Hampton, VA — A change in race procedures after successful implementation in last year’s season-ending King of the Hill event will make its return to competition throughout the 2023 season. Inside and outside lanes will now be determined by a coin flip in all rounds of one-on-one racing with the exception of the opening round and each of the A-Main and B-Main finals.
Competitors will still pick their opening round races, lanes, and stagger, something that has been a staple of Wacky Wednesday since its inception. New for 2023, however, will be the addition of the inside/outside coin for all races within the A & B Main brackets.
“We tested this idea at last year’s King of the Hill competition at the suggestion of many of the drivers,” Wacky Wednesday Director Justin Kern stated. “The idea was presented to not only help with the negotiation times so we can avoid a lot of downtime between races but also to level the playing field. In years past the lanes were determined by how you finished your last race and we noticed people were starting to manipulate that. We also noticed that drivers were making outlandish negotiations to get the inside line. Trust me, I understand the inside line is the preferred line but at times the negotiation of who gets that line took up so much time.”
The coin will be operated solely by a Wacky Wednesday official on pit road. The coin will very clearly be marked “inside” and “outside” to avoid any confusion. This will not be a traditional coin toss seen in other sports like football where one team or person gets to make the call. The result of the coin toss done by the Wacky Wednesday official will impact where the traditional inside lane driver will start their race. Meaning a competitor may be lined up on the inside line on pit road but if the coin lands on “outside,” that driver must start the race in the outside lane.
“It should help relieve some of the tensions when negotiating,” 2022 Time Attack and One-on-One track champion Rick Stott said. “[Will] force drivers to rely on their skill and not charm or likability.”
Ample time will be given to each set of races to know their assigned lane. Each race will then have time to negotiate their stagger while paying attention to the races on track. Should the pairing be unable to come to an agreement on starting stagger after a pre-determined time frame announced at the drivers meeting and once they have reached the staging official at the exit of pit road, those drivers will have their stagger set by fan feedback. Exceptions to this will be the semi and final rounds of both mains. Staggers will be determined by senior officials should there be any major disagreements in those races.
“I think the coin flip will really help destress and simplify the negotiation process,” Driver Council member and 2022 championship contender Donovan Jewell expressed. “No arguments, no complaining ‘someone always asks for the inside.’ Take your assigned lane. Agree on the stagger, and go race!”
The driver council members will monitor both the effectiveness and implementation of the coin over the summer and make recommendations as needed.
With the 2023 season only a few weeks away, open practice will be held Wednesday, April, 26 from 6 PM to 8 PM. Entry for all drivers and crew members will be $10 at the gate. Competitors will have two hours to make unofficial time attack runs as well as self-curated one-on-one runs. Helmets and cars will also be inspected to speed up registration on opening night. Grandstands will be open and free to the public. The 2023 season will officially get underway Wednesday, May 3rd.