An evening of sprint car racing at Ventura Raceway
consists of four heat races, one (or more) B-mains, and the A-main
(or “Feature” race).
The four heat races are ten
laps each. The top four finishers in each heat race are qualified
for and advance directly to the A-main. The non-qualifiers run in
the B-main or “last chance” race.
Ventura Raceway does not run qualifying (or
“time trials”) for its sprint car division. Heat races are lined
up by drawing numbered pills. The lowest pill drawn starts on the
pole (first row inside) of heat race one, the next lowest pill
starts on the pole of heat race two, etc. The positions are filled
from inside to outside, front to back. Therefore, the four lowest
pills drawn start on the pole in the four heat races, the next four
lowest pills start on the outside of row one, next four lowest pills
inside row two, etc. There is one exception: rookies start at the
back of the heat races unless they have been classified as a
“rookie contender”. Rookie contenders are positioned like
A rookie contender is a rookie of the year candidate that
has reached a level of expertise determined by the track officials.
Transfer points are awarded in the heat
races and are used to line up the cars in the A-main. Transfer
points are determined by the order of finish and the number of
positions gained in the heat race. First place earns fifty points
for position and each position thereafter is decremented by 5 points
(50, 45, 40, 35, ………). One point is awarded for each position
gained in the heat. For example, a car starting on the pole and
finishing first is awarded 50 transfer points (50 position points +
0 “passing” points). A car starting in tenth and finishing
second earns 53 transfer points (45 position points + 8
Cars that didn’t qualify for the A-main by finishing in the top
four of their heat race get another chance to make it to the A-main
by racing in a 12 lap B-main. Cars in the B-main start
“straight-up”. In other words, the cars line up by the number of
transfer points earned in the heat race, highest to lowest. The
person with the most points (that didn’t qualify for the A-main)
starts on the pole, second highest starts outside row one, etc.
Rookies get the spots they earned with their heat race transfer
points. The top four finishers in the B-main qualify for the A-main
and start at the rear of that race.
If there are 36 or more sprint cars for the
evening, the non-qualifiers will be split into two 10 lap B-mains,
with the top two cars in each B-main advancing to the A-main.
The A-main consists of 20 cars (the first four finishers of
the four heat races plus the first four finishers in the B-main) for
a barn-burning 30 laps. The A-main is lined up by transfer points
earned in the heat races. However, there is an
“inversion”, or reversal of order of the cars with the
highest number of transfer points. After the heat races, the winner
of the previous week’s A-main draws a pill to see how deep the
inversion will be. The pill can be a 4, 6, or 8. If the inversion is
four, the four cars with the most heat race points start at the
front of the A-main, but start in reverse order. That is, the car
with the most points starts in position four (outside row two),
second highest points starts inside row two, etc. The inversion is
outside to inside, back to front. The higher the pill drawn, the
greater the number of cars that are inverted at the front.
No cone is used on re-starts.
Lapped cars retain their spot within the lead
cars on re-starts