FARC Truck Series to be Discontinued

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FARC Truck Series to be Discontinued

Post by SpeedDemon37 on Fri Oct 16, 2015 11:50 pm

FARC Truck Series to be Discontinued
3 February 2015

Originally contested in 2002 as the ARLA Thunder Trucks, the series most recently known as the FARC LoBo Truck Tour was the second-tier division of ARLA (later FARC) and America’s premier division of pickup truck racing through 2014. Its thirteen seasons of competition saw the beginnings of the racing careers of drivers such as Lucas Sweeney, Alex Carson, Taylor Brillon, Christian McMillan, and Luc Pellerin among many others. However, it now appears that the Trucks may have turned their final laps.

With the season-opener at Blue Island originally scheduled to take place approximately one month from now, it was officially announced that the upcoming season of the FARC Truck Series will not be contested. Although the series has recently been subject to criticism, the news came as a surprise to most.

It was already known that the FARC Truck Series has been experiencing a multitude of difficulties in recent years. The 2013 season turned out to be logistically and financially difficult for the teams, and 2014 saw only nine trucks start every race. In addition to the reduced grid sizes in most of the races, a greater proportion of the entries came from low-funded teams with drivers who wreaked havoc on the field by interfering with faster trucks and causing accidents. Even the fastest of the series regulars were largely outpaced by the more established part-time teams, winning only two of the year's twelve races. Teams, drivers, analysts, and fans were all critical of the lack of competitiveness and the poor quality of the racing throughout 2014.

Despite the criticism that the series has been receiving, the primary reason for its cancellation is assumed to be financial. The departure of LoBo at the end of last year left the Trucks without a title sponsor (although the convenience store chain was intending to return as a presenting sponsor). Despite the expected reduction in entry fees that the teams have to pay in order to enter individual events, there have been reports that the series would not have enough funding to award sufficient monetary prize payouts if the races were to be run. All of the scheduled races have been cancelled, and it is currently unknown what will become of the series' assets.

In addition to being demoted to its third-tier league, FARC was planning for the Trucks to become a short track-only championship. The largest venue on the initial twelve-race calendar was 5/8 of a mile in length. The schedule would have somewhat resembled the ones that were run in the early years of the series before expansion brought it to intermediate ovals, superspeedways and road courses. Only two short tracks were visited during the 2014 season.

For 2015, FARC implemented the new Duckroll Super Series to replace the Truck Series as the sanctioning body’s B-level league. Whether or not the decision to create the Super Series was at all related to the declining popularity of the Trucks is unclear, but a healthy roster of 34 full-time cars (the most of any FARC series) seems to indicate that the new league will provide a much better platform for teams and drivers to develop their talents.

The final season of the FARC LoBo Truck Tour concluded with a wildly thrilling finale last November at Texas Motor Speedway, where Mike Howard won his only race of the year and edged out Jeremy Baker for the championship in doing so. Baker had been involved in a frightening accident early on in the race in which his truck and the truck of Angel Gray flipped onto their roofs. The 29-truck entry list was one of the largest of the season. Last Row Autosport was expected to return to the series this year with Howard, and likewise with Linandale Racing, which was planning to return with Baker.

With the departure of the Truck Series, FARC now sanctions three touring divisions of competition: the Elite Series, the Super Series, and the Modifieds.

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(OOC: I apologize to everyone who has showed interest in participating in the series. I would be glad to run the season, but it is late in the year and I have received only a few trucks. Nobody else has updated me as to whether they intended to submit their entries or to withdraw them.)
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