TULARE, Calif. – After getting a couple exhibition nights in last season, the first annual Western IMCA RaceSaver Sprint Series debuts in 2015 with 17 events at three California speedplants.
Opening night is scheduled for March 14 at Thunderbowl Raceway; both Tulare and Kings Speedway Hanford host seven races, with three more at Bakersfield Speedway.
Features will pay $750 to win and a minimum of $150 to start. IMCA Speedway Motors Weekly Racing National and Allstar Performance California State points will be awarded for the 14 events scheduled during the regular IMCA point season.
“Here in the Central Valley, we were hurting for car counts and were looking for a way to reinvent the wheel. That’s when someone suggested RaceSaver,” explained Series Director Scott Woodhouse. “We wanted a less expensive alternative with a maintenance cost that wouldn’t scare people off.”
“I bought a motor from Roger Hadan, who came out here and attended a meeting with drivers last fall,” he continued. “We’re getting a lot of interest in this series. So far, the biggest things behind that interest are the fact that the motors are sealed and everyone is on a level playing field.”
Woodhouse expects to have 10 or more cars entered in the opener, with veterans of the division joined by drivers moving up from mini-sprint and other local classes.
Thunderbowl dates in addition to the opener are April 25, May 2, May 16, May 30, July 25 and Oct. 10.
The series is at Bakersfield on March 21, May 9 and Aug. 15.
Kings will host March 28, June 27, Aug. 1, Sept. 11, Sept. 19, Oct. 3 and Oct. 9 events.
Dave Lawrence is already RaceSaver certified and will head tech inspection each night.
“This division was designed by (RaceSaver founder) French Grimes for anybody who wants to participate regularly in racing and not worry about high costs and maintenance,” said Woodhouse, also race director at Thunderbowl. “They know they’re not going into a gunfight with a pocketknife. RaceSaver puts the emphasis on setup and the driver, not cubic dollars.”
IMCA most recently sanctioned weekly Sprint Car racing in California in 1999. Tulare ran IMCA Sprints in 1997.