WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – It all begins on Saturday night.
That’s when the roaring engines of the NASCAR Modifieds will once again be heard at historic Bowman Gray Stadium for the start of its 70th season.
Never one to start off slowly, the Brad’s Golf Cars Modified Series begins their season on April 21 with their longest and most prestigious race of the year – the Hayes Jewelers 200. The Texas Steak and Tap House Sportsman Series is set for a 40-lapper, with the Law Offices of John Barrow Street Stock Series and the Q104.1 Stadium Stock Series rounding out the night’s schedule.
Looking ahead to the rest of the season, fans can expect the same thrills they’ve come to love. Five 100-lap Modified races throughout the season will put the competitors to the test, with the $15,000 Fans’ Challenge Bonus once again in effect for daring drivers willing to risk it all.
The Texas Steak and Tap House Sportsman Series will have an extra added level of excitement in 2018. The Sportsman 100-lap races have always been intense contests that challenged the focus and endurance of competitors. The double-file restarts and added duration of these 100-lappers bring new heights of strategy into play. The demands were doubled in 2016 when the racing schedule included two 100-lap races for the Sportsman class.
And now in 2018, three total 100-lappers are on the schedule.
Drivers may find a few welcome changes – particularly when they look in their prize money envelopes at the end of the night.
“We’re trying to help the drivers out in every way we can, so we are having a purse increase this year – and it is an across the board increase for all divisions and for all finish positions,” said Gray Garrison, promoter of Bowman Gray Stadium Racing. “Another way we’re trying to help the drivers is by controlling costs, such as our economical ticket and pit pass prices. It’s a win-win for the drivers. Their expenses are not going up but their monetary prizes are increasing.”
The week-to-week purses are just a part of the prize money that drivers can earn at the Stadium. In addition to healthy points funds provided by sponsors, there are a multitude of special awards drivers can compete for. Well over ten thousand dollars is up for grabs in 2018 for distinctions such as the most wins, most laps led, most positions gained, most pole laps, fastest qualifying lap, highest ranked rookie, and more. And of course you can’t forget the Fans’ Challenge, which offers $15,000 to daring Modified drivers willing to start in the rear and fight forward to a high finish.
Tickets Remain The Same
Bowman Gray Stadium’s efforts in controlling costs do not stop with their competitors.
The Stadium has not increased adult ticket prices in almost 25 years, not to mention regularly hosting Two Dollar Ladies’ Nights.
With these budget-friendly prices, the stands are often packed at the Madhouse – another considerable financial consideration for drivers who are seeking lucrative sponsors.
“We’re blessed with a good crowd, and a good crowd is great for car sponsors,” said Garrison. “We haven’t increased ticket prices in over two decades. We’ve tried to keep ticket prices down to keep it family friendly and affordable. If you want to get your name out there, that’s the place to do it – it’s at Bowman Gray.”
For many fans, the greatest change of 2017 was the introduction of the Great Clips Crash Fest. In addition to a full schedule of NASCAR racing action, the Crash Fest also featured an OmniSource Demolition Derby, an OmniSource Chain Race, and an OmniSource Skid Race. On May 19, this event will be back again – so get ready for the carnage.
And speaking of crunching sheet metal, the annual Night of Destruction will be back again in 2018. An OmniSource Demolition Derby will cap off the night after the always popular Monster Truck Car Crushing exhibition.
Of course, Two Dollar Ladies’ Nights will be back this season – so set your calendars to come out when all females are admitted for only two dollars.
The full schedule of racing for 2018 will feature exciting events brought to you by other great sponsors like Kevin Powell Motorsports, Whelen Engineering, Midway Mobile Storage, the Winston-Salem Journal, O’Reilly Auto Parts, Colors Edge, FOX8 WGHP, and Carolina Farm Credit.
But it all starts on April 21 with the longest and most prestigious race for the Modifieds – the Hayes Jewelers 200. Qualifying will take place on Friday, April 20. On Saturday, April 21, ticket gates open at 6 p.m. for practice, and the first race begins at 8 p.m.
Ticket prices, directions, and more information can be found online at www.bowmangrayracing.com or by calling (336) 723-1819.