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Paducah International Raceway

Rains spoil weekend's Lucas Oil, WoO events

May 1, 2009, 4:20 pm
From staff and series reports

Rain played havoc with Dirt Late Model racing's national tours on the first weekend in May, forcing series and track officials to give up any hopes of racing more than 24 hours before the events. The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series postponed Saturday's $10,000-to-win event at Paducah (Ky.) International Raceway until May 15, and the World of Outlaws Late Model Series postponed its two-day, $20,000-to-win event at K-C Raceway near Chillicothe, Ohio, to an undetermined date.

In Paducah, with already saturated grounds and continued heavy rain expected in the area, track and series officials didn't have much choice. The rescheduled first-ever series event at the 3/8-mile oval western Kentucky oval on May 15 will be preceded by a $3,000-to-win special under the track's weekly UMP DIRTcar rules on May 14 for a Thursday-Friday doubleheader. The Lucas Oil event is scheduled to be taped by Speed Channel cameras for a later telecast.

"Due to the soaking rains over the past few days, it just made the grounds too wet to host an event this weekend," said PIR co-promoter Bob Sargent. "We are all very excited about having the Lucas Oil guys in town and with (May 1) scheduled UMP events being postponed also, we decided to reschedule the for UMP show for Thursday May 14, and the (Lucas Oil) show for May 15."

Paducah's rescheduled Lucas Oil event precedes a previously scheduled event on May 16 at La Salle (Ill.) Speedway.

At K-C Raceway, heavy rain that moved across southcentral Ohio Friday evening and saturated the grounds forced WoO to scrap Saturday's event. After precipitation that struck the 3/8-mile on Thursday led officials to cancel Friday's scheduled Buckeye 100 qualifying night and condense the weekend into a one-day show, a relatively dry Friday afternoon raised hopes that the grounds would dry sufficiently to allow racing on Saturday night. But a strong line of storms that began inundating the area around 9 p.m. nixed any chances.

A raindate was not immediately announced, but WoO LMS and track officials are discussing the possibility of rescheduling the tour's visit to K-C Raceway.

“We were encouraged when the rain missed us all afternoon,” said Jeff Schrader, who is in his first year as the owner of K-C Raceway. “But we got a gullywasher around 9 o'clock that dropped an inch of rain in about 45 minutes, and that was it. It looked like a creek was running through the pit area and the parking lot was saturated, so we knew there wouldn't be enough time for the grounds to dry up by Saturday night."

This marks the third time in the last four years that a WoO LMS event has been rained out at K-C Raceway. The opening night of a two-day show was lost in 2006, and in 2007 a late-summer program was washed out and not rescheduled.

Among other weekend cancellations was Friday's Southern Regional Racing Series event at Boyd's Speedway in Ringgold, Ga. It was rescheduled for Aug. 7.

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