New, Ground-Breaking $10,000 American Racer Southern Tier Challenge Cup Announced For I-88 Speedway & Thunder Mountain Speedway Modified Competitors; Season-Long Incentives, Year-End Cash & Product Await Race Teams

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stccNew, Ground-Breaking $10,000 American Racer Southern Tier Challenge Cup Announced For I-88 Speedway & Thunder Mountain Speedway Modified Competitors; Season-Long Incentives, Year-End Cash & Product Await Race Teams

INDIANA, PA – A ground-breaking program has been launched for big-block/small-block Modified competitors at New York’s I-88 and Thunder Mountain speedways through a partnership with American Racer and Lias Tire.

Details of a new American Racer Southern Tier Challenge Cup program were finalized over the weekend at the Motorsports Expo held in the Center of Progress Building on the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse, N.Y.

Jamie Page, promoter of I-88 Speedway in Afton, N.Y., and Karl Spoonhower, owner of Thunder Mountain Speedway in Center Lisle, N.Y., came to terms with American Racer representatives Fred Woodward and Matt Brandle for the Southern Tier Challenge Cup backed by Lias Tire of Indiana, Pa., the regional American Racer tire distributor.

The Southern Tier Challenge Cup will be managed by Brett Deyo of BD Motorsports Media LLC, calculating point standings, handling marketing and public relations and other tasks.

The inaugural season of the Southern Tier Challenge Cup will directly benefit big-block/small-block Modified racers who choose to compete on a weekly basis at I-88 (Fridays) and/or Thunder Mountain (Saturdays).

The program adds nearly $10,000 in cash and tire incentives for competitors at the two speedways.

“This program is big for our local drivers,” emphasized I-88 promoter Page. “That’s what I like most about it. The drivers who run with us on Friday nights at I-88 or at Thunder Mountain on Saturdays have a nice extra incentive on top of our regular point fund.”

Spoonhower, who returned to the helm at Thunder Mountain in ’14 after several years away, concurred.

“I think it’s a great deal for our regulars,” Spoonhower said. “We’re working to make our own point fund better and this goes above that. I think it’s going to be good for everybody.”

Brandle, Lias Tire Sales & Marketing, said the company is pleased to be involved with the program.

“I-88 and Thunder Mountain have both proven themselves as key tracks in the Southern Tier and have solid weekly programs and well-attended special events,” Brandle said. “It only makes sense for us to step up for the tracks and the drivers that race each track or both.

“This program also goes hand-in-hand with our increasing support of the Short Track Super Series.”

Starting with each speedway’s Opening Night, a driver’s 15 best finishes at each venue will count toward the final Southern Tier Challenge Cup standings.  Competitors racing at both I-88 and Thunder Mountain on a regular basis would need to register individually for each speedway.  Drivers will not be able to combine their finishes at I-88 and Thunder Mountain; a two-night-per-weekend competitor would apply the 15 best finishes at I-88 and Thunder Mountain separately toward the title.

At each speedway, all weekly events can be applied toward the ‘Best 15’ finishes for the standings in addition to a pair of special events.

At Thunder Mountain, each Saturday event starting with the $1,992-to-win Season Opener on April 25 and continuing through the scheduled point season finale on Sept. 12 will count toward the ‘Best 15’ in addition to the ‘Lightning on the Mountain’ onSunday, June 28 and the Wade Decker Memorial on Sunday, September 13. Both special events are points-paying races on the Short Track Super Series Fueled By Hi-Tek Bob Hilbert Sportswear North Region.

For I-88 racers, all Friday events beginning on April 17 and running through the point season finale on September 4 will be applied toward the ‘Best 15’ total. The two special events to be included are the ‘Crazy 8s Special’ on Wednesday, July 22 (a Short Track Super Series event) and the ‘Fall 250’ on Saturday, September 26.

The Southern Tier Challenge Cup standings will be finalized following the ‘Fall 250’ at I-88 on September 26.

Lias Tire and the participating facilities have provided a solid point fund/award list for the top-10 overall drivers in the Southern Tier Challenge Cup standings.

The breakdown is as follows: champion: $650 cash plus eight tires ($2,000 value); second: $400 plus four tires ($1,072 value); third: $350 plus three tires ($854 value); fourth: $200 plus two tires ($536 value); fifth: $150 plus two tires ($486 value); sixth: two tires ($336 value); seventh: two tires ($336 value); eighth: one tire ($168 value); ninth: $85 off a tire; and 10th: $50 off a tire.

Additionally, drivers participating in the program at each track will be eligible for eight random tire giveaways during the season, a total of 16 tires and a $2,688 total value.

A nominal registration fee of $30 will be charged per track to participate. Drivers will be able to register via forms on both speedways’ websites or on practice days/Opening Nights for each venue.

Points will be posted at each venue during the season and on the individual track websites.

Should a driver accrue the most Southern Tier Challenge Cup points at both I-88 and Thunder Mountain speedways, that driver will receive an additional cash bonus of $500.

Tires and other awards will be available for pick-up at the Olum’s Short Track SuperNationals 8 to be held at I-88 SpeedwayFridaySaturday Oct. 9-10. The Short Track SuperNationals, in its eighth year as the ‘Working Man’s Race’ on Columbus Day weekend, will be the final round of the Short Track Super Series Fueled By Hi-Tek Bob Hilbert Sportswear North Region, deciding the $15,000 championship and final standings competing for a point fund worth more than $38,000.

The Southern Tier Challenge Cup is an additional bonus for racers at I-88 and Thunder Mountain Speedways. It does not replace the individual track point funds. Last year, Brent Wilcox of Binghamton, N.Y., earned $5,000 as the Thunder Mountain champion and Brett Tonkin of Carbondale, Pa., collected $4,000 as the I-88 champion.

Support division incentive programs will be run individually by I-88 and Thunder Mountain management teams.

I-88 Speedway, a four-tenths-mile clay oval, is located conveniently off I-88 Exit 7 (Afton), approximately 25 miles north and east of Binghamton, at 46 East Main Street Afton, NY 13730, on the Afton Fairgrounds. There is plentiful space for parking and camping, a unique covered grandstand, family atmosphere, award-winning concessions and more.

Thunder Mountain Speedway is located at 91 Hunts Corners Road Center Lisle, NY 13797, approximately 25 miles north of Binghamton. The three-eighths-mile clay oval features hillside concrete seating, free parking and camping, a variety of concession items and novelties, a family environment and more.

To learn more about I-88 Speedway, visit Thunder Mountain Speedway is online

Southern Tier Challenge Cup Point Breakdown: 1. 60 points; 2. 56; 3. 52; 4. 48; 5. 44; 6; 40; 7. 38; 8. 36; 9. 34; 10. 33; 11. 32; 12. 31; 13. 30; 14. 29; 15. 28; 16. 27; 17. 26; 18. 25; 19. 24; 20. 23; 21. 22; 22. 21; 23-Last 20; DNQ/DNS: 10