LUCAMA, NC – As the temperatures get hotter, the racing on track will also get hotter when the 2017 Southern National Motorsports Park season resumes on Saturday, May 27th.
The warmer weather creates a slicker racing surface, which makes handling a premium and puts more emphasis on tire management. The slick surface also results in less grip for the cars on track, which often results in some of the best racing Southern National Motorsports Park has to offer.
“The heat really affects the track,” Late Model championship points leader Mason Diaz said. “I believe that in the summer heat, it really brings out the driver. Southern National is harder on tires than other tracks so it’s very important to keep the right-side tires. It’s hard to do that in cold weather. So, when you bring heat into play you need to make sure that you do not burn the tires off.”
Ronnie “Buckshot” Jones, who currently leads the Mini Stock standings at Southern National, feels the racing, while physically taxing on the drivers, is much better for the fans during the hot summer months.
“It makes it better because everyone’s sliding more,” Jones said. “It’s just hot and greasy. We have to drink plenty of water and stay hydrated and, in the car, you’ve got to finesse it a little bit more.”
Rusty Daniels, a veteran at Southern National Motorsports Park with several wins in his career, currently sits third in Late Model Stock Car points. Daniels historically runs better during the summer months, but he says that has more to do with track time than track and weather conditions.
“I think we get more laps under our belt,” Daniels explained. “It helps get the car better for me. I don’t know if it has anything to do with the track getting hotter. I know we run a lot better in the middle part of the year. I’m not saying it suits me better either way, we just get more track time than the winter time and it makes the car better.”
Along with the track becoming slicker, the next few races will also be pivotal in championship chases as well. While Southern National’s championships have come down to the final race of the season in recent years, the summer months have set the tone for the season. Last season, consistency propelled Tyler Matthews to the track championship. In 2015, racing during the summer months saw Jonathan Findley and Andrew Grady breakaway from the rest of the field in points, and also saw Findley breakthrough and score his first career win.
Entering next Saturday’s race, Jonathan Findley trails Mason Diaz in the Late Model standings by nine points, but Findley has come from behind to win a championship at Southern National before back when he claimed the 2015 title.
Jeremy Bohne currently leads the Charger standings by two points over Jonathan Kornegay and three points over Brian Obiedzenski. Chris Floars holds a slim two point lead over defending Legends champion Chris Stancil in the Legends division. Buckshot Jones leads Thomas Brander by six points in Mini Stocks while Ethan Johnson is undefeated on the season in the Bandolero division and leads by six markers over Josh Speas.
The Remember The Fallen 225, which will go green at 7pm on Saturday night, May 27th, will feature twin Late Model races as well as racing for the Chargers, Mini Stocks, Legends, Bandoleros and U-CARs.
For more information about Southern National Motorsports Park, check out SNMP’s website at www.snmpark.com, “like” Southern National Motorsports Park on Facebook or “follow” @SNM_Park on Twitter.