Southern New Mexico Speedway to fly USRA banner in 2011
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December 28, 2010

The Southern New Mexico Speedway is a semi-banked 5/16-mile dirt oval with four degrees of banking at the bottom and twelve degrees on the outside of the track.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. – Officials from the Southern New Mexico Speedway have announced that drivers in two classes at the popular 5/16-mile semi-banked dirt oval in Las Cruces, N.M., will be battling for track and national points in the USRA Weekly Racing Series.

The first track in the “Land of Enchantment” to fly the United States Racing Association banner will sanction both the USRA RHS Modifieds and USRA Karl Performance Parts B-Mods as part of their weekly Saturday night racing program.

“We at SNMS are pleased to be involved with the best modified sanctioning body in the country,” said Royal Jones, President/CEO of the southern New Mexico Speedway and a long-time Modified competitor himself. “We like the forward thinking rules and cost saving measures that USRA is taking on for the future and the ability for racers to run what they have and not have to go out and buy new things each time a rule changes.”

The Southern New Mexico Speedway was built in 1967 but went dormant in the late ‘70s. It wasn't until the 1980’s when local businessman Tommy Black brought dirt track racing back the Mesilla Valley and it has flourished ever since.

In 1993, Jones and Jimmy Ray took over and completely changed the look of the facility with new grandstands, buildings, concrete walkways and a paved midway to solidify the Southern New Mexico Speedway as the premier dirt track in New Mexico.

Not only is it the first racetrack in New Mexico to sanction with the USRA, but also the first in the Mountain Time Zone.

The state's motto “It grows as it goes” refers to a thunderbolt increasing in strength as it moves across the sky – a symbol of dynamic progress which fits well with the new partnership between the two organizations.

“It’s a great honor to have the Southern New Mexico Speedway as part of the USRA family,” said USRA President Todd Staley. “Royal and Jimmy are both great Modified racers, but they are probably even more successful as businessmen, so that makes this new partnership even more humbling. Whether it’s the racetrack or their trucking company, they generally don’t make bad business decisions.”

In addition to sharing the responsibilities at the Southern New Mexico Speedway, Jones and Ray are also co-owners of Mesilla Valley Transportation – one of the largest locally-owned transportation providers in Western Texas and Southern New Mexico.

Drivers in the USRA RHS Modified division will compete for a track points championship worth $1,500 at season’s end and a $10,000 top prize awaiting the division’s national champion in the USRA Weekly Racing Series.

Competitors in the USRA Karl Performance Parts B-Mods will be chasing a $500 top prize for winning the track title and $2,000 for the top points-getter nationally. The class will compete under the current Limited X-Mod track rules for the 2011 season.

“We are also happy to now be able to offer at track points fund along with the nice national fund,” Jones added. “It is our feeling that USRA is not burdened with other classes that overshadow the Mod world, and has time to put big time effort in this class, along with the B-Mods.”

In recent years, the Southern New Mexico Speedway has gained national acclaim with two of the richest Modified shows in North America. The Winter Meltdown & Chub Daniels Memorial, which will be held this coming Feb. 25-27, 2011, and the Fall Modified Nationals in November attract some of the best Modified drivers in America, including many from the USRA and USMTS ranks.

With a 26-show regular season that alternates between Winged Sprint Cars, USRA RHS Modifieds, Street Stocks, Limited Late Models, Legends Cars, USRA Karl Performance Parts B-Mods (Limited X-Mods), Super Trucks and Hornets, the Southern New Mexico Speedway is sure to satisfy your need for speed every Saturday night from May to September.

A playday is slated for Sunday, Jan. 9, from 11 a.m. to dusk, and the track’s annual awards banquet will be held Jan. 22, 2011, at the Las Cruces Convention Center.

The track is located 11 miles west of Las Cruces at the Southern New Mexico State Fairgrounds. Take exit 132, go left and take the frontage road south of I-10 heading west. For more information call 575-524-7913 or visit online.

The USRA was founded in 2002 with the sanctioning of Modifieds and Stock Cars at the Thunder Valley Speedway in Fayetteville, Ark. Hobby Stocks were added in 2003 and the organization grew steadily over the next three years with 14 tracks hosting USRA events in 2005. The B-Mod division arrived on the scene in 2006 and since then, USRA Weekly Racing Series national champions have been crowned in all four premier divisions.

To learn more about the USRA, visit or call 515-832-6000. You can also follow the USRA on Facebook, MySpace and Twitter.

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