Caraway stays key cog on Southern Modified Tour
To no one’s surprise, Caraway Speedway remains the anchor of the NASCAR Southern Modified Tour in 2013.
Of the 12 points paying races, five will be at Caraway, including the series opener on March 16. The tour will also pay its traditional visit to Bowman Gray Stadium on the first Saturday night in August.
The only new points-paying venue is Southern National Motorports Park, which will play host to two races. The series finale will again play out at Charlotte Motor Speedway on the same night as qualifying for the track’s fall Sprint Cup race, this time on Oct. 10.
Other tracks on the schedule are Langley Speedway and South Boston Speedway in Virginia; and the annual combination event with the northern Modified Tour at Bristol Motor Speedway in August.
Bowman Gray also kept its spot, this time June 1, on the NASCAR K&N Pro Series schedule – which will have 15 races. Among them is the tour’s first visit to the Road Atlanta road course Oct. 18 as a support race to an ALMS sports car event.
And, PASS announced this week that its Super Late Model and Late Model divisions will race at Caraway on Memorial Day weekend in addition to its Super Late Model event previously scheduled as part of the North-South Shootout weekend in November.
One thing that Brad Keselowski did not accomplish on his way to the Sprint Cup championship this year is win a pole position. So, unless promoters come up with a rule change, he will not be in the Shootout on February 16 in Daytona since the event is once again for pole winners from the previous year and former Shootout winners.
Under those qualifications, 22 drivers are eligible. They include Mark Martin, Kasey Kahne, Jimmie Johnson, Greg Biffle, Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Aric Almirola, Juan Pablo Montoya, Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, Martin Truex Jr., Marcos Ambrose, Matt Kenseth, Tony Stewart. Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick, Bill Elliott, Terry Labonte and Ken Schrader.
BURNS GETS JOB
JTG Daugherty Racing has removed the interim label from Brian Burns’ title as Bobby Labonte’s crew chief.
Burns, who joined the team as an engineer before the start of the 2011 season, served as interim crew chief for the final six races of 2011 and then stepped into the role again for the final 16 races of 2012 after Todd Berrier left. Labonte’s best finish with Burns as crew chief was a season-best ninth at Martinsville.
“Brian is very smart and has done a really good job for JTG Daugherty Racing,” Labonte said in a statement. “We’re looking forward to working together again next season and building on the foundation we have in place.”
HALL OF FAME, PREVIEW DATES SET
The NASCAR Hall of Fame induction ceremonies and the NASCAR Preview at the adjacent Charlotte Convention Center are set as the feature attractions of NASCAR’s Acceleration weekend Feb. 8-10 in Charlotte.
Induction of Buck Baker, Cotton Owens, Rusty Wallace, Leonard Wood and Herb Thomas into the Hall of Fame will be Feb. 8. The Preview, the revival of the old Winston Cup preview that featured driver autograph sessions and car displays, is scheduled the next day. Officials said more than 50 drivers from NASCAR’s three national series have indicated they will participate.
Winter testing at Daytona for the ARCA Series is slated Friday through Sunday. ... Motor Mile Speedway in Virginia will no longer serve as a weekly destination for the region’s Late Model racers. The track announced that it is cutting back to 13 races over seven dates. Two 125-lap races are slated on each of six of the dates. The other will be a 250-lap race on Sept. 7.