A meeting was called last Saturday for drivers and owners in the small block supermodified division, to discuss the format for the upcoming 100 lap small block supermodified feature. Some of the format is the same as in the past. But some of the announced changes were shocking. Here are some details:
Our qualifying will be determined by time trials, on Friday evening. The amount of cars locked into the Classic will be determined by the number of cars taking time trials. The top eight time trailers will then redraw for their starting position, and positions 9 through last will line up from their times. Cautions will count during all 100 laps. A consi will be run Saturday, only if necessary, based on car count. Pretty standard stuff. But then it gets a little crazy…
For the first time ever, the race will be halted on lap 50 on the front straight. Crew members will then be allowed to bring a jack, tire tape, etc., to adjust stagger. No other adjustments, just stagger. Then announced after that idea was another jaw-dropping twist, which was NOT subject to discussion, according to Handley. The top six drivers in the running order at that time would then redraw for position. So if you were running 6th, maybe you would draw the number one, and restart from first place! Or maybe you’re the leader, and you draw number 6. Simmer on that as if it were a sauce.
After that bombshell, and several joking comments, the meeting was ended. (Best comment was “maybe you should just have us finish the race on mules”, by Brian Sobus Sr..) People were shocked, and the talk was that an unprecedented redraw would turn our race into a circus.
In the next few hours, Handley must have received a lot of comments about the redraw. (Theory is that track owner Eric Torrese wasn’t a fan of it, and wasn’t at the meeting during the discussion of the redraw.) I’m not sure who talked to him, or if maybe he un-hit his head, but word was spread later that the redraw idea was being retracted. “Everything is the same (as announced at the meeting), but there will NOT be the redraw”, said Handley when I called him the next day. “We’re still going to stop at lap 50, they will be allowed to adjust stagger, and 8 cars will redraw from time trials, but there will not be the redraw in the feature.”
While I think that redraw would have made the race very interesting for the fans, it’s just too random of a thing to do to the drivers. Can you imagine fighting for a position, then having it taken away from you by a draw? I’ve never heard of such a thing. Just too crazy. I’d love to know who talked him down. I bet his name was…everyone.
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As a driver/owner in the Limited Supermodified division, JJ Andrews covers mostly Oswego Speedway events, from a driver's point of view.