Modifieds, crate/pro/limited late models keeping fans entertained
Modifieds and crate/pro/limited late models are keeping fans entertained. Let me quickly say that I am a fan of super late model racing both on pavement and dirt. The high horsepower, high dollar machines and teams truly make an event seem, well, super -sized. That said, not every race has to have the word super in front of it to be exciting or worth seeing. If you are currently only attending super late model races please consider coming to see the good racing that is taking place around the south east in the modified and crate/pro/ limited late model divisions.
Modified and crate/limited races are filling the gap between super late model events with grassroots based stars and teams with blue-collar budgets that are genuinely becoming Friday and Saturday night celebrities.
The Renegades of Dirt Modified Tour Southern Division are quickly building young, talented racers into social media stars with regional followings that have the kind of "buzz" that makes fans interested in what is happening at their events. Tour communications director, Steve Summerlin, played a strong part in the social media success that added value and fans to County Line Raceway, in Elm City, NC before he made that step to the series position. The Tour has quality drivers like Derrick Ramsey, Patrick Lyon, Matt Emmerling, Ryan Ayers and Shon Flanary. Add to that mix at select races certain regional competitors such as Max McLaughlin, Billy Workman, Slater Blickensderfer and Blake Terry, and more nationally known racers, like Kyle Strickler and David Stremme and the fans see a field of competitors at any given event that they can relate to and cheer for or even against.
The pro late models on pavement lost a great series a couple of years ago when the UARA had to step aside for family reasons of the series owners. However, this year pro late models seem to fit nicely into the PASS and newly restructured CARS tours. This is an excellent opportunity for young talent to transition from the US Legends and other divisions without having to race against veterans with many years of experience. Names like Kodie Conner, Chandler Smith, Matt Murphy and Zach Dabbs are just teenagers but have graduated from Legends series racing to an important level of competition for their careers to improve at a pace that is sustainable both financially and experience wise.
Similarly, the dirt crate late models in series such as NeSmith and SECA (South East Crate Association) are providing a racing platform to many racers who are transitioning from karting, legends and other local track divisions of dirt racing. The crates are a fun show and at some races attract super late model racers to compete in them with the less experienced racers much like the XFINETY Series provides this to Sprint Cup Series competitors. The super late model racers do well and finish well in these races but the on track lessons they teach the younger drivers and the show they provide for the fans are worth the tradeoff of some better finishes for the less experienced drivers.
My point for this weeks' blog was to encourage fans to go and see these racers, series and divisions even if they are big fans of super late model racing. Yes, it will be different to watch. Yes, you will have to get to know a couple of drivers you may not already know about. But, you will get a fun race to watch, interesting drivers to follow and a good solid night at a track between the times you may travel a bit further to see the super stars of super late model racing. Thanks for reading. See you "At the Track."