There was an interesting concept for a super late model race this past weekend, but it certainly is in need of some modifications.
The Speed 51 Super Select took place at Lucas Oil Raceway and was an invitation-only event meant to bring together all the winners of major super late model events from around the country.
The 75-lap race was divided into three segments of 25 laps each with a complete inversion of the field following the first segment.
For the final 25 laps, the field was set on the results from the first two segments. That put probably the best super late model driver, Bubba Pollard, on the pole position, and he led the entire final segment.
The concept is similar to that used by the “Milk Bowl” in Vermont annually. The major difference is that race is 150 laps, and the entire field is inverted following each of the first two segments.
The winner of the Milk Bowl is determined by the average finish in the three segments. Last year the overall champion was decided by a two-car battle for the fourth position in the final 50 laps.
The problem for the Super Select was it was a winner-take-all event for a $10,000 prize.
As an incentive, the race organizers were offering no entry fee and four tires for the Super Select race in addition, of course, to a chance to pocket $10,000.
Only 13 drivers made the trip to Indianapolis, including several from Florida and Georgia and one from Colorado. It probably cost those teams approximately $3,000 to make the trip.
There was also supposed to be an “open” race to give drivers not invited for the Super Select a chance to make the field and compete for the prize money.
None showed up, not even most of the regulars with the Indiana-based Champion Racing Association.
So how should the Super Select be modified to attract more teams in the future?
To begin with, the purse has to be significantly higher, more in the range of $25,000 to win.
There is an annual race in Canada that pays $75,000 to win, and Pollard has won that event the past two years.
The Redbud 400 paid $15,000 to win this year, and although there was a good field of cars on hand, many of the bigger names decided to pass on the event.
The other problem was that even though NASCAR was at IMS, most race fans didn’t know there was racing at Lucas Oil Raceway.
The USAC Silver Crown division competed the same night in the Rich Vogler Classic with a good field of 25 cars in a race won by Kody Swanson.
There was not a good crowd of fans, and many of those in attendance left right after the Silver Crown race.
Will there be another Super Select in the future?
With the Brickyard 400 moving to July 5 next year, it will require a stand alone weekend date for the Super Select, something that will be problematic.