Super Series - Premier Division - Super Late Models - Thursday Nights - Best drivers, cleanest drivers, drivers that have proven they can race cleanly and not be an issue Contender/Challenger Series - Super Late Models - Wednesday Nights - New drivers - “Slower” drivers - Drivers that may be an issue, or has been an issue, needing to prove themselves The Contender Series should NOT be considered an “approval” series, or a “lower” series, but instead is a secondary SLM Series for drivers to gain experience, race competitively, and have a chance to race at a high level without feeling like they are off the pace or don’t belong on track with some of the best. The series will be used as a proving ground for drivers to move up, but it’s main purpose is to serve as an additional competitive series for drivers. Schedules will be the same each week Weather/Track Conditions will be the same each week Procedures/Rules will be the same for both series Race laps will be longer in the Super Series (25-50 laps) depending on the tracks compared to the Contender Series, to make the Super Series a little more prestigious. - For example, Stafford 150 in the Super Series, Stafford 125 in the Contender Series By making a lot of the features/conditions/etc the same for both series, allows drivers and teams to be able to gather better information in the Contender Series to use to better themselves for the Super Series. This could include teams having drivers in the separate series to test setups, or some drivers will possibly be allowed to run in both series, using the Contender Series to test setups before jumping into the Super Series races. The Contender Series would have a live race admin (Matt) weekly, to enforce rules better for this series and set the expectation of what we’re looking for. I don’t think we NEED a live admin in the Super Series, especially if this change does indeed help clean up the racing, but maybe there would be someone from the Contender Series that would like to help out in this case.
At the end of the current series, we will open up registrations to ALL drivers. This will be a completely new registration form that all drivers will need to fill out. On the form, it will allow drivers to select which divisions they are registering for. When a driver signs up for the Super Late Models, we will review those registrations like we currently do, but we will ultimately be deciding which series drivers should be racing in. The best drivers, cleanest drivers, and drivers that are known as respectful racers, will likely get approved for the Super Series. Drivers that might be off the pace typically, MOST* new drivers, and drivers that may cause issues, won’t get approved for the Super Series, but instead will have to run in the Contender Series. - *New drivers that may be well known from other leagues series (maybe someone else like a Jimmy Mullis), could be approved to run the Super Series without needing to run in the Contender Series due to their previous history in other leagues or series. - However some feel like ALL drivers, no matter what, should have to run in the Contender Series first. - This will likely need to be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
There will be a lot of drivers that will ONLY be allowed to run in the Contender Series, and will not be allowed to move up into the Super Series (unless they prove themselves). These will be new/inexperienced/problematic drivers. There will likely be a decent amount of drivers that could be allowed to run in BOTH series. These would be drivers that are capable of running in the Super Series, but may typically be off the pace or need some better experience than riding out back or missing races.
There are some concerns of maintaining car counts for two divisions through an entire season. In order to maintain high car counts in the Super Series, here are some potential things we can do: - I’m working on securing sponsors that will put up prize money as a bonus, to make it worth wanting to join the Super Series and run an entire season - These races will be broadcasted on SARATV weekly - Every four (or six?) weeks, we can review drivers in the Contender Series and “call up” drivers to be approved for the Super Series. This will create a consistent flow of drivers moving up to fill in gaps when guys decide to stop showing up for a full season. - There will likely be some drivers that are allowed to run in both series if they choose to. These will be guys that may typically be off the pace in the Super Series, but are also known as clean respectable racers. As an example, some guys like Russell Berry, Matt Eddy, and Ben Nile or others, would have the opportunity to run in both series. They will likely be immediately more competitive running weekly in the Contender Series with more chances to run up front, but then they can use that experience and knowledge to be more competitive in the Super Series. Allowing drivers to run both should help keeping car counts up a little bit in each series In order to maintain high car counts in the Contender Series, here are some potential things we can do: - I’m working on securing sponsors that will put up prize money as a bonus, to make it worth wanting to run in the Contender Series for the guys that might not get into the Super Series - Since January, there have been over 70 new registrations to SARA. This is pretty consistent throughout seasons. By making new drivers run in the Contender Series, there should be a consistent feed of drivers joining and running in the series. - As mentioned above, drivers running in both series should help keep car counts up. - The Contender Series could be used as an unofficial “LCQ” to transfer guys up into the Super Series each week. This might be an extra incentive for the guys that didn’t get an invite, to stick around to run well enough to get some chances to race in the Super Series. One concern from some of the slower or inexperienced guys, has to do with setups. - Maybe we can host a 1 hour test session prior to the Contender Series races, and hopefully some of the Super Series guys would come out and test as well, and help other drivers with setup tips and feedback. There were a handful of comments that guys stay away cause they aren’t competitive or they struggle because they don’t have good setups. I don’t expect top teams to give hand outs, but some sort of assistance could be beneficial to these guys.
Depending on the number and quality of drivers that sign up, we will like invite between 30-50 drivers to the Super Series. I don’t expect every single person to make every single race and run full time, so we’ll need to invite extra guys that are capable of running in the Super Series to make sure we have full fields. - This likely means that we will possible still send cars home depending on who shows up each week - We could also lower the car count cap if we feel like its a good move, reducing the number of cars in each race from 30 to 25.