The new S2 stock car that will begin racing at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale in July received favorable reviews from drivers at the track on Saturday night.
One criticism, however, was why did it take so long to introduce it.
For Rich DeLong III, a driver from Santa Clarita in the NASCAR Super Trucks and Super Stocks divisions, said if he knew about the new division sooner, he might have considered racing in it.
The cost of the new S2 cars, described as an economy sportsman class, will run about $25,000 to start and around $12,000 to maintain for a full season, according to Jeff Schrader, the president of Race Car Factory which will be preparing and distributing the cars. By comparison, the cars in the Super Stocks division can cost as much as $40,000 and can run a team around $20,000 to maintain and service through the season.
Logan Henson, a driver from Valencia in the NASCAR Late Model division at the track, said the introduction of the new S2 series is about five years too late.
“All in all I think it’s a good idea,” Henson said. “It’s got the look of tomorrow. It’s definitely better than the Late Models. It’s a good idea going all spec like the trucks.”
Like the Super Trucks division at the track, the S2 series will be a spec division, meaning the engines and parts will be uniform. Theoretically, the cars, from the tires to the carburetors to the bodies, will be identical. Of course teams can make slight adjustments to the engines and set ups on the cars, but they will all be as identical as possible when they are built.
Schrader is anticipating anywhere from 10 to 20 cars to compete in the S2 series. There will be at least four, all from Tim Huddleston’s High Point Racing team, based in Simi Valley. Schrader said he has at least 10 other drivers and teams interested in the new car.
Other tracks have expressed interest in the new car as well. All-American Speedway in Roseville and the Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway are two nearby tracks that are keeping tabs on how successful the new series is at Irwindale, according to Schrader.
The goal for the new series is to compete on a national level. Schrader compared it to the Legends class, which started at local tracks in North Carolina and is now a national series. Tracks across the country have a Legends division, mainly geared toward younger drivers under the age of 16.
It is where Kurt and Kyle Busch, drivers from Las Vegas in the Sprint Cup Series, turned some of their first laps in their racing careers.
The S2 division will make its debut at Irwindale on July 4 with an exhibition race. The first official race will be the following Saturday night, July 11, and kick off a seven-race schedule.