DARLINGTON’S Mid-Western Speedway will stage the richest formula 500 race in Victoria next summer.
Track officials have revealed the inaugural Stonypoint 5000 as the showpiece of their eight-meeting calendar for season 2014-15.
The race, part of a December 29, Monday night show, has a prize pool of $10,000 and doubles as a round of Speedweek.
The first driver across the line pockets $5000, second earns $3000 and third takes home $2000.
Mid-Western Speedway president Rikki Stewart said the prize pool reflected the popularity of formula 500s among speedway fans.
“You look at the bills, what comes in and what goes out, and the formula 500s bring the biggest crowds,” he said.
“I wanted to create a rich race for formula 500s in Victoria, bring back Victoria as the formula 500 capital and bring our club a good name.
“Obviously (drivers) love racing at our track. But we also want to promote their class and promote speedway in general.”
Stewart said the Stonypoint 5000 race honoured Darlington farmer Rob Jamieson, who owned the property Stonypoint before his death last year.
“He lent us tractors and a few bits and pieces. He passed away last year — it was a club idea to put up a perpetual trophy in his name,” he said.
The Mid-Western Speedway season starts on November 15 and runs through to May 23 with more than a dozen classes taking to the track.
Among other highlights is the creation of the King of the Kids series for junior sedan A and B grade drivers.
The teenagers will feature at all but one of the meetings, with Stewart keen for the track to become the home of junior sedan racing in Victoria.
“You have to keep the grassroots alive. Not only are we trying to keep the speedway there, we’re trying to bring it up, too,” he said.
Speedcars are on the schedule for the first time, with a round of the Southern Speedcar Tour as part of the December 13 show.
Two rounds of the lightning sprints Victorian series will also be at Darlington while modified production sedans make a return.
The other race of note is a $1000-to-win Twenty20 street stock feature in which drivers complete 40 laps — 20 in each direction.
The biggest meeting is on May 9, when officials expect more than 100 drivers spanning 10 classes to converge on the track.
“We’ve put a couple of day shows in. Obviously with the tightness of trying to grab a date we didn’t want to clash with anyone,” Stewart said.
“We put our hands up for a couple of Sunday shows to get some families back to the speedway, which is why we’ve got kids’ pushbike races.”