WATSONVILLE, Calif. – After making its debut last year with the Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo the Nobel Construction Back Row Challenge will return once again in 2014, with a slight twist thrown into the mix.
The challenge will be offered at all Taco Bravo Ocean 360 Sprint Car events this season, including the two that are co-sanctioned with the Civil War Sprint Car Series presented by Flowmaster at Ocean Speedway.
In short the Nobel Construction Back Row Challenge features an extra $1,500 on the line each night if the driver eligible accepts the challenge and can win the main event from the tail. The extra cash is courtesy of former San Jose Speedway racer and owner of Nobel Construction Earle Stanton, who is putting up $1,000, as well as Ocean Speedway promoter John Prentice, who is putting up $500.
If the driver eligible chooses to take the challenge and can win the feature from the last starting spot they’ll go home with $3,000.
The first change up in the proceedings for 2014 is that if a driver accepts the Back Row Challenge and chooses to start in the last position of the main event, they will be awarded with one championship point per position gained during the feature from their official starting spot (which would be last place). As an example, if at the end of the main event they advance 10 spots from their official starting position, they will receive 10 bonus points, in addition to their regular finishing position points.
With the championship battle expected to be a tight one this would be a way to maximize points to either get ahead or make up ground in the title fight.
The eligibility for the Nobel Construction Back Row Challenge this season has also been shaken up a little. Like last year the driver that sets fast time during the night and transfers through their heat will draw for the main event inversion. After the inversion is set the fast time qualifier that transfers out of the heats will have the option to forfeit their starting spot & take the challenge to start from the rear.
If that driver refuses then the second fastest qualifier that transfers out of the heats will be given the option to take the challenge. If that driver refuses, the option will not be offered to anyone else.
Seeing a driver come from the rear of the field brings back memories of the days gone by for many long time fans and of course is seen each year at the Trophy Cup in Tulare.
“For me it’s worth it to see some exciting racing as a driver tries to work his way through the field with a goal in mind,” said Stanton. “I come from the old days when the fastest cars started in the back and really hope the Back Row Challenge will instill some more excitement and drama into the program with the Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo.”