There are few, if any, who can match Kevin Nouse’s passion for the 358 Sprint Car division in central Pennsylvania.
It’s a class that has been a big part of Nouse’s racing career. Not only has he been involved as a competitor, he has promoted races to get the 358 Sprint Car division more exposure.
That will continue in 2018. Nouse will expand the 358 Sprint Car Summer Series to six races at four different tracks. Williams Grove, Lincoln and BAPS Motor Speedway are back on the slate, with Port Royal Speedway also booking a date.
“The support has been tremendous,” said Nouse, who has been promoting the series since its inception in 2015. “We’ve averaged over 30 cars each year, and this year, we averaged 36, so it’s definitely well supported by the 358 guys.
“It makes you feel good when you run something like this. The guys support it, and I think they like it.”
The biggest hiccup for Nouse is gaining sponsorship. It’s a common theme for tracks and series throughout racing, whether it’s dirt or asphalt.
Nouse has funded the lion’s share of this project out of his pocket the first three years. Last season, he dug deep and pulled out $3,500 of his own money for the $5,000 posted point fund. He was also responsible for landing contingencies that upped the final series total to $28,000.
“I’m trying to find a title sponsor and a presenting sponsor to take the blow away from me,” Nouse said. “The title sponsor is the big one. If I can get that, I’m not worried as much about the presenting sponsor.
“We have Capitol Renegade back as our loyalty sponsor, which is $1,500 to be divided up between the drivers who run every race in the series. I just need to get the title and presenting sponsor, so I’m not paying it out of my pocket.”
One selling point is hitting all of the local speedways.
In 2015, the Summer Series was limited to Lincoln and Williams Grove Speedway. Susquehanna Speedway, now BAPS Motor Speedway, joined the series in 2016 and also hosted a race a year ago.
Nouse discussed having an event at Port Royal in the past, but he wanted to make sure the series was strong and could bring a solid car count before committing to a race at the Juniata County oval.
The series has thrived, averaging over 30 cars each season. That was enough for Nouse to get Port Royal on the schedule and make the series more complete.
“Port Royal approached me two years ago, but I was really concerned about doing it,” Nouse said. “I wanted a good car count everywhere we go, and we accomplished that.
“I’ve had a lot of interest from the 358 guys. Pretty much everyone has asked about going to Port Royal, so Steve O’Neal and I talked about it, and I think we will be able to deliver a good car count to them.
“The most important thing is the number of cars we bring and the quality of show. We are going to give it a shot this year.”
It’s full speed ahead this season, with each race paying a $1,500 bounty to the winner. As for the point fund, Nouse indicated he will need a series sponsor to match last year’s huge payout.
Nouse is hoping to acquire the needed funds over the next two or three months. Not just to fit the bill, but also to help grow the Summer Series and give back to a division he is passionate about.
“I don’t ask for a lot, but it’s important,” Nouse said. “It’s something I want to do for the love of 358 racing, but It’s harder every year to pay out of my own pocket.
“I think it’s time to get some sponsorship to take the load off of me. If it has to continue to be funded out of my pocket, I’m just not going to be able to continue to do that. I have time. The first race isn’t until the end of June, so I have until the middle of May to lock down sponsors.
“I think I will be able to do it. I have a lot of people to contact after the first of the year, and if I can lock down a title and presenting sponsor, the point fund will be higher than ever.”
358 SPRINT CAR SUMMER SERIES CHAMPIONS
2017: Chase Dietz
2016: Doug Hammaker
2015: Doug Hammaker