STEPHENVILLE, Texas – The 20th season for IMCA racing at 281 Speedway will be the first under the promotional guidance of Joe Spillman and Heather Combs.
Their C&S Promotions partnership oversees Saturday night programs on the ¼-mile dirt oval beginning with opening night on March 4. The point season for IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars, Scoggin-Dickey Parts Center Southern SportMods and Mach-1 Sport Compacts runs through Sept. 16.
C&S has promoted a couple enduros, both held at Heart O’ Texas Speedway, and signed the lease at 281 in early December.
New restroom facilities have already been built on the spectator side of the track and 1,500 yards of clay put back on the racing surface.
“We want to see promoting done like a business and not like a hobby,” Spillman said. “I’ve traveled and raced a Modified and a Stock Car all across the country so I’ve got ideas about what works and what doesn’t.”
Spillman started his own career in a Southern SportMod. He’s raced a Modified and a Stock Car at the IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s.
Sanctioned Modifieds will run for the 20th consecutive season and sanctioned Stocks for the 19th in 2017 at Stephenville. 281 was the first track to run the Southern SportMods, starting in 2004, and added the Sport Compacts in 2011.
“IMCA was always in our plans. From a racer’s standpoint, I like being able to go to an IMCA track anywhere in the country and race under the same set of rules,” said Spillman, “and I know you don’t see drivers getting the same contingencies when they run outlaw.”
“As a promoter, I like the backbone of the rules,” he added. “IMCA is there to back us up.”
Every race night at 281 will have a theme, an idea Spillman credited to Combs, who has a background in business and marketing.
“Family is extremely important to Joe and myself and our ultimate goal is to bring families to the race track on Saturday nights and to get younger kids involved in racing. The way to do this is to keep things interesting and not have the same old thing every Saturday night, which is why I themed the nights and will have special events and giveaways for the fans every week,” she said. “We are excited about the upcoming season and seeing what ideas work and what ideas don’t work. As to ideas that do not work, I have a list of over 100 other ideas to pick from for next season.”
Area engine builders will donate short blocks, to be awarded by drawing to a driver in each division at 281. They’ll be entered each time they race during the regular season, with the winners selected in September.
All four IMCA divisions will be on the program for the Oct. 14-15 Dirt Track Fever special at Stephenville.