Three races at Southampton’s Family Fun Night

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 29, 2004

Staff report

Three feature events, including a 150-lapper for the Budweiser Late Model Stock Cars, are slated for this Friday, as Southampton Motor Speedway continues its 2004 NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series campaign. In addition to the Late Model race, the lineup also includes: Mike Duman Auto Sales Limited Late Models (50 laps) and Gontarek Family Eye Care U-Cars (25 laps).

Pit gates open at 3 p.m., while front gates open and Late Model practice begins at 4:30. Late Model qualifying gets under way at 6:15. Limited Late Model and U-Car practice runs from 7:00 to 7:45. Time trials for the two support divisions begin at 8, followed by the three feature contests. Tickets are $12 for adults and $4 for youths, 6-12. Children under 6 are admitted free when accompanied by an adult. Active-duty military (with ID), senior citizens (65+) and teens (13-19) receive a $2 discount off the adult admission price.


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As part of SMS’s &uot;Family Fun Night&uot; promotion, a &uot;Family 4-Pack&uot; – two adult and two youth tickets – will be available on Friday for $25. That’s a $7 savings off the regular admission price. If response is encouraging this week, the &uot;Family 4-Pack&uot; concept could become a regular feature at the track.

Prior to this week’s Late Model feature, the first race of the evening, fans will be able to go down on the track for a brief &uot;meet-and-greet&uot; session with drivers. Cars will be deployed along the frontstretch, offering good, close-up photo opportunities, so charge up the batteries in those digital cameras!

As in their April 16 race, Late Model drivers will be required to make a green-flag pit stop between laps 25 and 125 of Friday’s 150-lap event. Phil Warren of Norfolk, running second before stops began, ended up with the lead after the pit cycle and rolled on to the victory in the April 16 feature.

SMS’s revamped race night itinerary continues to undergo some fine-tuning. Last Friday, the Legends division shared the afternoon practice session with the Late Models and qualified at 6:15 p.m. The same practice and qualifying format is planned for May 7 when the Legends make their next SMS appearance.

Speaking of the Legends, one of the season’s biggest upsets may have occurred last Friday when Craig Goess Jr. of Greenville, N.C., rolled to a stop on lap 4 of the division’s 40-lap feature and retired to a 23rd-place finish.

According to the latest edition of The 600 Racing Magazine, Goess’ record for 2003 showed 25 wins and 27 top-fives in 27 starts. He picked up three wins in three visits to SMS last season, all in fairly dominating fashion. Overall, during 2001, `02 and `03, Goess only finished outside the top 10 once in 118 races. He captured the INEX Legends Pro Asphalt Division national championship in each of those three seasons.

After the May 7 event, SMS will be taking its customary week off in deference to NASCAR Nextel Cup and Busch Series activities at Richmond International Raceway. SMS’s `04 schedule will resume on Friday, May 21.