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Softer Tires Permitted At Thunder Mountain Starting June 7; Free Mod Pass Incentive & More

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Changes At Thunder Mountain: Softer Tires Permitted In Open-Wheel Divisions Starting Saturday, June 7; Modified Free Pass Incentive Program For Newcomers; Four-Barrels Permitted On Rookie Sportsman


CENTER LISLE, NY – Changes are in store as Thunder Mountain Speedway works through its rebuilding year in 2014.


On Monday, returning speedway owner Karl Spoonhower announced some rules amendments and incentives for the three-eighths-mile clay oval in Center Lisle, N.Y., for the big-block/small-block Modified, Sportsman and Rookie Sportsman divisions.


The most significant change comes with the tire rule for the three open-wheel divisions. Starting Saturday, June 7, softer compound American Racer tires - SD 33 (left-rear) and SD 38 (right-rear) - and harder will be permitted. The rule had been minimum SD 44 (left-rear) and SD 48 (right-rear) from the start of the ’14 season. Front tires will remain SD 33 and harder.


Spoonhower felt it was time for a change. The tire rule alteration applies to Modified, Sportsman and Rookie Sportsman racers.


“The tires we’ve been running are just too hard for the track,” Spoonhower said after speaking with competitors on Saturday night. “The guys are out there spinning their wheels. It doesn’t make for good racing and it’s hard on the track, too.


“I think the softer tires will make it a lot easier for the drivers to get ahold of the surface and the fans will see better racing as a result. Our track is so soft, even the 33-38 compound tires aren’t going to wear out.”


The change also puts Thunder Mountain in line with the region’s closest two Friday night tracks: Penn Can (Pa.) Speedway and I-88 (N.Y.) Speedway, both of which run on the softer American Racer rubber. This should permit additional cross-over of drivers running both Friday and Saturday nights.


Also for Modified racers: any competitor trying the speedway for the first time on a Saturday night will receive one free pit pass at the gate. This is an incentive to bring in some new faces to the Modified ranks, with $1,200 to win, $400 for fifth, $200 for 10th and $125 to take the green paid out on a weekly basis.


For track regular Modified competitors, one free Saturday night pit pass will be given away via random draw every other week in conjunction with the Lias Tire/American Racer incentive program.


For the Rookie Sportsman division, a four-barrel carburetor will now be permitted to bring the division in line with other crate-powered classes in the area. A Holley 650-cfm carburetor (No. 4777 and 80777) will be permitted on GM Crate 602 engines.


“This is a learning year for me,” Spoonhower said. “I’ve been away for seven years and things have changed. I have said all along, I would make changes when I needed to. I think we should benefit racers and fans with what we’ve done.”

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