The folks behind Moonshine Capital Promotions have been busy at Franklin County Speedway. Circumstances allowed some profile events slide into the Callaway hills in 2020 and pushed some momentum into 2021.
The SMART Modified Tour ran the little 3/8 mile oval on Saturday, May 8. This little place has survived controversy and, at times, a bit of ridicule. However, history is being put in the mirrors with successful and popular events being hosted. Following the Modified race returns and the popular CARS Tour in 2020, The SMART Tour came in with a lot of promise.
Fan response seems to show real support for the efforts at Franklin County. Modifieds on small tracks ia always a fun watch. The SMART Tour also has NASCAR Hall of Fame and Cup Champion, Bobby Labonte, as a series regular. Current NASCAR Cup driver, (JTG Racing #37) Ryan Preece is also on for most, if not all, including Franklin County.
Popular regulars from Eastern and Southern Modifieds are also on the tour to make a great show on their short track schedule. For added fun, Franklin County ran Stock-4, Mini Stocks and an “Any Car” race.
The main event, the Kenny Minter Classic presented by Hannabass & Rowe Collision Center and Smart Chevrolet, went off as expected. There were lead changes, some spins, some hits and broken attrition. In other words… Good racing “Modified” style!
Brian Lofton and Burt Myers were on the front row at the start, followed by Bobby Labonte and Jason Myers with Chuck Hossfeld and Ryan Prece in row 3. Six more rows of drivers ready to challenge for 110 laps were also throttled up for the green.
As the Minter Classic approached the last 20 laps the intensity began taking its toll. The #2 with Preece and the #07 with Dennis Holden spun or touched or clashed or did something in, or around turn 3 (we were in turns 1 and 2… so not sure… but…) and both were brought to the pits with front wheels missing or badly bent into grotesque artwork.
The last 10 laps had two…? Three…? Restarts… To cover, let’s just say “multiple”…
Labonte, Burt Myers and James Civali were racing hard up front and pushed or touched which resulted in Labonte going from contention to several cars back. Myers and Civali also battled on the restarts which allowed John Smith in the #24 to take the lead on the final lap and across the checkers.
Top Five: John Smith, James Civali, Jason Myers, Frank Fleming, Chris Fleming
Labonte finished 7th, Burt Myers in 8th and Ryan Preece finished 12th with a broken car that was actually a loaner from Joey Coulter. (We can only imagine that phone call… “Joey… It’s Ryan… Uh… You’re car is broken… I’m off to Darlington… Love ya – Thanks!!”
*Ryan Preece is actually a pleasant fellow and likely left a lovely note with the broken #2 in the hauler with a signed blank check…
The first Stock4 race of the evening was taken by Chris Amos. The Mini Stock race was won by Robert Strmiska. The second Stock4 race, following the Modified main, was also won by Chris Amos (We think. We were having a hot dog and fries…) The “Any Car” race was run away with by what appeared to be a 5th gen Camaro that had a front end collision on it’s record…
End of the day…? Franklin County Speedway and Moonshine Capital are raising the bar on the events at this little track back in the hills of Callaway, VA.
Also on a positive note… Thank you for bringing the infield restrooms at least to the point of being rebuilt by the 1990’s fixtures from the Habitat ReStore to replace the trough that had been there since 1968…