By Mandee Pauch
Earlier this year DIRTcar Racing made a change to its scoring system that will have an enormous impact on the Super DIRTcar Series this season.
DIRTcar Racing announced there will no longer be a DIRTcar Hometrack program for the Super DIRTcar Series Big-Block Modifieds.
Traditionally, in order to compete for the Super DIRTcar Series championship, drivers needed to run weekly at a DIRTcar-sanctioned hometrack. At the end of the year, the drivers' hometrack points were added to their overall Super DIRTcar Series points. When combined, those two points categories were the drivers' overall points for the series.
Without these points, more drivers will be eligible to compete for the championship, and it will open more opportunities for weekly racing as the 2018 Super DIRTcar Series Big-Block Modifieds season kicks off at the Highbank Holdup at Fulton Speedway in New York on April 28.
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“Tracks will be able to benefit from this change quite tremendously,” Super DIRTcar series director Mike Perrotte said. “One benefit would be, if drivers decide not to run weekly at a track, that would open up the doors for a different track champion or for other guys to win. We need to build some new heroes, and this is one way of doing it.”
Perrotte explained that weekly tracks will now be able to have their big shows—that were traditionally run on a weeknigh—on a Friday or Saturday night.
“Now they’ll be able to get other drivers that aren’t locked into a points battle at a regular hometrack,” Perrotte said. “It helps the track attract other drivers to a special event. It also gives the drivers another opportunity to go to a big event they haven’t been able to go to in the past.”
Without the DIRTcar Hometrack program, drivers and teams will have the opportunity to take a weekend off and alleviate some of the strain associated with travel costs.
“There used to be a lot of full-time teams and full-time crews back in the day,” Perrotte added. “You don’t have that anymore. Having to run a schedule with 25-plus races and having to get home and run a Friday or Saturday night to maintain your hometrack points made it very hard for teams. Taking away that option of having to run a weekly track makes less work on the teams and the drivers.
"If they get jammed up or tired out or don’t have any help, now they can take a Saturday or Friday off and still be able to continue on the series and not be penalized.”
Perrotte has received a lot of positive feedback since the announcement was made, and in return, he is feeling optimistic about this change.
“All of the guys I’ve talked to are still going to run weekly, which is great, but we’ll see what happens,” he said. “We can always adjust things in the future, but I think it’ll be a good change for everyone. I think you’ll see more guys coming around that couldn’t before because they had to have hometrack points to be in the chase. We may or may not gain much more full-time drivers, but we’ll have more invaders showing up more often than years past.”
Yearlong discussions were finalized at the Northeast Promotor Meetings in November when DIRTcar Racing officials and track promoters sat down to discuss the change.
Ultimately, the decision to eliminate hometrack points was made with the benefit of fans, drivers, teams, and tracks all over the Northeast in mind.