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NASCAR Whelen All-American Series

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Innovation And Improvement Mark 61St Season Of Racing At Columbus Motor Speedway
Mar 28, 2006 - updated Mar 28th, 2006 2:26pm
Web posted by Jeremy Davidson

Daytona Beach, Fla. --

(March 28, 2006) – Since opening its doors for motorcycle racing in 1946, Columbus (Ohio) Motor Speedway has evolved to become one of the premier tracks in the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series.

NASCAR-sanctioned stock cars first raced at Columbus in the 1950s and the 1/3-mile asphalt track joined the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series in 1989. The family-run facility is getting a facelift and a new look to its Saturday night program. Its Super Late Model class has merged with the Limited Sportsman class, giving rise to a new Late Model class that is designed to be less expensive to race each week.

“Having been competitors and promoters for thirty years, our family understands how expensive racing can be,” said Columbus Motor Speedway President Jim Nuckles. “We are committed to making it more affordable to race at Columbus Motor Speedway.”

When the Columbus Motor Speedway season begins April 8, another cost-saving measure awaits competitors, with a new tire policy that will reduce costs while maintaining close competition. The new Late Model class will race on a smaller but more durable variety of Hoosier tires. Each team will be permitted to use only one new tire each week, rather than three as allowed under the previous rules. Teams will save money by purchasing fewer tires, yet close competition will be maintained due to the longer-lasting tires.

The new Late Model class is not only less costly, but is similar to the Late Model cars that are raced on Friday nights at Kil-Kare Speedway in Xenia, Ohio – 60 miles southwest of Columbus. The switch to similar cars creates opportunities for Columbus and Kil-Kare teams to race at both tracks, using the same car, and contend more closely for the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series Division III points championship.

Drivers compete for the NDWS Division championship by collecting points in each race, as follows: 50 points for a victory, 48 points for second place, 46 points for third place, and so on. The driver with the most NASCAR points at each track is ranked in the NDWS Division standings, based on their best 16 points finishes of the year. Bonus points are also awarded, depending on the number of cars in each feature race. By racing more often at more than one track, drivers can potentially increase their standing by recording more favorable finishes.

At the conclusion of the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series season, on Oct. 1, the top-ranked driver wins the NDWS Division championship and up to $25,000 in prize money. Four NDWS Division champions will be crowned, in Division I, II, III and IV. Each NDWS Division competes for equal awards and includes 15 or 16 tracks. Each of the four NDWS Division champions becomes eligible for the national championship, awarded to the NDWS Division champion with the highest points total overall. The national champion will collect a $50,000 bonus.

The Nuckles family, operators of Columbus Motor Speedway, has taken steps to improve their racing facilities during the off-season. In January, the outside lane of the asphalt track was ground down, using precision laser-mapping technology, to improve the traction on the racing surface. Along with the new Late Models and the re-surfaced track, a new Columbus Modified class will also compete on weekly basis.

The Nuckles family was recently recognized by the motorsports industry, receiving a nomination for the 2005 “Auto Racing Promoter of the Year” award by Racing Promotion Monthly, an industry newsletter and workshop organizer. It was the fourth time the Nuckles family had been nominated for the prestigious award.


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