The 20th running of the Myrtle Beach 400, and the Myrtle Beach Speedway 2012 season in general, can be summarized in one word.
New ownership at the track, coupled with a new schedule and updated facilities will make this year’s Myrtle Beach 400 almost like an entirely new event.
As they have throughout the year, track owner Bob Lutz has placed a premium on time, with this year’s race set to start at 2:00 PM, two hours earlier than the 2011 running.
“My thoughts from the beginning, when I looked at how things in the past were done was that the racers and fans want to come in, see racing and leave in a timely manner,” said Lutz on the race-day schedule. “While the fans are here, they’ll see action on the track constantly, they’ll get to see a show and be home at a reasonable time as well.”
This year’s race will also see a winner-take-all “Dash for Cash” race, featuring winners from the 2012 MBS Dash for Cash qualifying races as well as the two fastest qualifiers for the Late Model Stock race on Sunday. The race will be a 20 lap sprint with the winner taking home $2,500.
The feature event for the weekend will continue to be the 250 lap NASCAR Late Model Stock race, but even the way to get into the race has changed. Throughout the season MBS has held Myrtle Beach 400 qualifying races in which the winners not only qualified for the Dash for Cash but also placed themselves in the front of the field for the 250 lap main event.
One thing fans can expect to not see changed any time soon is the racing surface itself.
“If we repaved the track, we’d decrease the tire wear, but we’d take away the second groove that I think is so important,” Lutz said of MBS’s rough asphalt. “This year we’ve had great side by side racing, lap after lap, and the fans have loved it. There’s no need to pave it.”
The three day show is set to begin this Friday, November 16, with racing all three days. Friday’s racing kicks off the weekend with Southeast Limited Late Model (SELLM) qualifying and the SELLM Challenger Division 50 lap feature. Saturday’s racing will see qualifying for the remaining divisions, Mini-Stock heat races and feature, Late Model Stock last chance races, a 20 lap Dash for Cash and the 100 lap Super Truck feature. Sunday will see the two biggest races run: 100 laps from the SELLM series and the Late Model Stock 250 lap race, featuring 40 of the region’s top drivers.
Tickets for the Myrtle Beach 400 are $10 for Friday, $20 for Saturday and $25 for Sunday. A weekend general admission ticket is available for $45. Full ticket prices and schedules can be found on Myrtle Beach Speedway’s website: www.myrtlebeachspeedway.com.