The 17th running of the Thanksgiving Classic at Southern National Motorsports Park will bring the event back to the forefront of the big races in the Southeast region.
$20,000 will be the top prize for the 200-lap six-tire Late Model Stock Car race. The upped purse comes with a twist which is being referred to as Racing Roulette.
Late Model Stock Car drivers will have the option to race for three different winner’s purses. Escalating from $6,000 to $20,000 depending on the entry fee paid for the event. Additionally, the halfway point will pay $2,000.
The race’s base purse pays $6,000 to win, the same as it paid last year with a $125 entry fee for the teams. Teams will have the option to pay an elevated entry fee of $500 for a chance at a $10,000 winner’s purse or gamble it big with a $1,000 entry "fee and win $20,000.
“We wanted to do something different,” said track owner Michael Diaz. “Everyone is doing the same thing and we wanted to bring a different element to the event and give guys a chance to win some big money without spending a lot more.”
The race is set to pay $650 to start but the upped entry fee of $1,000 will be matched as start money for those who pay the escalated entry fee. Which takes the risk out of putting up the additional money.
“The risk is minimum even if you go for the big money you’re still going to get that money back at the end of the night. It’s minimum risk, maximum reward. It’d be cool if a guy rolled the dice and won the $20,000.”
The purse throughout the field won’t change from second to start money which begins at 12th position. That might give even more incentive for guys to roll the dice in Racing Roulette.
Local race fan and business man Kirk Ipock is helping to make this a marquee event in the Southeast. His company Solid Rock Carriers is sponsoring the Thanksgiving Classic.
“I’m happy to be sponsoring the Thanksgiving Classic,” Ipock said. “It’s the biggest race there is at the end of the year and it’s the end of the season. I like Southern National Motorsports Park and hope to be a part of it next year as well.”
$20,000 is only $5,000 short of the top prize for the LMSC race at Martinsville Speedway making it the second highest paying race in all of Late Model Stock Car racing.
“This should take our race to the next level,” explained Diaz. “Sometimes it takes a little innovation to get the noteriaty of an event back where it needs to be and we think this could be it. It’ll also be big for the fans who will get to see all the top LMSC drivers in the region go for a big prize.”
Who’s ready to take the Racing Roulette challenge and go for $20,000 in the 17th running of the Thanksgiving Classic?