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Director of WCSS pulls the plug on division

The International Motor Contest Association had no idea that the IMCA West Coast Super Stock Division was going away next season. After all, they just manage the points for the association, and when the PVT approached them last week for answers, they had none to give.

The answers finally came from Chris Kearns, the owner and promoter of West Coast Super Stocks who said it was a tough decision to make that didn’t come without a lot of thought.

“I started the WCSS and I own the name. Over the few years we tried it, the car count has never grown and at a certain point you have to know when to cut the umbilical cord and know when to say when,” Kearns said.

The answer came to him in May at the King Speedway at Hanford, California.

“We had two nights of WCSS racing that had a purse of $1,500 to win at $100 to start and only seven cars showed up. That was the nail in the coffin as far as any of the race tracks were concerned. I am going to keep the name West Coast Super Stocks and possibly use it in some promotions down the line. I may change the rules and start something else down the line. It will be done at the end of this year,” he explained.

He said it was just a few people in California that ruined it for everyone else in the approximately 79 drivers in the division.

“When we were sanctioned by IMCA, this made perfect sense to me,” Kearns explained. “IMCA is the most successful sanctioning body in the country by members alone, and not the money. They have three times as many members than any other sanctioning body. There was too much negativity on the Internet when I switched over to IMCA with WCSS. The negativity from just five people was just too much to overcome. So guys said ‘Do I want to go to a class with all the negativity?’ or ‘Do I go to a class that doesn’t have it?”

Kearns said people in droves dropped WCSS for the IMCA Modifieds because of the negative publicity WCSS had. He says there is a possibility that back east there are race tracks that race a version of the WCSS for the people looking to unload the cars.

Kearns said he has run the series since 2010 and up until the change to IMCA in 2013 there was no trouble in the division.

“Everyone was quiet and there were no issues. The second we switched to IMCA people had problems and where did they go? They went to IMCA Modifieds, which makes no sense to me,” he said.

He said he has been disappointed by the experience and feels the racing was just “great racing.”

He did say that it’s up to the race tracks to decide if they still want to race the class.

When asked if he would sell WCSS to anyone that wanted to save the division, he replied, “I would be interested in talking to anyone for the right price.”

Steve Stringer, a Tonopah former WCSS racer, was sad to see the WCSS go. He said his father, Sam, helped build the class and it was the last class he raced. Stringer said he switched to the IMCA Modifieds this year because he saw the writing on the wall.

“I switched because the car counts were down and the WCSS is a dying class,” he said.

The Stringer family made the decision to change the Sam Stringer Memorial Race from WCSS to IMCA Modifieds this year.

This race will be on July 19 with a $1,500 purse at the Pahrump Valley Speedway.

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