Age and resources are working a balancing act in Callaway, Virginia. The current management and operations have been digging deep to make it all work as a racing place for fans and drivers. The hurdles have been large and the results are falling into place. Franklin County Speedway is not Le Mans… It is not Martinsville… It is not South Boston… It is just Franklin County and it is being pulled as best as can into 21st century racing. That may mean unforeseen surprises (track fix during a race) but the on track show is straight up.

That was the case Sunday evening (April 10) as the SMART Modified Tour took over with racing on the back side of the hill at Franklin County Speedway. The “Kenny Minter Classic” SMART Tour event ran Sunday as there was a rather big event down the road at Martinsville for the earlier bit of the weekend. NASCAR ran the top tiers Thursday through Saturday so the decision was made to run the Franklin County races on Sunday. It was better weather on Sunday so it all went for the best.

The qualifying and autograph session drew fans in. SMART / NASCAR legend Bobby Labonte is a fan favorite on the tour and welcomed folks with signed cards and selfie shots. The regular series drivers, many with records and titles themselves, joined Bobby on the track as fans came by. Burt and Jason Myers, Jonathan Brown, Brandon Ward, Jeremy Gerstner, Gary Putnam… These and more were lined up to greet fans.

There were five races set. Mini Stocks, Stock4, 602 Mods and Stock6/Bootleg filled the bill with the SMART Mods running in the middle main.

The 110 lap Kenny Minter Classic set off with Gary Putnam on the pole. However, it wasn’t long before the front was being pulled in and challenged by Jonathan Brown and Jeremy Gerstner. Through contact cautions and a brief red flag for quick fix on the racing surface, Brown seemed to be driving the car to beat.

It turned out not to be the best call as Bobby Labonte stayed out while most others took advantage of a mid race pit stop. Labonte in the Cookout #25 did restart in front of the field but aging tires allowed the better equipped cars to quickly get by. This included Brown and Brandon Ward who battled for the front but it was Jeremy Gerstner who followed Jonathan Brown over the line.

The Top Five – SMART Modified Kenny Minter Classic

  1. 22 Jonathan Brown
  2. 79 Jeremy Gerstner
  3. 14 Bobby Measmer Jr.
  4. 1 Burt Myers
  5. 25 Bobby Labonte

Racing began with the 30 lap Mini Stock division. The Stock4 ran afterwards. The SMART Mods ran the main followed by 602 Mods with a 60 lap run. The Stock6 – Bootleggers ran a combined 25 laps to close out the evening.

The Mini Stock winner: Scott Foley
The Stock4 winner: Darrell Chrisley
The 602 Modified winner: Tanner Young
The Stock6 winner: Chad McDowell
The Bootleg winner: Brad Holt

There is more action coming to Franklin County Speedway. Weekly, or bi-weekly schedules are on with Late Models, Mini Stocks, Bootlegs and more. The CARS Tour is returning later this year. Bring a lawn chair or a cushion seat and check out some racing in Callaway!

Full Photo Gallery – April 10, 2022 – Kenny Minter Classic / SMART Modified Tour

This year has ripped through so many schedules and events as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to push forward with safety protocols often changing daily. Even with the uncertainty, Moonshine Capital and Franklin County Speedway have managed to push through. They have opened the venue to some high profile events that may have been much harder to lure in if not for closings and cancellations elsewhere.

Just a month ago, the “Stadium Invasion” brought North Carolina modified drivers across the border to race here as the NC tracks where they usually run were caught up in restrictions. Over the weekend, the CARS Tour ran hot laps on the Franklin County track that would not have been on their schedule in normal circumstances.

The pandemic had cancelled many dates on the CARS schedule and Moonshine Capital Promotions was able to offer the track and a crowd. The CARS Tour runs at profile tracks such as South Boston, Langley, Caraway and more. It will be interesting to see if Franklin County can continue their partnership. It was certainly a good event this time around with AutosByNelson local sponsorship and Solid Rock Carriers as the series title sponsor.

TOP Three Division Finishers – Solid Rock Carriers CARS Tour at Franklin County Speedway

AutosByNelson.com Super Late Model
1 – 26 Bubba Pollard – Harrison Workwear
2 – 51 Sammy Smith – TMC Trucking
3 – 56 Gus Dean – Mashonit Apparel

AutosByNelson.com Late Model Stock
1 – 14 Jared Fryar – Sterling Building Group
2 – 87 Mike Looney – A-1 Heating & Cooling
3 – 88 Connor Mosack – Nic Taylor Custom Fit

PHOTO GALLERY – AutosByNelson.com 250

Franklin County Speedway continues with their creative event presentation during a world pandemic. Virginia rules allow some discretion for outdoor events and the folks at Moonshine Capital / Franklin County Speedway took advantage of it. They invited the drivers and teams to come up from North Carolina and take on the little Franklin County track.

Bowman-Gray Stadium has a long history of Modified racing. However, it has been hit hard by the Covid confusion and issues over it. The organizers at Franklin County opened discussions with the racers over the border and the “Stadium Invasion” came into play.

The counts, the racing, the attendance… It was all fantastic and set inside the reality of the Virginia rules and guidelines for events in the current Covid situation. Franklin County Speedway seems to have been built for modified racing. It’s a little rough… It’s a little on the outlaw side… But it works!

Photo Gallery of Stadium Invasion 2020 at Franklin County Speedway – July 18, 2020