CARS Tour officials have made no secrets that the Late Model Stock division will receive greater focus over the Super Late Models in 2018.
To that end, CARS Tour officials stated a desire late last season to generate a series of incentives to attract more full-time participants and reward the ones it already featured. Thus, on Tuesday, the series revealed the exact nature of the loyalty program for the upcoming season.
The three programs that Late Model Stock drivers have at their disposal impact every competitor regardless of budget, with the focus being on participation and not necessarily performance. Below is a breakdown of the 2018 programs that teams work toward.
Staubli Hometown Hero Award:
For each track that the CARS LMSC Tour visits in 2018 that utilizes LMSC as its feature division, Staubli will award three (3) free Hoosier tires to the first driver who enters the CARS Tour event, that is in the top three in LMSC track points just prior to the CARS Tour race. The second driver to enter that sits inside the top three LMSC track points receives two (2) free tires, and the final driver to enter that is inside the top three of the track’s championship points standings will receive one (1) free tire. The following events will have Staubli Hometown Hero Awards up for grabs: 3/24 Myrtle Beach, 4/7 Wake County, 4/21 Orange County, 5/5 Hickory, 6/9 Ace, 6/23 Carteret County, 7/14 Kingsport, 8/4 Hickory, 9/8 Orange County, and 10/13 South Boston.
Three & Get Green Loyalty Bonus Money:
Possibly the easiest way to earn CARS Tour incentive money is the “Three & Get Green” loyalty bonus money program. In 2018 any competitor that is not on the “Touring 12” program will receive $500 in bonus money for racing in any three consecutive events on the schedule. So plain and simple, at that third consecutive race a team competes in, they will receive $500 added to their winnings from the event. A competitor who competes in all twelve 2018 events will end up receiving $2,000 in bonus money throughout the year.
Touring 12 Program:
Finally, the most talked about and lucrative program for competitors in 2018 is the Touring 12. Teams selected for the Touring 12 program will have annual entry costs reduced to $825 for all twelve events, a savings of almost $1,000. Each of the Touring 12 members will be guaranteed $1,000 (vs. race winnings) to compete in each event and will be able to purchase two (2) sets of race tires each event for a $100 discount per set. Additional Touring 12 benefits include four (4) general admission tickets to each race for promotional use, a guarantee of $500 per race attempted if they fail to qualify for the feature event and the driver will receive sales commission on a paid for merchandise line that will be available throughout the 2018 season. These benefits and others will put several thousand dollars in cash and/or savings into the pockets of all Touring 12 members.
The commitment from Touring 12 teams is that they compete in all 2018 events, excluding the May 18th Bristol event, along with several promotional appearances throughout the year in order to help promote the series and its events.
Teams can apply for the Touring 12 program by visiting www.carsracingtour.com and clicking the “Touring 12” banner on the right side of the page. The deadline to apply for consideration is Friday, February 2 with the 2018 Touring 12 drivers being announced on February 9.
Teams are paying attention too.
Having competed in zero CARS Tour races over the first three seasons, reigning NASCAR National Champion Lee Pulliam admitted during the Thanksgiving Classic that the touring series has his full attention.
“We’re focused on the national championship, but you have to look at what they’re doing,” Pulliam said. “These are the kind of things we have to do to get short track racing where we need to be.”
But is it enough to get him on the Tour next season?
“You never know,” he said.
Three-time South Boston Speedway track champion Peyton Sellers expressed the same kind of optimism.
“We’re definitely going to take a look at it,” Sellers said. “We’ve been talking to them about a lot of different things. We like the ways they want to reward the local guys at each track and if it makes sense to run with them a lot we’ll look at it. They definitely have a lot of interesting ideas coming out.”
CARS Tour will waste no time in kicking things off in a big way with its 2018 season opener at Tri-County Motor Speedway in Hudson, North Carolina in a race that will pay $10,000 to the winner on March 10.
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