Petty Meetings Successful, First Look at 2014 Schedule
There was a great turnout at the competitor information meeting held January 4.
Story by Tim Terry
Competitors and teams at Petty International Raceway got their first look at the upcoming 2014 season on Saturday at the Maritime Motorsports Hall of Fame in Petitcodiac, New Brunswick. Teams from all five of Petty Raceway's 2014 house divisions – Pro Stock, Sportsman, Street Stocks, Mini Stocks and Bandoleros, met with the owners of the high banked oval to look over changes to procedures, building rules and the 2014 schedule of events. The meetings saw new and familiar faces attend, including at least three new Mini Stock and two new Street Stock teams.
While complete building rules and procedures will be available soon from the race track, here are some of the bullet points from the meetings.
- ALL CARS must register to compete at Petty International Raceway in 2014, whether they are a part time/visiting team or a full time competitor. The registration fee for the 2014 season is $20 a car prior to March 1st while the fee will rise to $30 following the March 1st deadline.
- Drivers who competed in 2013 have until March 1st to register to secure their car number from the previous season.
- Scanners or RaceCeivers for all divisions are mandatory in 2014.
- Thursday evening testing will return on the Thursdays prior to weekend events. Admission is $10 per person and is limited to those 16 and older (with exception to Bandolero drivers). One car on track at a time during these practice sessions, unless a flagman is present.
- Private testing is available for $100 for a four hour session, limited to evenings and weekends.
- Points system will remain unchanged for the 2014 season. Feature winners will receive 50 points for a win, decreasing by one point per position (2nd – 49, 3rd – 48, 4th – 47, etc.).
- No throw away races.
- No points for heats.
- Main features with over 28 or more cars will consist of 24 qualifiers, up to four provisionals and one promoters option.
- Non qualifiers will receive last place points.
- Drivers must compete in 80% of races to be eligible for a championship. For example, should a driver miss a race due to a prior commitment, s/he may put a driver in his/her car for the event with the points accumulated from that event going towards the primary driver's total.
- The winner from the previous event will start at the rear of the qualified cars for his/her next feature race. For example, Driver A wins on Opening Day, s/he must start from the rear of the field for Event Two. If s/he does not show up for the second event, they will start at the back of their next event at Petty Raceway. Drivers will start behind qualified cars and in front of provisional starters in the case of a full field of cars.
- For fans and teams following points, all drivers will receive points for 2014 as all drivers at the track will be registered. This will do away with the "one point nights" unregistered drivers would receive in the 2013 standings.
- The 2014 Awards Banquet will be held at the Petitcodiac Legion, date TBA.
- The 2014 Banquet will honor the Top Five in point standings in each division along with the Rookie of the Year in each class.
- The ceremony will also honor Petty Fan Choice Award winners per division (Most Popular Driver and Best Looking Car). Tim's Corner Motorsports hosted the Award voting in 2013.
- The event sold out in 2012 and sales were brisk for the 2013 event, which is also expected to sell out quickly.
- A wall has been constructed in Turns Three and Four, which begins at the end of the backstraight and wraps around the outside of the track to almost the exit of Turn Four. This creates more pit space on the outside of the new Turns Three and Four wall and will be used as the new staging area. The area has had sandstone laid. The new pit exit, which is now off Turn Four and onto the front straight, has a lesser grade than the previous exit in Turn Three did.
- An eight foot fence surrounds the new wall.
- With the new wall, the direction of how you enter/exit the tech shed has been reversed. This is expected to create less congestion on both sides of the shed and will prevent cars from having to make that hard left they did previously out of the shed.
- New caution lights have been installed in the corners and underneath the flag stand to create more visibility during a caution. The three new lights bring the total of caution lights to five in total around the facility. See photos below, courtesy of the Petty International Raceway Facebook Page.
The look from the new area in Turn Three and Four back to the tech shed. Drivers will now enter the shed in the door visible in the picture. Also note where the scoreboard is and how much room there is now between it and the wall, which is just out of this shot.
The new lineup area, looking from the backstraight into Turn Three/Four area. Sandstone has been put down in this area.
The new pit exit wall, looking from the race track on the front straight. Notice the addition of a caution light on the fence.
Looking up the front straight from just past the finish line. Notice the addition of a caution light under the flag stand.
Looking down the back straight, heading into Turn Three. The new wall starts at the end of the back straight and runs around the track. This is what drivers will see as they speed down the straight and dive into the corner.
– Five Petty Pro Stock events will comprise series. Races will be 50 laps in length, with a 75 lap event on Sunday, August 3rd and a 150 lap finale on Saturday, September 20th.
- The series is expected to boost car counts in the three Parts for Trucks Tour events at Petty Raceway. For example, Kenny Mackenzie, who will compete in the five race series, said it has been on his bucket list to compete with the Parts for Trucks Tour drivers in one of their races and in 2014, he will get the chance to do so.
- Rulebook will be based off Speedway 660 rules, with Parts for Trucks Tour cars allowed a weight break (number to be determined) with blue AFCO shocks. All percentages are the same. Full rules to be available within a few weeks.
- Seven point races, all 100 laps each, except the Caleb Dunn Memorial 125 on Saturday, August 2nd.
- One "non points" 50 lap show with the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour on Saturday, May 31st.
- Maritime Sportsman Rules Amendments were discussed, including the 100lb penalty for a 1:1 gear among other changes. The 100lb penalty created more conversation at the Speedway 660 and Scotia Speedworld rules meetings than it did at Petty's. A complete Maritime Sportsman Rules Amendments package will be available from the track soon and will be re-published here when available.
- Drivers were reminded that while a lot of rules are now common between tracks, the rulebooks are not necessarily all the same between the different tracks and it is the competitors responsibility to read over the rulebook before s/he gets to the track on race day.
- Petty will return the Leisure Days RV Happy Camper (Free Pass) award in each event this season and will attempt to make the giving of the lap back more visible to the fans in each event.
MARITIME SPORTSMAN CHALLENGE
- The Maritime Sportsman Challenge will return for a second season in 2014 and will feature three races at the three tracks included in the series in 2013 – Riverside Speedway, Petty Raceway and Scotia Speedworld. A schedule change will see the Petty race become the second race of the three leg series with the Caleb Dunn Memorial 125 on Saturday, August 2nd becoming Petty's event in the series. The NAPA Sportsman Series' event on IWK 250 weekend (Friday, July 18th) and the Scotia Speedworld Sportsman event on Atlantic CAT 250 weekend (assumed by TCM to be Friday, August 8th) will flank either side of the Petty race.
- Like 2013, all events will be conducted by their respective sanctioning body, with points being kept for all three races which will determine a champion.
- A $3000 point fund will accompany the series. In 2013, Colby Smith took home $1,500 for the victory in the three race series.
- All features will be 30 laps, except for Twin 25′s on Sunday, August 3rd and a 50-lap finale on Sunday, September 21st. Street Stocks will have ten point events in 2014.
- Crate motor #12499529 will be allowed in 2014. The motor produces approximately 290 horsepower. In 2013, Robert Raynes ran the same motor at Speedway 660, winning one feature and finishing second in the standings, four points behind the champion.
- All cars will weigh a minimum of 3,600 pounds, driver in car.
- Tire and rim rule will remain unchanged from 2013.
- 25 lap point features in 2014, with a 50 lap finale on Sunday, September 21st.
- Owners commended the division on "self policing" tech.
- Motors and rear ends must be stock. Motor must be stock with year and model of car.
- Tires to be run on the cars must be 185/65/12 to 205/65/15s. Tire tires must be the same size around the car. Tires must be DOT approved, no V rated tires. No soaking of tires, durometer rule will be in effect.
- Wheels must be stock size for car. Minimum wheel width is 6″.
- Rules to follow the INEX Rulebook
- More research to be done on whether an (Canadian) INEX Membership will be required to race at the track. Other tracks in the region are considering mandating each driver have a membership after INEX lowered Canadian membership to $100/member and $75/associate member.
- Discussion was held about changing flywheels in new motors.
- Season opens on the May long weekend with the Lafarge Season Opener. All five divisions will be in action.
- New for 2014 is a Father's Day date on June 15th with all five divisions. It is slated to be an afternoon start.
- The annual Caleb Dunn Weekend will happen once again on August long, 3rd and 4th. The highlight of the weekend is Round Two of the Maritime Sportsman Challenge, the Caleb Dunn Memorial 125 on Saturday, August 2nd.
- The International will enter its 50th year in 2014 and is highlighted by a 100 lap Sportsman event and a 150 Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour point race.
- A major fall event will take place on Saturday, September 20th and Sunday, September 21st and will serve as the season finale at Petty Raceway. Saturday will feature Late Models with the Pro Stocks and Sportsman running 150 and 100 lap features, respectively. Triple 50 Sunday will see a Street Stock 50, Mini Stock 50 and a Bandolero 50.
- The Maritime League of Legends Tour will contest the Atlantic Tiltload Challenge on Saturday, June 28th and Saturday, August 23rd. Both events will be 50 laps.
- The Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour will race three events at Petty in 2014, a 100-lapper on Saturday, May 31st, a 100 lap event on Saturday, June 28th and a 150-lap affair on International weekend on Saturday, August 23rd.
- The schedule completes on Saturday, October 11th with the second annual Flea Market.
TENTATIVE 2014 SCHEDULE (Division/Laps)
*Schedule is tentative and is subject to change without notice.
Saturday, May 17th – LaFarge Season Opener – SP100, PS50, SS30, MS25, BN25
Saturday, May 31st – PST100, SP50 (Non Points), SS30, MS25
Sunday, June 15th – "Fathers Day Special" – SP100, PS50, SS30, MS25, BN25
Friday, June 27th – SP100, SS30, MS25
Saturday, June 28th – PST100, MLOLT50, SS30, MS25
Friday, July 11th – Nationals Weekend – SP100, PS50, SS30, MS25
Saturday, August 2nd – Caleb Dunn Memorial Weekend – SP125, MS30, BN25
Sunday, August 3rd – PS75, SS Twin 25s, BN25
Friday, August 22nd – 50th Annual International – SP100, SS30, BN25
Saturday, August 23rd – PST150, MLOLT50, MS25
Saturday, September 20th – PS150, SP100
Sunday, September 21st – SS50, MS50, BN50
Saturday, October 11th – Second Annual Flea Market.
SP – Sportsman
PS – Pro Stock; PST – Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour
MLOLT – Maritime League of Legends Tour
MS – Mini Stock
SS – Street Stock
BN – Bandolero
Note: Atlantic Open Wheel and Eastern Super Mini Cup Series events have yet to be announced.