Southern Super Series officials announced on Tuesday afternoon that no replacement event for the All-American 400 had been found and that the pre-existing Gulf Coast doubleheader on Sept. 19 and 20 at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Fla. and Mobile International Speedway in Irvington, Ala. would end the season.
It’s a rotten deal for all involved that makes an explosive season thus far appear destined to go out with a whimper instead of a roar.
There was little for Super Series officials to do when Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville suddenly pulled their most prestigious event from the schedule with just three months remaining. Most if not all of the blame lies in Central Tennessee that a promoter (Tony Formosa) couldn’t keep his word to a tour he co-founded, leaving the remaining promoters reeling to find a replacement.
But with that said, maintaining the status quo and establishing a pair of 125-lappers as a championship event is absolutely unacceptable.
Mobile International Speedway is my home track but not even I can argue that it’s a facility worthy of hosting what should be a prestigious championship-deciding event. That’s a shame, given that it is in a relatively strong media market – ranked 93 in the country.
Pensacola is in the same media market and likely should have picked up the final race, swapping dates with Mobile International, a reasonable proposal given that both tracks are managed by SSS co-founder and spokesman Tim Bryant.
Given adequate promotion and marketing both fans and local drivers could adjust accordingly with the Super Series finishing its season at the home of the Snowball Derby and at a track with the amenities deserving of the season finale.
Additionally, both Gulf Coast races at Pensacola and Mobile should be extended to 200 laps with a purse of $6,000 instead of the standard $5,000 paid out at most 125-lap Southern Super Series events to at least attempt to mimic what was lost in losing out on the All-American 400.
Lastly, I’m not typically a fan of gimmicks for touring series but the last adjustment to the Gulf Coast Super Series finale should be double points, adding to the intensity and value of these final two events.
It’s hard to blame the Southern Super Series for not replacing the All-American 400 given the tough predicament that Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville tossed upon them. But just maintaining the status quo gives off the impression of pure laziness and settling on mediocrity.
After the excitement of last season’s championship finale — a one-point difference between Daniel Hemric and Bubba Pollard — the Southern Super Series deserves a little more than 125 laps in dimly-lit Irvington.