Change is the order of the day in stock car racing at the moment and the Southern Super Series presented by Sunoco followed suit on Wednesday, announcing its race procedures for the 2014 season.
The most notable alteration is that tour officials have done away with paying championship points at the halfway break of all 125 lap events as it had during the inaugural 2013 season. One of the more unique features of the league is that it had paid points after qualifying, at the halfway break and for the final finishing order.
Such a system had rewarded every aspect of a team's game.
The Southern Super Series will continue to pay championship points after qualifying however and will use same system from the 2013 season, awarding the polesitter with 15 points. Second place will continue to earn 14 with each position decreasing by one point throughout the field.
Each qualifier will earn at least a single point for turning laps in time trials.
The standard 125-lap events will remain six-tire races but teams may now change tires at any point during the race and will line up behind the pace car in the order in which they came off pit road. This is in effect, a live pit stop where teams will be racing to get off pit road.
Any team that pits, including those who pit during the competition caution, will line up behind those that did not pit.
The rest of the 2014 Southern Super Series rules and procedures have been listed below. A formal series rule book will be posted to the official website in the coming weeks. The first race of the season is the 300-lap Rattler 250 at South Alabama Speedway on March 15-16.
Daniel Hemric is the defending Series champion and will return in 2014 to defend his crown.
- The standard 125-lap events (not including the Rattler 250, Alabama 200, World Crown 300 and All American 400) will count only the green-flag laps.
- Each standard 125-lap event will be a six-tire race.
- Tires can be changed at any point in the race in the 125-lap events.
- There will be a controlled competition caution at or around lap 75 of the 125-lap events.
- At the controlled competition caution, the field will line up behind the pace car for five laps. Cars may go to the pits once the pit area is opened by officials. Once the car has completed its service on pit road, it will line up in the order that it came off of pit road. Cars that pit under the controlled competition caution will line up behind the cars that chose not to pit.
- At any other yellow-flag period in the 125-lap events, cars will line up in their position as they come off pit road.
- In a change from 2013, there will not be an invert nor bonus points awarded at the competition caution.
- Series officials highly recommend the use of helmets on all over-the-wall crew members on pit stops. Helmets will be mandatory in the 2015 Southern Super Series season.
- All extra-distance events (Rattler 250, Alabama 200, World Crown 300, All American 400) will remain with the same procedures as in 2013 with live pit stops, caution laps counting, etc.
- Qualifying order and tire selection for all Southern Super Series events, with the exception of the Rattler 250, will be set by a draw. The Rattler 250 had tire and qualifying procedures in place before the sanctioning agreement with the Southern Super Series was finalized.