Tri County Motor Speedway announced on Thursday afternoon that they have cancelled all on-track activity schedule for Saturday evening due to a growing tire supply shortage.
“From what we understand, Hoosier is trying to get raw materials into the country needed to build the product,” Tri-County Motor Speedway said in a statement. “Please understand that Hoosier Tire is working diligently to resolve this issue. We are sorry for any inconveniences we have cost to our fans, racers, and teams.”
Hoosier has been forced to cut production and increase tire prices due to a shortage of nylon imports to the United States, which is a direct result of the ongoing labor market crisis that is affecting businesses and driving inflation. As a result of the shortage, Hoosier has also limited the amount of tires they supply to racetracks in the Mid-Atlantic region.
The tire shortage is the only issue currently affecting short tracks, as the Southeast Legends Tour and Southeast Super Truck Series races scheduled at Lonesome Pine Raceway on Saturday were cancelled due to lingering effects of the Colonial Pipeline shutdown that triggered a fuel shortage in the Southeast.
“This decision was very hard to make as we all want to race and be with our friends and extended family, but we feel this is the best decision,” Southeast Super Truck Series founder Jeff Myers said in a statement. “We don’t want to put our racers and fans in a situation of not having enough fuel to get back home. While there may be a station or two along the way with fuel now, there is no guarantee that they will still have fuel on Saturday night or Sunday morning when everyone is trying to get home.”
While Myers was disappointed that he had to cancel a race because of the fuel shortage, he is optimistic that the problem will be resolved prior to the next Southeast Super Truck Series race at Kingsport Speedway on June 19.
Even though the Colonial Pipeline has resumed normal operations, tires are expected to remain a major concern for teams and tracks going forward, which has convinced tracks like Shenandoah Speedway and South Boston Speedway to make changes to their racing programs.
Shenandoah will not supply tires for Late Models or U-CARs and has informed drivers to run what they have brought to the track this weekend in regards to tires. South Boston, which runs on a two-tire program, has implemented new impound and tire scuffing procedures in efforts to conserve their tire supply.
A handful of tracks that include Dillon Motor Speedway and Carteret County Speedway have decided to absorb the cost for the time being and not pass rate increases onto the drivers.
Tri-County and Lonesome Pine are currently the only two tracks in the Mid-Atlantic region to cancel races this weekend due to circumstances outside of their control but other facilities are expected to face difficult choices while the tire supply shortage persists.