Franklin County Speedway: Run What You Brung Tires

Franklin County Speedway: Run What You Brung Tires

Franklin County Speedway came up with a solution to the tire shortage. Run what you brung, with only a few caveats.

The paved oval in Callaway, Virginia, laid out a few ground rules for the late model class. Previously, the track permitted two new tires and two scuffs. Now, you can run any used tire, from any brand. It must be 10″ and no softer than a Hoosier Racing Tire F45. The track will allow treating tires.

“Nobody better show up with new tires — I won’t allow them,” Austin said. “If you have new tires, better put some practice laps on them before I see them.”

Austin expects most racers to opt for Hoosier F50s. Late models running that compound typically run a half-second slower than those on Hoosier F45s — unless, they’re treated.

“Tracks prevented soaking in the past because they wanted to sell new tires,” said Austin. “I don’t care if tires are soaked. At this point, we are all in survival mode. If racetracks get out of the tire business, it will be a good thing. I know I don’t want to be in the tire business any longer.”

Austin said he elected to take a page from the playbook of dirt racing.

“Let the racers buy their own tires and do their own thing,” Austin said. “This is the best thing that could ever happen for the racer — and the racetracks. We are all suffering because we were trying to do business the way we always did business. It’s time to change that.”

Langley Austin said most racers seem receptive of his run-what-you-brung tire policy at Franklin County Speedway.

“Some didn’t like the idea, but said they wanted to come and race,” said Austin. “I explained that we are a racing community. Because of the tire shortage, a track has to do what it has to do to keep holding races. Drivers and car owners have to conform or not race. Most racers want to race, so they are out searching for used tires.”