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posted January 15, 2003 11:04 AM
Heart O' Dixie Speedway debuts sanctioned
Modifieds at season-opening special March 2
SAYRE, Ala. (Jan. 15) - I.M.C.A.-sanctioned Modifieds will make their first appearance of the year at Heart O' Dixie Speedway on March 2, when the track opens its new racing season with the Dixie Rebel Shootout special.
The quarter-mile asphalt track at Sayre, 15 miles northwest of Birmingham, has been promoted for seven years by Barry and Shelly Martin and owned by Tony Davis, Shelly's father, since the mid-1970's
"I've been thinking about doing this the past four years," said Barry, making the decision to sanction the division after seeing Modified car counts dip last season. "The rules are really what got us interested. The claim rule isn't there to make anyone sell an engine cheap. It keeps the cost of competing down."
"We've gotten good feedback about this so far," added Barry, who has competed in the modified class himself. "I think by the third or fourth race, everybody will like it."
Winning the Shootout's I.M.C.A. Modified feature will pay $1,000. Pit gates open at 10:30 a.m. that day, with hot laps at noon and the first heat race at 2 p.m.
Heart O' Dixie will follow with two more Sunday programs on March 9 and 16, then move to regular Saturday shows March 22 through Aug. 30.
Joining the sanctioned Modifieds on the card at Sayre are the Street Stocks, Pure Stocks, Renegades, Rebellettes, Modified Lites and two new classes, the Pure Streets and the uniquely named American Buzz, a four-cylinder Stock, front wheel drive division.
The biggest change Heart O' Dixie drivers and fans will see in 2003, weather permitting, is a bigger and re-located pit area.
"We are expanding the pit area and moving it from the infield to outside the track, off turns three and four, if the weather ever cooperates," Barry said. "Since we got started on that, it seems likes it's rained about every three days."