Mooresville, NC 3/16/17-The 2017 CARS Tour season opener at Concord Speedway introduced several new formats to the series that included knockout qualifying and live pit stops. These new formats created excitement and unknowns throughout the weekend, but the CARS Tour competitors will witness a completely different format the next time they take the track.
The River City QDMA Duels at Dominion pres. by Virginia Is For Lovers on March 25th will be the first of three races in which the CARS Tour will use a duel-race format for the Super Late Model and Late Model Stock Car divisions. An event that would normally be 150 laps for both series will be divided into two back-to-back 75-lap features, and will be accompanied by a single car qualifying format with no live pit stops. The CARS Tour will also use the duel-race format at Hickory Motor Speedway (May 6) and Myrtle Beach Speedway (September 16).
While the Late Model Stock Car Tour drivers will approach Dominion Raceway as they would any other race, there is added pressure for the Super Late Model drivers. The Duels at Dominion will act as a lock-in race for the Short Track U.S. Nationals at Bristol Motor Speedway for the Super Late Model drivers, with the highest average finisher for both races earning an automatic bid into the inaugural event. The increased stakes and duel-race format at Dominion have forced many SLM competitors to adjust their strategy for the upcoming event.
“I’m excited about the duel race format,” said SLM competitor Gus Dean. “It’s definitely going to be different. It’s going to be a balance between conserving your stuff for the first race to be able to run the second, but you also want those points. I think the biggest battle will be deciding when to push and when to conserve.”
Although Dean does not plan on running in the U.S. Nationals, he believes that the prize of a locked-in position at Bristol will lead to excitement for both fans and competitors. Other drivers, like part-time SLM competitor Spencer Davis, have expressed concerns over the duel-race format.
“I don’t really like the idea of the twin races,” said Davis. “People have tried to run them before and it never really works out. It gives excitement for the fans, but at the end of the day, you’re here to race. There should only be one race winner, not two.”
Dominion Raceway itself will also provide an interesting test for the drivers, as it is a new addition to the 2017 schedule, as well as one of the youngest speedways in the United States. Completed in 2016 as a replacement to Old Dominion Speedway, the track has only hosted one major touring racing event during its short history, which was a K&N Pro Series race on May 30, 2016. Davis won that race, and which featured several CARS Tour alumni that include Christian Eckes and Harrison Burton.
The SLM duel races are expected to attract several local short track racers who are seeking an opportunity to earn a guaranteed spot at Bristol. Among them will be Virginia native Quin Houff, who is coming off his first superspeedway start at Daytona in the ARCA series, and who will be making his Xfinity Series debut later in the year. The lock-in race for LMSC will be the Catawba Valley 300 at Hickory Motor Speedway on May 6th.
For more information on the CARS Late Model Stock Tour and the CARS Super Late Model Tour, visit www.carsracingtour.com. Be sure to stay active and social with the tour by liking “CARS Tour” on Facebook, following @CARSTour on Twitter, and scrolling through photos on Instagram @car_tour. Additional series information can be obtained by calling the CARS Tour series office, located in Mooresville, N.C., at 704.662.9212.
Sources: Brandon White/CARS Tour PR