Hooters Series Drops Its Own Home Track Championship Date

By Kurt Knapek - The Sun News
It came down to dollars and sense.

The USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series announced Saturday it will hold only one race at Myrtle Beach Speedway in 2008. Since 2001, the series has held two events here.

The event that was eliminated from the schedule has been traditionally held in the fall and was part of this year’s five-race championship series.

Next year’s lone date will be June 21, 2008.

“After the last race was over with [in October] they were ready to come back next year for both of them,” Myrtle Beach Speedway co-owner Billy Hardee said. “Everything was good. But they say [the fall race] is not a money-making race for them.”

Pro Cup Series Director Tony Cox said the decision to eliminate a race at Myrtle Beach was a “difficult one,” but that the speedway’s attendance for the fall race (about 6,000) was nowhere near the June race (nearly 10,000). Cox said he informed Hardee of the decision last week.

“I’m sure there’s disappointment, I don’t blame him,” Cox said. “In his shoes, I would feel the same way. At the end of the day, it’s a business decision.”

The change was one of several the Pro Cup Series has made to its schedule for the second consecutive year. In 2007, the series cut nine races (from 30 to 21) in an effort to allow more teams to run a full-time schedule.

In 2008, the series has added three venues not on the 2007 schedule - Rockingham (N.C.), Jennerstown (Pa.) and Milwaukee (Wis.) - and cut the number of championship races from five to four. The season will end at Rockingham next year. This year’s schedule concluded Saturday night in Lakeland, Fla.

What made the decision even more difficult is that Myrtle Beach Speedway is considered the “home track” by the Pro Cup Series, which is headquartered in Longs.

“We just decided we’re going to focus all of our efforts on the June Myrtle Beach race,” said Cox, who added he would not rule out a second race at MBS in the future. "We certainly hated not to return for the championship race. But our June event is probably one of our best events we have all year.

“I think everybody will see that this will pay dividends and we’ll make that crowd even a 12,000 to 13,000 crowd now. We think we can do that.”

ONLINE | To view Knapek’s auto racing blog ‘Pit Passes,’ go to MyrtleBeachOnline.com.

2008 schedule
March 15 | Lakeland, Fla.

April 19 | South Boston, Va.

March 29 | Cecil, Ga.

April 26 | Concord, N.C.

May 31 | West Allis, Wisc.

June 14 | Mansfield, Ohio

June 21 | Myrtle Beach

June 28 | Salem, Ind.

July 12 | Radford, Va.

July 19 | Kenly, N.C.

July 26 | Jennerstown, Pa.

Aug. 2 | Hickory, N.C.

Aug. 9 | South Boston, Va.

Aug. 20 | Bristol, Tenn.

Championship series

Aug. 30 | Mansfield, Ohio

Sept. 20 | Newton, Iowa

Oct. 18 | Lakeland, Fla.

Nov. 1 | Rockingham, N.C.

Contact KURT KNAPEK at 843-626-0258 or via e-mail at kknapek@thesunnews.com.

Are you kidding me

How can you say that? Gene Cox and Tony are killing this series.
Myrtle Beach is the home town track. It costs NOTHING for travel, hotel expenses and all of that when your in your own home town. Who are you kidding us?
In the article above it says the attendance is 6000. Lakeland for its last race only had 4000.
You dont have 4 or 6000 at some of the other events and you know it. Why pick on this track when its close to the drivers?

If I was the track promoter Billy Hardee, I would kick your a** out for the other date as well since you did that to me and your series.
Billy Hardee at Myrtle Beach has suffered enough since he lost his Busch date.
To take away a Myrtle Beach date in your own home town is a disgrace. Its a disgrace to take away a date at the beach where drivers can take families on down to the beach.
The Sun News even says it dosnt make dollars and sense.
What does make sense is that Gene Cox and Tony Cox dont have any sense taking away a home track date that could save the travel and expenses. They dont draw that attendence at other tracks.
Now wonder your series is in financial trouble.
You only care for yourselves and NOT your series.
Your series is Dying because of its mismanagement of Gene and Tony Cox. shame on you. Your total ignorant people that Hooters should give the boot too first. Do you have scrotum to come on here and explain why you keep cutting and cutting. They should call you Gene the butcher and Tony the Idiot are me.

I do agree with you but I don’t Grill

First off when you say its your series hopefully you mean Gene Cox and Tony. Not the Board admin or reporter.

The other thing is they are doing what they have been attempting to do since the taking over. Slowly dissolve the Hooters Pro Cup. How many teams do you think can get the dollars it takes to travel and up keep on the cars when they (Gene Cox and Tony) 8 races per division 2 in witch are combined with the other division, then the Southern teams Have 1 race that is over 850 miles away and over 15 hours driving for the ones in racing center NC to West Allis WI . They did plan on both going there but why not have a more central location when both divisions racing together. How about South Boston Va. 3 hours away and pick 1 of the 2 dates both divisions to race.

Just doesn’t make sense .

Grill I too call Myrtle Beach speedway my home track with the truck series there . I can’t recall seeing Gene Cox and Tony being there on Saturday nights can You ??

Go truck 66