Florence Motor Speedway released its much-anticipated 2021 season schedule earlier this week, bringing back the South Carolina 400 and kicking an action-packed season off in February with the Icebreaker.
Speedway owner and president Steve Zacharias says he is looking forward to stability in the 2021 season after a frantic 2020 season between the closure of Myrtle Beach Speedway, the uncertainty involving the coronavirus pandemic, and the reopening of Florence Motor Speedway last fall – which concluded with a thrilling and successful South Carolina 400.
“I’m looking forward to a lot more than 2020,” Zacharias told Short Track Scene. “The uncertainty of 2020 with Myrtle Beach, when is it closing, how’s it closing, and all the things with 2020, and starting Florence, it was just chaos the whole time. It’s nice to get to 2021 where there’s a set structure. There’s a start and end to the season, it’s all one season. How Florence ended the last few races, the positivity and how things went, I’m excited about it. I’m just looking forward to rolling out of a crazy year into a full season at one place again.”
Florence Motor Speedway, which is in Timmonsville, South Carolina, will kick off its racing season on February 6th with the Icebreaker 125-lap Late Model Stock Car event and race at least twice a month leading into the South Carolina 400 in November. Along with the Icebreaker and the South Carolina 400, which are destined to be two of the biggest events of the year, the speedway also hosts the Solid Rock Carriers CARS Tour for a second consecutive season.
Zacharias, who is a racer himself and has become popular with other racers, ran Myrtle Beach Speedway from 2012 until its closure in the summer of 2020. Later that summer, he led the revival of Florence Motor Speedway and has been excited about the passion of race fans around the track who congregated by the thousands to watch the CARS Tour and the South Carolina 400 last fall.
“I think that area, you’ve been around racing a long time, that area in Florence, the passionate race fan like you and I are, that’s our clientele,” Zacharias said. “The first Mini-Stock race, they’re three-wide, the leader wrecked and came back to the front, the whole frontstretch was on their feet. It gave me chills to see that excitement about racing again. When the CARS Tour came, there were people taping down blankets and putting their seats out at 9am. My mom used to do that at 7am because we knew the track would be so full, you had to reserve your seat. It was exciting to see there is still passion about the sport. The drivers bring it and the fans bring it.”
Still, the work continues for Zacharias who is continuing to make repairs and upgrades around the facilities.
“Florence has a lot of potential, but we’ve got a lot of work ahead of ourselves,” Zacharias explained. “What’s cool about Florence is the actual raceability of the facility. You can go in and put on the best structure of divisions and purses and make the best show, but if the drivability isn’t right, it doesn’t matter. It puts on a heck of a show. Charlie put on a great facility.”
Some of the enhancements include more bathrooms around the facility, repairs to the driveway, finishing the construction of new grandstands, and eventual repairs to the go-kart and mud-bog tracks. Zacharias, however, does not plan to make a change to one of the most unique characteristics of Florence Motor Speedway.
“I’m a huge advocate for no backstretch walls,” Zacharias commented. “I wouldn’t put up a wall. It’s saved a lot of money. Charlie created a great facility. He gave up because he got to an age where he couldn’t keep up anymore. It’s our turn to fix the driveway. The grandstands will be finished in a little bit. Just cleaning up, polish and shine. This is Charlie’s place and I want him to be proud of what we’re doing and I wish he could be here to see it.”
Florence Motor Speedway will be sanctioned under the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series banner once again in 2021.
2021 Florence Motor Speedway Schedule
January 23rd – CMD Flo Bowl (Drift Event)
February 5-6th – Icebreaker 125 *
February 27th – Season Points Opening Night *
March 5-7th – Southern Showdown
March 20th – Pots O’ Gold Night *
April 3rd – Easter Racing Eggstravaganza Night *
April 17th – Autism Awareness Night *
JMay 8th – Prelude to Darlington *
May 22nd – Local Business Appreciation Night *
June 5th – Hot Summer Nights *
June 11-12th – Monster Trucks
June 19th – Father’s Day Celebration Race *
July 3rd – Let Freedom Race *
July 23-25th – Southern Showdown
August 7th – Racing Brotherhood Night presented by Bell and Bell *
August 21st – Back to School Night *
September 11th – Honor 9/11 Championship Night *
October 2nd – Solid Rock Carriers CARS Tour *
October 16th – Pee Dee 225 *
October 22-24th – Southern Showdown
November 12-13th – South Carolina 250/Charlie Powell Memorial (Limited Late Model)
November 19-20th – South Carolina 400/Charlie Powell Memorial (Late Model, CPLMS, SMART Mods)
* Denotes confirmed Late Model Stock Car races