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South Boston Speedway

South Boston Speedway News
South Boston Speedway to Debut Spec Miata
Apr 29, 2012 - updated Apr 29th, 2012 12:47pm
Web posted by Ken Childs

South Boston, VA --

In the past few years short tracks across the southeast have been cutting underperforming divisions left and right, and South Boston Speedway has been no exception. In the past ten years, the Grand Stock division and Southern Vintage Modified division have both vanished, with seemingly nothing coming in to replace it anytime soon.

This trend may be changing soon though. Through the vision of track Senior Vice President Nick Igdalsky, there will be a new division running for the first time in 2012, and it’s a series rarely seen on an American short track: The Spec Miata.

Igdalsky has raced Mazdas before, and spent the majority of the 2011 racing season driving for Freedom Autosport, who field a pair of Miatas (as well as two MazdaSpeed 3s) in the popular Continental Tire Series. The idea was, at first, to try to get the Miata crowd in with the current Pure Stock division. But as testing went on, it became clear to Igdalsky and the folks at Long Road Racing (Freedom’s technical arm) that it wouldn’t work.

“It was a little off of the pace to the Pure Stock division, so you’d have to build one from the ground up to get it competing in the division,” said Igdalsky. “So we thought what if we ran an exhibition race to see if the guys will just bring the cars as-is and have them race together with the guys they’re familiar racing with. The guys from Long Road Racing (Freedom Autosports technical arm) thought it was a great idea and they’ve been helping me put this together from the onset.”

The race will be the first of its kind in the southeast, with the Mazda MX-5s running standard SCCA/NASA rules, allowing for very minimal changes to the cars from what they would normally race on a road course, right down to the tires. The costs, in turn, will be no more than what it would normally cost to unload at any road course in the country.

As for the drivers, this will be a first for most of them. “The drivers are a little nervous about not knowing what to expect with an oval. But there’s a lot of excitement. And some of the talent in the Spec Miata series had grown up doing circle track stuff, and have done some late model racing. We’re hoping to get as many of them as we can,” said Long Road Racing’s Tom Long of the field coming in. “We’ve been promoting it, I think it will take two events for the road racing guys to decide this is a good deal. It’s been a lot of fun to promote it and help folks figure out what changes and adjustments they’ll need to make to be competitive.”

The current plan is to run the May 5 race, and if all goes well hold a second race in the fall. If there’s enough interest after the two races in the 2012 season, South Boston Speedway will sanction an eight race season in 2013 at the historic 4/10 mile track.


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