WHEELERSBURG, OH-The 2014 season is set to be one of the most exciting in recent memory at the Southern Ohio Speedway. With things such as the Road to the Southern 100, the WRS Late Model division, the addition of thrill shows, and an increased number of 410 Sprint Car shows there are lots of new, exciting things that have everyone anxiously anticipating the start of the season. As we look forward to the start of the 2014 season, there’s five major storylines that we will be watching.
1. Who will cash in big with the Road to the Southern 100?
The Road to the Southern 100 is a five race mini-series for the Super Late Models that begins with Opening Night and ends with the 19th Annual Southern 100 on May 2nd. The Opening Night race on April 4th will pay Super Late Models $3,000 to win. The April 11th, 18th, and 25th shows will pay $2,000 to win for Super Late Models while the 19th Annual Southern 100 will pay $10,000 to win. In all, over $70,000 worth of purse money will be distributed over those five weeks in the Super Late Model division.
The Road to the Southern 100 will no doubt produce five weeks of very intense racing as race teams will prepare for the 19th Annual Southern 100 while competing for big purses. Some of the best racing of the season will be seen in those five weeks. All eyes will be on which drivers will be able to cash in the most with the Road to the Southern 100. It will be fun to watch who wins the four races heading into the Southern 100 to see who will carry the momentum into the prestigious race. Over the previous two seasons, drivers who won the Southern 100 experienced success in the races leading into the event.
While drivers will cash in with the big money wins, one driver will cash in a provisional into the 19th Annual Southern 100 because of the success they had in the previous four races. The Super Late Model driver who is highest in the points that does not make the Southern 100 feature will receive a provisional into the race. This will no doubt encourage race teams to be in attendance at all Road to the Southern 100 events to be eligible for the provisional. The provisional could possibly make one drivers dream of making the prestigious race come true.
2. Can Jeremy Rayburn make it three in a row?
Over the past two seasons, Jeremy Rayburn has been the driver to beat in the Modified division. In that time period, Rayburn has led the Modified division in wins, top fives, and top ten finishes. Rayburn will be looking for his third SOS Modified track championship in 2014. If Rayburn would win the track championship in 2014, he would join SOS Hall of Famers Delmas Conley and Jim Patrick as the only drivers to win three championships in a row at the track and the first Modified driver to do so.
To be able to win the track championship again in 2014 Rayburn will no doubt have to beat some fast runners. With a second place points finish last season, Brian Skaggs is one of the drivers at the top of the list to challenge Rayburn for the track championship. Skaggs has finished top five in points the last two seasons and had a breakout year last year with two big feature wins. Doug Adkins, in his first time running for the points at SOS, finished third last season as he also had two feature wins and ran in the top five consistently. South Point, Ohio’s Todd Robinson finished the season strong last year with a win in the Black Jack & Farley Boggs Memorial and will no doubt be a top contender for the track championship this year. It will be fun watching these drivers along with many others battle for the track championship this season.
3. Who will win the inaugural WRS Late Model track championship?
Perhaps the biggest question going into the 2014 season is who will win the inaugural WRS Late Model track championship? The class is expected to produce large car counts and include a strong field that will feature Super Late Models who run steel block motors, Limited Late Model drivers, and possible some Super Late Model drivers that are going to run a different car for this class. This variety of drivers and the field being more equal with equipment will make for great racing and a wide open championship battle. A few of the drivers to watch in the battle for the WRS Late Model championship will be Danial Kattine, who already has a Super Late Model win at the track running a steel block engine, along with Jeremy Akers, Gary Turner, and Chad Barr who have all had success running in the Super Late Model division.
All drivers who are looking at running in the WRS Late Model division at SOS this season need to email the track at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can use you in the promotion for the class.
4. Young Drivers in the GCP Engines Sport Mod Division
2013 was a breakout year for the young drivers in the GCP Engines Sport Mod division. Youngsters Colten Wright, Emily Jordan, and Tony Whitt Jr. all took feature wins while Brianna Robinson, Makayla Jarrell, and Tyler Smith placed several strong finishes. Robinson nearly won the last event of the season as she led several laps. It will be interesting this season to see how those youngsters will do this year with the new rookie class of GCP Engines Sport Mod drivers coming into the class this year. One of the great things about the GCP Engines Sport Mod division was seeing the veteran drivers compete against the young drivers in a level playing field. Last season, the veterans came out ahead in the points. With more experience this year, will a youngster claim the 2014 GCP Engines Sport Mod track championship?
5. Growth of the Pure Stock Division
When the track started the Pure Stock division in 2014, everyone know that it would take time to see the Pure Stock division grow. 2014 will be the second year for the class. The Sport Mod class saw car counts grow tremendously in it’s second season. Will we see the same in 2014 in the Pure Stock division? Will we see Barry Brisker claim a second Pure Stock track championship in a row?