will be in Las Vegas at The Bullring on November 18. Each of the nine points races in 2017 will feature a winner’s check of at least $5,000.
New Idaho Spud 250
Drivers from all around the country are already showing excitement for the new Idaho Spud 250 to be held at the newly repaved Magic Valley Speedway in Twin Falls, ID. The event will pay $15,000 to the winner.
Management with the track worked hard in the off season to bring back a large Super Late Model event to southern Idaho. The event will feature the Pro Truck Series and Royal Purple Modified Series along with Super Late Models. The track has already received entries from drivers ranging from the west coast to the east coast.
-By Jeremy Anders, Speed51.com West Coast Correspondent
-Photo credit: Evergreen Speedway