After returning for four events in 2020, the SMART Modified Tour is preparing for a full season of racing in 2021. A 10-race schedule will see some of the top Modified racers in the southeast compete in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia throughout the year.
The SMART Modified Tour traces its roots back to a series of the same name which operated between 1989 and 2004, returning in 2020 to fill a void for Modified racing in the Southeast during the COVID pandemic. SMART contested four races during 2020, building excitement towards 2021.
The season will open at a familiar track for SMART, Caraway Speedway. The venue has hosted 68 races in the series, including two last year won by Brian Loftin and John Smith. The series will also return to Caraway on July 3 and September 11.
Another track that hosted the SMART Modified Tour in 2020 was Florence Motor Speedway. SMART will visit that South Carolina track for round two on March 20.
The series will also visit South Boston Speedway (April 3), Dillon Motor Speedway (August 28), Carteret County Speedway (September 5), Dominion Raceway (September 18), Motor Mile Speedway (October 2) and Hickory Motor Speedway (October 9).
Dillon and Carteret County will both be new venues for the series. Dillon was not in operation during the lifespan of the original SMART Modified Tour, while Carteret County opened in 2015.
It will be a star-studded group of racers competing with the SMART Modified Tour throughout the season. The biggest name on the series is none other than 2000 NASCAR Cup Series champion Bobby Labonte.
Labonte competed at Florence last November with the SMART Modified Tour, substituting for John Smith following a positive COVID-19 test. Labonte qualified on the pole with a new track record and finished fourth in the race, and hopes to build on that success in 2021.
Labonte will be tested against some of the top Modified shoes in the region throughout the season. More than 20 drivers are entered for this weekend’s season opener at Caraway Speedway, including 10-time Bowman Gray Stadium champions Tim Brown and Burt Myers, along with Jason Myers, Brian Loftin, Jeremy Gerstner, Gary Putnam, Frank Fleming and Mike Norman among many others.
A champion of the Northeast will also make the trip south, driving for Jamie Tomaino. Former Tri-Track Open Modified Series champion Ronnie Williams will be in the famed No. 99 this weekend as part of a busy year of racing for the Connecticut driver.
For more information on the SMART Modified Tour, visit their Facebook page.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51 Content Supervisor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51 Photo
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