The first six seasons of the Lucas Oil Modified Series were chock-full of vivid, thrillingly spirited highlights, literally around every turn. And, with each succeeding year as word-of-mouth spread, the enthusiastic crowds continued to grow. However, according to those in the know, they were just knocking the dust off and setting the stage for the 2013 season that recently got underway at the LoanMart Arizona 100.
Two-time Champion Jim Mardis Representing K&N
So far, the first event on the nine race schedule, presented by Optima Batteries at Havasu 95 Speedway, was a another successful kick off for the fastest-growing regional touring series in the country, and it’s very possible that the championship will come down to the very last lap, of the last race in Las Vegas in November. For 2013 K&N has added their endorsement by joining in as a series sponsor, for what most now believe will be the most competitive season to date.
K&N News spoke with Greg Scheidecker, the series co-founder and promoter, to hear his take on the much anticipated seventh season and with Tony Yorkman, Sports Marketing Manager at K&N Engineering Inc..
We asked Greg the following questions:
What are your thoughts about K&N joining the series?
“Lucas Oil is really looking forward to K&N’s involvement with the Lucas Oil Modifieds. K&N has a long, illustrious history in motorsports and this is where the company belongs. K&N was one of our original Team Lucas marketing partners and we have every intention of making them extremely happy to be back with us for the Modifieds.” Greg continued, “K&N will be the presenting sponsor for our race at Havasu 95 Speedway October, 19 and we’d love to see the K&N name on a race at Tucson or Kern County, or any of our tracks next year. They chose two-time champion, Jimmy Mardis, to carry the K&N colors this season, and we know Jimmy will do everything possible to make K&N’s return a success.”
Why do you think this series is catching on with fans the way it has, and what are some of your expectations for the 2013 season?
“We’re extremely grateful for the terrific fan support and we’re going to do everything we can to make sure we’re giving them good value for their money. If we can get someone to come to one of our races, we’re pretty confident they’ll like the show enough to come back and tell their friends.”
Greg continued saying that “I think there are several things the fans like. They know they’re not going to end up watching only 10 or 12 cars. We start at least 22 cars for every main event. We have some exciting B- mains that give those who have problems in qualifying; another chance to get into the main event, and once the main event gets under way there’s a lot of side-by-side racing and a lot of passing throughout the field. Plus, this year we’re using double file restarts everywhere except Blythe, which just isn’t wide enough for it.” “We had 33 entries for our opener at Havasu 95 Speedway March 2. They were all good-looking, well-prepared cars, and after the race one of the owners, who’s new to the series, said he liked the series so much he was bringing a second car to all the races. This is our seventh full season and we think it’s going to be the best one yet.”
We then spoke with Tony Yorkman:
Lucas Oil Modified 7th Season is Going to be Very Competitive
How does K&N feel about joing the 2013 Lucas Oil Modified Series?
Tony replied, “K&N’s core is the sportsman racers and there isn’t a better way to connect with the people that actually use our product on and off the race track than to support the series they race in. With all the efforts that Lucas Oil has put into the series by having a field of talented drivers to put on entertaining and competitive races for the fans as well as the awesome tracks here on the west coast, we believe everyone is in for a great race season. We have a long standing relationship with Lucas Oil as a company, and because we follow a lot of the same beliefs in how motorsports supports our business and for Lucas Oil to bring in other companies like Optima Batteries, it shows that they are choosing partners that support the motorsports community. K&N Engineering is extremely proud to be involved with the series and look forward to a great season”
Returning back to Greg, we continued to ask:
Why do the racers enjoy the series so much and how do they manage to keep races so entertainingly competitive?
“I think the answer to both is the same – it’s the rules package and the emphasis we’ve put on being consistent in what we do, and treating everyone the same. It’s also very affordable racing. That doesn’t mean it’s cheap; nothing in racing is, and especially when you’re competing in a touring series. But we do all we can to keep the costs down. We’re not making major changes in the rules and forcing the teams to build new cars every year. We’ve got a terrific Hoosier spec tire and most of the teams are able to run two races on the left-hand tires. Our schedules for each race weekend are designed so teams don’t have to spend more than absolutely necessary for food and lodging and those types of things.”
Greg then continued to say, “We’re also really fortunate that we work with such a great group of sponsors, so that we’ve been able to offer good purses and put together a tow money package that helps offset some of the travel costs. The racers deserve a lot of the credit too. They’re competitors, but they don’t think twice about helping each other out, because they want it to be the best show possible.”
The Lucas Oil Modified is One of the Fastest Growing Regional Touring Series in The Country
Are there were any plans to expand the series to other venues?
“Bill Rozhon (race director/co-founder) and Alan Brown (technical director) and myself spend a lot of time trying to look at the big picture and talking about where we’d like the series to be a year or two down the road. One of the most exciting parts of this season, and for the future, is that five of our races will be on national television, thanks to the Lucas Oil television production team and the MAVTV Real American and NBC Sports networks.” “That will be incredibly valuable exposure for the series, the race teams and most of all the sponsors. We’ve added a race this year at Rocky Mountain Raceways, a beautiful facility in West Valley, Utah, just outside of the Salt Lake City. We’re going back to the Irwindale Events Center and we’re continuing our excellent relationships with Madera Speedway, The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Lucas Oil I-10 Speedway in Blythe and Havasu 95 Speedway in Lake Havasu City. There are on-going discussions about a return to Tucson Raceway Park and a race at Kern County Raceway in Bakersfield for next year. That would be about the limit, though. We want to expand for sure, but we want it to make sense economically for everyone involved.”
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