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Drivers disagree with pay decision

Racers are questioning why they weren’t paid for a race held at the East Lincoln Motor Speedway on May 29.
Three out of seven divisions of the race were completed before the event was called off due to rain, according to racers and spectators.
Racers received no money and no trophies for any portion of the race, which was rescheduled for the following week. Spectators were given free admission to the rescheduled race.
The racers weren’t paid because the race was never completed, according to Ernie Knight, who leases the track with her husband, Boyd.
She said racers should not be upset for not getting paid because it is part of an established policy.
“They knew about it,” she said. “If the Late Model division does not run, then they don’t get paid.”
Knight said the Late Model division is the biggest show, and postponing the race in the event of rain is what they always do.
“They have been told in the drivers’ meeting, so they know about it,” she said.
Knight said they do not want to upset their fans who would have to come back to the track and pay again if the Late Model division does not race.
“It is just easier to start the race over again,” she said.
However, many racers seemed shocked and said they had no idea of the policy. They were advised by security officers the night of the race that they would not get paid.
The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office was called, and patrons were told they would be charged with trespassing if they did not leave.
Danny Mullis of Charlotte, who completed the Micro Sprints division, said he was upset when he realized he would not get paid.
“(Boyd Knight) just went in his office and slammed the door,” Mullis said. “His explanation was that the late models didn’t complete. That is why we were not getting paid.”
Mullis said he checked with the Lincoln County magistrate, who said it was a breech of contract.
“I was owed a very small amount of money,” Mullis said. “But two or three cars were owed almost $1,000 and they were not getting compensated.”
Mullis said this will not prevent him from racing at the track, but he thinks everyone should be compensated who raced.
“I just think we should have been treated fairly,” he said.
Mullis said there was a young racer, Jonathan Hager, who won his first race. His car had been damaged as well.
“We were told the slate was being wiped clean,” he said. “It was like the night never existed.”
Ken Puckett, owner of Puckett Brothers Auto Sales in Stanley, said the rain was not heavy enough for the race to be called off.
His driver Lynn Mercer never got a chance to race.
“The rain was steady. It probably rained 10 to 15 minutes,” Puckett said.
He said it was the wrong choice to make to call off the race.
“Race promoters make their own rules,” he said. “I would have paid out all the classes that finished.”
Puckett disagrees with not awarding trophies to those who won races.
“I think (Knight) will lose some racers,” he said. “I have heard from a lot of people that they will not be coming back.”
Tracy McLaughlin of Mount Holly and his brother, Darrel, said they will never race at the track again.
Tracy McLaughlin won the Super Stock V-8 division race.
He said he was angry once he realized that he was not going to be paid.
He went to the racetrack on the rain date but refused to race unless he got paid.
“When they told me they would not pay me, I didn’t unload my car, but I watched the race,” he said.
Tracy McLaughlin said he and his brother are filing court papers.
“I think the man is greedy,” he said. “I am not going to race again when I have already raced.”
Darrel McLaughlin finished fourth in the Modified 4 division.
“I have been racing for five years and there has never been a race that I did not get paid,” he said. “I was upset.”
He also did not race the rain date that was scheduled.
“I’ve done raced and finished,” he said. “Why race again?”
But Boyd Knight and race track manager James Hunnicutt, said most of the drivers are familiar with the rules and are not complaining.
“They got paid,” Boyd Knight said of the drivers who returned the following week.
Hunnicutt said the East Lincoln Track has always been family-oriented, “more so than most tracks.” by Amy Wadsworth

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