Dateline: Batesville, AR
8th Annual Schoenfeld Headers Mid-America Championships
Street Stocks

Racers deserve respect, and it should come regardless of the type of car they drive.

Street Stock racers across the country are beginning to get respect. Many weekly race tracks realize that Street Stocks are an important part of the racing environment. They may not pull in the headlines like Late Models or Modifieds, but they are quite capable of putting together wheel-to-wheel racing action that you won't soon forget.

Batesville Speedway has put together an annual race for the Street Stockers that continues to grow. With the help of Schoenfeld Headers, the purse and prestige draw racers from a 10-state area. For the '03 event, more than 120 teams came out for a shot at the $10,000 on top. At many tracks, the drivers would have to win 20 features to get that kind of money.

The Cars The rules required the cars to weigh 3,300 pounds after the race with the driver. The minimum wheelbase was 101 inches, and the car had to remain stock with the engines in stock position. Bars could be added to protect the radiator and gas tank, but no exterior bars were permitted. The cars used two-barrel carburetors, and headers were allowed. No aftermarket transmissions were permitted. The rules also called for a $500 motor exchange with any car on the lead lap eligible to make a claim.

For suspension, racing shocks were OK, but all shocks had to be mounted in the stock location. Double shocks, weight jacks, and torque-absorbing devices were not allowed.

The cars ran on gasoline. Racing seatbelts were required, and no mirrors were permitted.

Six heat races were held on Friday night to pare down the field. The top three drivers from each heat transferred directly to the A, with three B feature races sending two more racers on to the big show. An average of 32 cars started each B feature-a healthy field for just two positions. Track provisionals were awarded to a pair of cars to fill out the 26-car starting grid.

Heat-one winner Tommy Porter started on the pole for the 50-lap feature but could hold the lead only briefly. Fourth-starting Kevin Salter, a Modified regular at Batesville, grabbed the lead on lap 2. Peyton Taylor took the top spot from Salter in a move that would set the tone for the rest of the race. A red flag on lap 11 put the field into a "MARS Late Model style" double-file restart, with Salter gaining the advantage a few laps later.

With the final caution coming late in the race, the stage was set for a classic matchup between Salter and Taylor. At the line, Salter edged Taylor for the win and the $10,000 prize. Taylor's $5,000 was a fair reward for a fine effort. Each finisher received a healthy payout with last place taking home $800.(Information provided by Shawna Snyder)