By Shawn Brouse
Port Royal – A new attitude for a new decade of auto racing at Port Royal Speedway has yielded a major change to how the speedway will conduct its weekly auto racing programs for the balance of 2011.
PRS Promotions officials have announced that the track will launch a new heat and feature alignment procedure beginning this Saturday, forsaking the long entrenched handicapping system and associated penalty clauses at the oval.
“It’s our hope that this innovative new lineup process will help to bolster our regular fields while at the same time adding excitement to our programs by making every position more worthwhile in the heat races,” says PRS Promotions official and speedway promoter Steve O’Neal.
“After receiving feedback from a host of competitors and considering the current state of the economy, we realize that a lot of our regular racers cannot afford to run weekly and this move should help all racers be able to race with us whenever they are available because all penalizations have been dropped and we’re not asking them to start out the night at what has become a costly disadvantage,” O’Neal says.
The new heat draw/feature redraw system will now be utilized for regular programs that include 410 sprints, late models and pro stock divisions. Although most of these programs will take place on traditional Saturdays, the new process will be used for the divisions on a few other occasions during the course of the season.
In a nutshell, the new procedure will see heat lineups set by draw with the top two (2) heat finishers redrawing for preferred feature starting positions, which could range (dependent on the number of heat races) from four (4) to eight (8).
The rest of the cars in the feature will be started heads-up based on their heat race finish. For instance, the third finisher in the first heat would start fifth in the feature if two heats are contested or seventh if three heats are run, etc.
As an added twist to the new system for the fans and drivers, a financial bonus package has also been introduced.
If any one of the redrawn preferred position starters opts to give up his or her chosen spot and take the feature green from the 11th spot on the starting grid (or further back if more than one redrawn driver opts to try for the bonus), he or she will be eligible for the following bonus money on top of the regular winner’s share: 410 sprints – $300; late models – $200; and pro stocks – $100.
Aside from the redrawn preferred starters, any other regularly scheduled starter slated to go green from 11th to last-place in the field will be eligible to claim the bonus bucks if they race into victory lane.
If any of the redrawn preferred position starters opt to move back in the field to try for the bonus cash, the balance of the lineup in front of row six will simply advance position accordingly to take the feature green flag.
Port Royal Speedway will host the first of only two appearances by the super sportsman this season Saturday, April 16. Also on the racing card is the 410 sprints and late models with admission gates opening at 5 PM and racing slate for 7