Late Model Penalties Handed Out

Good evening to all of the fans, drivers, sponsors, and friends of Huntsville Speedway. First and foremost, allow us to extend a heartfelt THANK YOU to all of the fans and drivers who came to the track Saturday night to produce one of the biggest season opening nights in Speedway history. We are deeply appreciative for all of your efforts and your attendance. It certainly looks like 2018 will be a season to remember. Now we move on to a more serious issue that resulted from Saturday night’s Late Model event. As you know, there was a collision just past the flagstand on lap 1 of the 50 lap Late Model feature between Edwin Gurley and Chris Whorton that resulted in damage to at least 6 race cars. Tempers flared and unfortunately were followed by a violent, physical altercation between two respected, veteran competitors.

Even as this is written, I recall echoes of drivers chiming in over the past two seasons saying that the track just needs to get out of the way and let the drivers handle things on their own. It appears times have changed when reading some of the arm chair quarterbacking that’s going on with social media. Let us assure those who are concerned about the future of Huntsville Speedway based on this one incident, that this will not define our track, nor will it define this season.

As a result of the actions from Saturday night, driver Chris Whorton has been suspended for the remainder of the 2018 season at Huntsville Speedway.  Additional suspensions and/or fines are pending for individuals who entered the racing surface from the pits and contributed to the incident. We regret that this action was necessary. We acknowledge that some parties will feel that the penalties issued are too harsh, and for some the penalties will never be harsh enough…until the shoe falls on the other foot. Racing is an emotional sport, and we know and recognize that. However, wanton violence has no place in short track racing, and it is NOT the example that we will allow to be set for children at Huntsville Speedway. It has been stated in drivers meeting at every race event for the past two years that physical violence will not be tolerated. Unfortunately, the time has arrived where we have to show our racing community that we mean what we say. This issue is not available for debate, and we expect that this will be our only official communication to address this situation publicly. Social media is not the best platform for airing dirty laundry, and we will not embrace that here. The individuals who have yet to be levied fines and penalties will be contacted directly to discuss their circumstances and their future as it relates to Huntsville Speedway. We appreciate everyone’s concern, and again, from the bottom of our hearts, we thank you for making the season opener spectacular.

Don’t forget we will be racing this Saturday night, April 7th, with the Open Wheel Modifieds, Sportsman, Pure Stock, Mini Modified, Hot Shot, and Buzz divisions. Pit gates open at 2PM with practice at 3PM, drivers meeting at 5:30PM, qualifying at 6PM, and racing beginning at 7PM. We hope to see you there at The Legendary Huntsville Speedway!