Rocky Mountain Challenge Series Strives To Be Affordable and Fun

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Drivers representing several states, as well as British Columbia, Canada, race in the Rocky Mountain Challenge Series.
Drivers representing several states, as well as British Columbia, Canada, race in the Rocky Mountain Challenge Series.
Nine years ago, the Rocky Mountain Challenge Series was born, with aspirations of welcoming all who race in the Late Model class and ensuring that the series remain fun. That in mind, the decision was made to deviate from some of the rules and guidelines to which drivers and other series were accustomed.

"We just tried to offer something different and our format resonated with competitors and fans, and we flourished," explained Public Relations Director, Derrick Shannon. "We have seen steady growth through the years, but it leveled off a couple of years ago due to a variety of economic factors: price of gas, and the downturn of the economy," he continued. "And while the downturn has had an impact, we continue to see a strong interest and support in the series from competitors, fans and track operators."

Striving to keep the sport of racing affordable, the series devised a tire rule. According to Shannon, the rule ensures that drivers are not forced to purchase several sets of tires to embark upon a weekend of racing. "Each competitor starts the season purchasing six tires, and we generally allow for the purchase of two new tires at each race. The Hoosier 2040 is a fantastic tire that repeats perfectly and lasts. Back in 2007, John Newhouse won the championship, and used the same left-side tires for seven races."

Referring to other rules deviating from the norm, Shannon said, "The (Full Field) invert is obviously what sets this series apart from others. With our invert and starting the fast guys in the back, fans will see cars passing cars, and drivers will learn how to pass cleanly. In order to promote healthy competition, we pay the event purse based on total point accumulation for the race. We award passing points for position, and we offer special awards as incentive," he continued. "If you start on the pole and win the race, you will not get the money or the points. The driver who starts toward the rear and finishes towards the front generally wins the most money and is awarded the most points. At the end of the day, it is about competition and performance. We award performance."
The Rocky Mountain Challenge Series was designed with allotting all drivers of Late Model race cars the opportunity to compete.
The Rocky Mountain Challenge Series was designed with allotting all drivers of Late Model race cars the opportunity to compete.

Those competing in the Rocky Mountain Challenge Series will race at three different venues during eleven scheduled events. When asked if he expected any changes in venues, Derrick Shannon said, "The simple fact is that the intermountain west is somewhat cut off from other hotbeds of racing by geography. It's about travel. The more miles we travel, the more costs we all incur. The three tracks in our region fit our series, and allow us to compete in the major markets within our region that is good for our local and regional sponsors. While we are open to taking the show to new venues, the financial side has to be a benefit to the teams," he continued.

"We have had numerous offers from tracks throughout the western U.S., but to date, the negotiations have not been mutually beneficial. We are very excited about the three tracks we run- Meridian Speedway, Idaho, Magic Valley Speedway, in Twin Falls, Idaho and Rocky Mountain Speedway, in Salt Lake City, Utah. We have three very invested and dedicated partners."

The Rocky Mountain Series welcomes any Late Model Type Car, including Big Spring, Coil Over, Tour Car, Super Late Model and Late Model. Although all Late Models are welcomed to compete, each car must meet strict safety requirements, track width requirements and weight expectations. Throughout the years, practically every combination of chassis has won the series championship. "It always comes down to driver talent at the end of the day," ensured Shannon.

According to Shannon, a simple and consistent rules package is partially responsible for the Rocky Mountain Challenge Series' growth and success. In fact, several states are represented by competitors in the series. Folks from Idaho, Utah, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Wyoming and California participate as well as British Columbia.

In the racing world, it's a well-known fact that success depends a great deal upon proper maintenance of one's vehicle, and K&N products have set the standard on filtration needs of many drivers. When asked his take on K&N products, Derrick Shannon said, "K&N is a world-class company, delivering world-class products. Most of our competitors already use K&N products, and we would love to enter into a formal partnership with K&N to represent their brand to our loyal fans throughout the region."

When asked what fans can expect from the Rocky Mountain Racing Series in 2012 Shannon said, "Full-Field inverts, and cars passing cars. We have a special two-day show at Meridian in July that will have competitors from throughout the region in attendance. Two feature events, one each day. We also have a 200-lap race on August 11, at the Magic Valley Speedway. A 15-year-old racer, Jeremy Doss, has won two of the first three races this season, and he did it from the tail of the field. He could be the next young superstar in the sport, and fans will get to see him today."

In closing, Derrick Shannon summed it up with a few short sentences, "It is the age old story- do it better than the rest and you will be successful. Offer something that people want, and you will have a strong customer base. Be consistent, honest, and make it fun, and people will stick around."

Find K&N products for your vehicle using the K&N application search then use the K&N dealer search to find a K&N dealer in your part of the world.

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