MONROE — The Mark Galloway Shootout, one of the premier events at Evergreen Speedway, will take place Saturday as scheduled. Unfortunately, the fastest car class will no longer be part of it.
The Northwest Super Late Model Series (NWSLMS) portion of the Galloway Shootout has been canceled because of a tire shortage. Racing will still take place Saturday, with the Pro Late Models now serving as the main event. However, the fastest class of cars, which were only scheduled to run twice at Evergreen this season, will no longer be part of the lineup.
“It’s very disappointing,” Evergreen Speedway president Doug Hobbs said. “Not only from a fan perspective, the drivers in the Super Late Model class love running the big track at Evergreen. The good news is they’ll be back in July for Summer Showdown.”
The Super Late Models were scheduled to be the main event Saturday, with the touring NWSLMS bringing some of the top stock car drivers in the region to Monroe, as well as some former Evergreen regulars from when Super Late Models were the top class running at the track. The race was set for 75 laps on the track’s 5/8-mile track, which is the biggest track at Evergreen.
However, the type of tire used by cars in the NWSLMS, Hoosier 3035/3045s, were not available because of a shortage that’s affecting racers across the country. Teams tried testing an alternative tire at Evergreen last week, but in a statement the NWSLMS said, “The results were not satisfactory to the teams.”
“There’s a nationwide shortage of racing tires,” Hobbs explained. “Sometimes it has to do with a shortage of supplies to make the tires, sometimes it’s issues with delivery, sometimes it’s having enough factory workers to make the tires. Right now it’s all three. We tried with a different tire, but the side walls had a lot more flex in them, and with the force put on the tires by the speeds going through the corners, the drivers didn’t feel comfortable with it. It’s not that it’s unsafe per se, or that they gave us a bad tire. But when you run on a quarter-mile race track with speeds 70-90 mph versus 125 mph on the big track, it’s a lot more g-force and it changes a lot.
“This isn’t the first time this has happened in racing history, but it’s the first time I can remember in maybe a couple decades,” Hobbs added. “It’s a lot connected to COVID. The supply chains have been interrupted in so many industries, we’ve experienced something similar in the food aspect. Unfortunately, it’s a little bit of a COVID hangover right now.”
The Pro Late Models had also been scheduled for a 75-lap race Saturday on the 5/8ths track. With the Super Late Models race canceled, the Pro Late Models will now run a 100-lap race.
Hobbs said the NWSLMS race will likely not be made up at a later date.
“Our schedule is so packed, with everything carrying over from 2020 to 2021,” Hobbs said. “Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from now through the first weekend of October is just packed with events. So there’s really nowhere to put them.”
The good news for Evergreen is that the track’s other marquee event for Super Late Models, Summer Showdown scheduled for July 23-24, is not expected to be affected by the tire shortage.
“We are assured 100% we will have 1,000 of the right tires here for Summer Showdown,” Hobbs said. “Production week for this tire is actually this week, and they have those tires earmarked for us. Hoosier will be delivering them and will be on site for Summer Showdown to make sure we’re taken care of.”