Login |
Watch LIVE at | Events | FAQ | Archives
Sponsor 1259
Sponsor 717


All Late Models. All the Time.

Your soruce for dirt late model news, photos and video

  • Join us on Twitter Join us on Facebook
Sponsor 525


Sponsor 743

Performance Racing Industry Trade Show

PRI: Friday's updates from the trade show floor

December 8, 2023, 7:21 am
From staff reports
Cody Overton discusses his new ride. (DirtonDirt.com)
Cody Overton discusses his new ride. (DirtonDirt.com)

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Dec. 8) — The Indiana Convention Center doors reopen at 9 a.m. Friday for the second of three days at 2023’s Performance Racing Industry Trade Show, where more than 40,000 attendees are expected to check out more than 1,000 companies over 750,000 square feet floor space making up more than 3,600 booths, many with a Dirt Late Model focus. Friday's blog-style notebook (complete PRI coverage):

5:05 | Day Two complete

That'll do it for Friday's live blogging. Check back in tomorrow shortly after doors open at 8 a.m. for the final day of coverage. In the meantime be on the lookout for more stories from the Indiana Convention Center, such as features on Scott Bloomquist putting surgery on hold to plot 2024 plans as well as the adjusted Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series playoff format.

4:55 p.m. | Gardner's crew search

For the first time ever, Bob Gardner’s future racing plans are in a place of limbo. With the 2024 season on the horizon, the East Peoria, Ill., veteran can’t commit to the series he’s most loyal toward, the MARS Championship Series, because following next week’s Gateway Dirt Nationals, he’ll have zero crew help.

“This is very unchartered. A little overwhelming. A little scary,” Gardner said. “Usually at this time, we have a car built and ready to go racing the following year, with plans with what we’re going to do. We’re chomping at the bit right now. Sitting back on my heels, keeping my eyes open to see what’s out there. The scary part is I have no plan.”

Over the past few seasons, Gardner’s managed to race all across the Midwest with Mike Tillie shouldering much of the maintenance and car work load as his lone crewman. But Tillie, for reasons that Gardner fully understands, has taken a job with SRI Performance in Indianapolis and therefore can no longer be the right-hand man the Illinoisan needs.

Fortunately for Gardner, there’s time to fill the void. But Gardner will not and cannot race on his lonesome.

“No shame to my help I’ve had in the past, but it’s not getting any cheaper,” Gardner said. “I’ve been doing it predominately out of my own pocket forever. It’s just gotten to the point where I know what it takes to be competitive. And I just can’t do it out of my own wallet. These crew guys aren’t cheap. They work a lot of hours. And there’s not a whole lot of them out there. The money aspect and not having crew, I really don’t know what I’m doing after the Dome to be quite frank."

Gardner’s words are essentially a PSA that he’s fielding applicants for whomever has an interest in working for his race team.

“If somebody deserves it and has the experience and the resume, then yes, (it’ll be paid),” Gardner said. “I feel like I had a pretty good year this past year. I have a very good relationship with Rocket. I feel very strongly if I can put a team together, we can be competitive next year. It’s just a lot of pieces to the puzzle. I’m starting from scratch.”

A solid stable of resources are at Gardner’s disposal: two Rockets Chassis, three Clements Racing Engines, and “everything I need to go racing.” That said, he’d hate for his equipment to idle. This past year he finished third on the MARS tour and though he couldn’t pick up a Super Late Model, he feels he’s one step away from competing with Jason Feger and Ryan Unzicker, the tour’s leading two drivers this year.

“It’s the little parts that make parts a team,” Gardner said. “Now I need to build a team that can go win.”

4:33 p.m. | Kerbystrong

Blake Damery and his family will realize a dream in 2024 with the hightest profile running of the Kerbystrong 100 on Aug. 10 at Macon (Ill.) Speedway.

Ever since Damery’s father Kerby — a Macon resident and former Super Late Model champion at his hometown track — died in February 2015 following a battle with cancer, the Damery family has supported an annual race in Kerby’s memory at the high-banked, fifth-mile oval. But next year the event will move to another level as it becomes a $10,000-to-win, long-distance showdown sanctioned by the MARS Late Model Championship tour.

“Starting from the beginning, we wanted a big race, a Herald & Review 100-type or even bigger than that, because we’re four blocks from the track. I’ve been at the track since I was born,” said Blake, who has followed in his late father’s tire tracks to become a full-fender racer. “I believe it was a Super Late Model event, $2,000 to win, when we started it, and we were trying to get the modifieds and sportsman involved too since those were the classes that dad ran.

“We had a pretty good turnout the first couple years, but just with the way Late Model car counts and stuff went, we kind of turned it into a higher-paying Crate race to try and draw more cars. We were racing Crates at the time too so we were able to run it.”

During the 2023 season, however, Damery and his brother, Luke, began setting the stage for the creation of the high-profile Kerbystrong 100.

“We hit some MARS races towards the end of the year and talked to (series officials) Matt Curl and Jonathan Clayton and started to get the ball rolling,” Damery said. “We talked to (Macon owner) Chris (Kearns) a little bit, and Chris got ahold of my mom (Nikki) a few weeks before they put the schedule out trying to confirm the date. We were pretty adamant about making it a $10,000 (to win), 100-lap race, so Chris was able to work with us on that.

“We’re trying to find a title sponsor and stuff, but we’re pretty excited.”

Damery, who moved up to the Super Late Model division from Crates this season, said his family’s foundation that supports cancer patients and their families has raised more than $250,000 over the years their father’s memorial race has been contested at Macon.

3:54 p.m. | Plotting a return

Riley Hickman of Cleveland, Tenn., hasn’t raced anything approaching a full season since 2020, but the four-time Southern All Star Series champion has the itch to hit the track more often in ’24.

“I got to race a little toward the end of this season and we made the decision I’m gonna try to race a little bit next year,” Hickman said while he and his wife, Angie, visited Friday morning with Brian Key and Shanon Rush in the Hoosier Tire booth. “We’ll start off with the Crate USA Winter Series and see how that goes. If all goes well, we’ll possibly try to run that Hunt the Front (Super Dirt Series) deal. The schedule works pretty good for me and business and everything else.”

Hickman, 45, made six starts at Tennessee tracks from late July through the end of the ’23 campaign, rolling up five top-five finishes spread across Topless Outlaws, 604 Crate and sportsman division appearances. His last Super Late Model run was his lone 2022 start — a fifth-place finish in a Southern All Star show at I-75 Raceway in Sweetwater, Tenn. — but he’s eyeing a return to the headline class.

“It’s a pretty good little deal to run and I like those guys,” Hickman said of the Southeast-based Hunt the Front circuit that has posted a $50,000 champion’s prize for its second season of operation. “I think they’re pretty good for the sport and I’d like to try and support it as much as I can.”

While Hickman’s own action has been modest for the last three years, he’s remained deeply involved in the sport. He helped operate Boyd’s Speedway in Ringgold, Ga., until its recent closing and has gone racing with his three sons, 16-year-old twins Drew and Dillon and Bryson, 13.

“When I came off the road and we slowed down racing-wise there, I sold some stuff but I still got our hauler and some race cars,” Hickman said. “I’ve got to get a few things in line to go Super racing again, but I’d like to still race. I miss the racetrack part of things, I really do. I really enjoyed doing the deal at Boyd’s and being involved in racing in that aspect in our area to help racing survive. I hated it ended the way it did but it was out of my control.

“(Now) my kids are trying to race a little bit. Drew and Dillon have been running the 602, 604 and sportsman classes, and Bryson, I had him racing the Crown Vic class and Ronnie Johnson gave him a (Late Model) so we’ve been putting that together and getting him ready to make some laps (in the 602 Crate ranks).”

With the Hickman boys breaking into the sport as racers, dear old dad hasn’t had much time to pursue his own competition.

“It’s a struggle when you go and you take three cars,” Hickman said with a laugh. “Angie over here, she’s trying to pull her hair out watching all of ‘em race.

“But it’s cool,” he added. “I get to live out racing through them a little bit and get to see what my dad experienced with me when he towed me up and down the road.”

1:53 p.m. | Another WoO rookie

The World of Outlaws Case Late Model Series today announced that Parker Martin of Milledgeville, Ga., is the fifth driver to throw his helmet into the ring as a Rookie of the Year contender.

“It’s a dream come true,” Martin said. “I’ve been looking forward to running with the World of Outlaws. It’s always been goal going full-time with them. It’s my fourth year in super racing, and I’m really excited for that next step.”

He’s confident of his chances against a rookie field with Cody Overton, Max McLaughlin, Dustin Sorensen, and Tristan Chamberlain.

“I think (Rookie of the Year) is something I think we can accomplish,” Martin said. “It’s something I think I can get my hands on. I’m also really focusing on finishing in the top 13 in points. Even if the Rookie of the Year doesn’t work out like I want it to, then a top 13 is a major goal.”

While the top 13 in points and the Rookie of the Year title are goals within his reach, he’s also hoping to get better every race. The Peach State competitor said he understands the valuable experience he’ll gain racing against the best driver’s dirt Late Model racing has to offer.

 “I’m only going to keep progressing from here,” Martin said. “I can keep running regional races all year long but going on a national tour will progress us as a driver for the future. The younger you are and the quicker you can get started learning new things, the better outcome you’ll get.” — Mike Warren

1:49 p.m. | Larson and synergy

Helping usher in sprint car racing’s newest national touring series, High Limit Racing, and preparing for a run at next spring’s Indianapolis 500, Kyle Larson couldn’t get busier. So where does Dirt Late Model racing now fit into his high-octane lifestyle?

Don’t worry, Larson fans, Rick Hendrick’s NASCAR Cup car isn’t the only fendered machine he still prioritizes.

“Yeah, no, it’s a busy year again,” Larson said Thursday at PRI. “I don’t know how many Late Model races I’m running off the top of my head right now. I’ll still get to run the Late Model a fair amount. Yeah, always racing for Kevin and Jacqueline, and their team. I’m looking forward to (Jan. 6-14’s Rio Grande Waste Services Wild West Shootout) at Vado (Speedway Park in New Mexico) and whatever else we have going forward.”

Larson last raced Kevin Rumley’s No. 6 Longhorn Chassis at June 2’s World of Outlaws Case Late Model Series event at Tri-City Speedway outside St. Louis, Mo. The 2021 NASCAR Cup champion has never gone this long between Late Model races since his memorable debut in August 2020 at Port Royal (Pa.) Speedway. The longest he’d been out of the Late Model before the six-month hiatus was three months between the 2021 and ’22 offseasons.

Larson's leadership in High Limit Racing — sprint car racing’s newest national tour — has given him the idea to form a strategic alliance with Rick Schwallie’s Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series. The thought behind that is to cross-pollinate the series and create synergy between the Late Model and sprint car communities, something that excites Larson.

“It’s just more opportunity for me to race and the crossover of the fan bases are important for me, to try and bring them closer together,” Larson said. “Yeah, we get to race with them a couple weekends. I think it’ll be fun. I had a lot of fun at Atomic (Speedway near Chillicothe, Ohio) last year when I did it (with the now defunct All Star Circuit of Champions). We’re looking forward to getting back out there and doing it again.

“Rick’s a great, great guy. He does a phenomenal job with the Lucas Oil Series. We’re happy to be able to partner with them."

Schwallie added that the growing relationship they have with Larson’s High Limit team that is "going to be good for everybody’s interest." The Lucas Oil Series and High Limit share dates Feb. 24 at Golden Isles Speedway near Brunswick, Ga., and Oct. 1 at Atomic Speedway.

“Golden Isles put on some great racing last year,” Larson said. “They have a good facility. I think that’ll be a fun event. I’m hoping we’ll transition a lot of Late Model fans into sprint car fans that night.”

1:27 p.m. | Focused on ’24

Garrett Alberson took a step back on the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series in 2023. His car owner, Ken Roberts, believes the 34-year-old driver from Las Cruces, N.M., is ready to rebound in ’24.

After going from five top-five and 19 top-10 finishes over 48 starts in his rookie 2022 season to three top-five and 16-top 10 runs in 51 races this season — and falling from seventh in the ’22 points standings to 11th in ’23 — Alberson is returning for a third straight Lucas Oil Series tour of duty with Roberts. The duo is confident they’ve righted their wrongs and will be on an upward trajectory once the calendar turns.

Roberts indicated while browsing the PRI show that the team has changed its off-season pattern with an eye on better results during the coming season.

“We’re taking the whole month of December off,” Roberts said. “Usually we do the Dome (Gateway Dirt Nationals in St. Louis), but this year we’re gonna just focus on our program to get better for the ’24 season and I can already see a difference. I can see a difference in the team, I can see a difference in our prep work. I just feel like we’re better prepared.

“I feel like it gives us a chance to look over our notes, and we’re finally kind of putting it all together. We’re just really excited going into ’24. I think we’ve got some good ideas and some good things that will hopefully elevate our program.”

Roberts, 61, said Alberson has put in some outside-the-cockpit time to improve.

“It’s kind of cool, we sent Garrett down to Charlotte during that (early November) weekend of the World of Outlaws (World Finals) just to hang out with different teams and it allowed him to just observe the tracks, observe the different teams and observe the cars,” Roberts related. “He kind of came back rejuvenated. Because he’s so focused on driving, now he came back thinking, You know, a lot of these ideas we talked about I’m actually seeing people implement. He said, ‘I’d kind of like to now move forward.’

“We sent him down to Bilstein (Shocks in North Carolina) for a day to work too. He came back and he started taking shocks apart and we’ve never done that.

“We’ve done some prep work just making sure the (Longhorn) cars are identical as possible so there’s no differences,” he continued. “And the main thing is, everything’s fresh, so brand new rear ends, everything gone through, transmissions, all the engines are all fresh. We feel like we’re going into the season 100 percent ready to roll and we’ve not been able to do that the last couple of years.”

Roberts said Alberson’s first 2024 action will come during the Jan. 6-14 Wild West Shootout at Vado (N.M.) Speedway Park before the team tackles the Lucas Oil Series at Georgia-Florida Speedweeks.

“We love the series. The people who are involved there to a really good job,” Roberts said of the Lucas Oil circuit. “We’ve now finally been to all the tracks, or most of these tracks, once or twice, so we feel now we have to put it all together. This is our year to elevate our program and we’re putting everything we have into it to make sure that happens.”

12:25 p.m. | Missouri youngster

Jace Parmley of Neosho, Mo., took a step forward with his Dirt Late Model pursuits in 2023. He recognizes, however, that he still has plenty to learn.

“I’m young, I’m 21, I’m chasing some experience,” he said while checking out the PRI show on Friday morning. “My car’s there, my crew’s there. It’s just coming down to me and being able to make some right decisions and getting more comfortable in the race car.”

A young veteran of six full-fender seasons, Parmley broke through this season with three victories, including two $1,000 Limited Late Model scores at Salina (Okla.) High Banks. His first came on April 21 with the Dirt Track Bank Cash Money Super Dirt Series and he repeated June 24 on the Complete Well Testing Sooner Series.

“One of them was on a last-lap pass and the other I did the high-side shuffle and was able to get the win,” said Parmley, who also captured a $1,000 Cash Money triumph on July 21 at Electric City Speedway in Butler, Mo.

Parmley “kind of stayed close to home” this year to run Limited Late Model and a smattering of open-competition events, but he hopes to spread his wings a little more next season with his 2019 Capital Chassis that is powered by an all-aluminum 406 cubic inch, 18-degree Chinook engine.

“We’re all about having fun and trying to get my name out there a little bit, so we’re planning on going up to Lucas (Oil Speedway in Wheatland, Mo.) and racing some more up there, take a shot at the Show-Me (100),” Parmley said. “Last year we came pretty close (to qualifying for the crown jewel event) and this year we’re hoping to make it in.”

12:19 p.m. | PRI tidbits

With members of the founding Wimpey family putting the 30-acre property up for sale, Ray Cook’s promotership at Tri-County Racetrack in Brasstown, N.C., has come to an end with no racing at the facility that's on the market. Cook has operated the track for 12 seasons with dozens of Super Late Model specials, including events on the Castrol FloRacing Night in America and of course Cook’s Schaeffer Oil-sponsored tours. The property is for sale at $1.25 million. … With Hoker Trucking’s three-year title sponsorship ending of Joe Kosiski’s eastern Iowa tour, Kosiski’s tours will be renamed Malvern Bank East and Malvern Bank West for 2024. The schedules will be released soon. Among changes for 2024 is $10,000 to the champion of the Malvern East circuit (up from $6,000) and a $25,000 Pot of Gold intraseries points fund for combined races with details to be announced. … An expected 10-race Castrol FloRacing Night in America schedule is expected to be released the week before Christmas. Macon (Ill.) Speedway is among at least two first-time tracks expected to appear on the schedule. ... The XR Northern Storm tour annnounced 2024 dates for Aug 5-10 with a whopping $20,444-to-win finale for WISSOTA Late Models. The miniseries runs at Princeton (Minn.) Speedway, Ogilvie (Minn.) Raceway, Hibbing (Minn.) Raceway, Halvor Lines Speedway in Proctor, Minn., Gondik Law Speedway in Superior, Wis., and then ABC, which is hosting its richest Late Model race and perhaps the most lucrative WISSOTA Late Model event in history.

12:07 p.m. | Cody Overton's new ride

Cody Overton didn't expect to leave Indiananpolis with a national touring ride, but the 26-year-old Evans, Ga., driver will after connecting with Dave Steine of the Tri Star Engines and Transmissions team. In a deal that quickly came together and was revealed today, Overton officially signed on as the driver of the Tri Star Engines and Transmissions team to run as a rookie in 2024 on the World of Outlaws Case Late Model Series. He replaces Ryan Gustin, who established himself as a winning national series driver with the Davenport, Iowa, team before departing to join Todd Cooney Racing. Taylon Center remains as crew chief for the Tri Star team. Check out Kyle McFadden's DirtWire for details.

11:38 a.m. | For mom and dad

Joe Kosiski and his family no longer own I-80 Speedway in Greenwood, Neb. — the track was, in fact, demolished after being sold in 2022 — but he’s still striving to “keep the Late Models and the series coming to our area.”

In that vein, Kosiski and his family’s auto parts and salvage businesses are involved as sponsors in the first-ever Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series event at Shelby County Speedway in Harlan, Iowa, a track that sits about one hour and 15 minutes northeast of the former I-80 Speedway.

Kosiski said he wanted to see a major national-level Dirt Late Model show close to his home in Omaha, Neb., and Shelby County certainly fits the bill. A $10,000-to-win Lucas Oil Series program is scheduled for the track on Tues., July 16, one day after the circuit visits Eagle (Neb.) Raceway — a sprint car facility that is barely 15 minutes from I-80 — and just before the tour spends three days at Huset’s Speedway in Brandon, S.D., for the July 18-20 Silver Dollar Nationals that was founded by Kosiski.

“My youngest brother (Steve) is still involved with them guys that work up there (at Shelby County) so they called and asked if me and Steve would do something (to help present a Lucas Oil event),” Kosiski said while browsing the Indiana Convention Center aisles on Friday afternoon.

Kosiski was happy to step up to assist Shelby County officials in the promotion of an event that will serve as a tribute to the Kosiski family, most notably Joe’s mother and father.

“My dad was the one who got all of us going and racing so heavy, and it’s what we do now,” said Kosiski, who will continue to oversee his twin Malvern Bank East and West tours for Late Models in 2024. “So we’re trying to help the racetrack and sponsoring that part of the race for them. We’re really doing it for my mom and dad for all that they’ve done.”

10:11 a.m. | Fly like an Eagle

Eagle (Neb.) Raceway will be hosting its first national touring Late Model event since 2004 with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series scheduled for a $10,000-to-win event on July 15. The track primarily focuses on sprint cars and open-wheel action, but Roger Haden, a former Late Model racer himself, hopes the track can put on a good show.

“When I first took over Eagle Raceway 18 years ago, I had been running the World of Outlaws Late Model Series a little bit, so I knew the people and we put a World of Outlaws Late Model race on that first year,” Haden said Friday while touring the show floor at PRI. “It was still talked about as one of the best races the Late Models had had over many, many years.

“So, since we announced that we were doing this Lucas (Oil Series) thing this time, I've had some of the drivers that I actually raced with clear back then calling. And they're like, ‘Man, I'm glad we're going to get to come back to the Eagle. That was the greatest race we ever ran 20 years ago.’ Hopefully we hold up to that. We’ve got a high standard now.”

He’s glad to bring the full-fendered cars back to Nebraska after the closure of I-80 Speedway in nearby Greenwood, the former host of the Silver Dollar Nationals (a $53,000-to-win Lucas Oil Series event that has since moved to Huset’s Speedway in Brandon, S.D.).

"I've had a lot of people asking for Late Models out there for years, and we'll dabble in it here and there with some little stuff, local-stuff type thing, but this would be the biggest Late Model thing we've done,” Haden said. “Really, I'm kind of saddened that the Kosiskis and the Silver Dollar (Nationals) went north, out of the state of Nebraska, so I wanted to at least give the local people the real full-blown Late Model show.

"I really anticipate this being a really big thing, to be honest with you. It’s been a couple of years without the Silver Dollar Nationals with the Lucas Oil Series in the area and everything really kind of lines up to where it should be a good event with all the cars from all the Late Model (high-profile) series coming on the way to South Dakota to Huset’s. So I think it will be a good race.”

He’s also confident the region’s sprint-car fans will embrace and understand Late Models, at least for one night.

"I'm pretty sure people know what goes in circles,” Haden said with smile.

9:53 a.m. | Texas can wait

The DIRTcar Summer Nationals is heading to Arkansas for the first time with a date at Riverside International Speedway in West Memphis — definitely a track that fits the tour’s up-on-the-wheel style — but if series director Sam Driggers had his way, the tour would’ve gone even farther Southwest.

While the Illinois-based tour’s schedule remained at five weeks like 2023, Driggers had considered a sixth week with events that would’ve taken the series to tracks including Arrowhead Speedway in Colcord, Okla., and Big O Speedway in Ennis, Texas, a track operated by former series regular Jim Moon.

Alas, a six-week schedule was “going to step on some other stuff” for tracks and series and “instead of creating conflict, I let it go,” Driggers said Thursday at the PRI show.

A Texas visit, 800 miles from central Illinois, would be as far-flung a trip as the Bob Memmer-founded tour has ever made, but Driggers reasons that with $25,000 points money paid out on a weekly basis, including $10,000 to the winner, it matters more if drivers follow a single week of series action instead of the entire tour.

“It’s a weekly point fund, so what difference does it make?” he said.

As it stands, no Texas tracks are on the schedule and even the Arkansas track isn’t too far from the western Tennessee border. Driggers didn’t rule out taking another shot next season.

“If I tell everybody that has a racetrack what I'm gonna do before I do it,” he said, “then maybe it will work.”

9:18 a.m. | Breakthroughs

Driver and PRI visitor Shaun Harrell of Hope Mills, N.C., is always good for knocking off at least a handful of victories in his region each season, but his four victories in 2023 were different in that three of them came at tracks where he’s struggled.

The 43-year-old who operates Carolina Concrete Finishing captured his first-ever race at Halifax County Motor Speedway in Brinkleyville, N.C., and, for the first time since 2012, at County Line Raceway, winning back-to-back Saturdays in June at the Elm City, N.C., oval.

“Probably the highlight (of 2023 was) at Halifax Speedway. We’ve been running there for several years now and we finally got us a win there. So that was pretty cool,” Harrell said Thursday afternoon. “And at County Line, we won a I-95 Challenge race there and it'd been like 10 years since I've won a race there, so it was a pretty cool year. Those tracks had kind of eluded us.”

Harrell’s fourth victory came at what’s probably his favorite track these days, Lake View Motor Speedway in Nichols, S.C. He’ll likely race at many of the same tracks in 2024, but after watching former Fayetteville (N.C.) Motor Speedway promoter Jim Long Jr. announce that Vision Wheel would be the new title sponsor of his 3-year-old Steel Block Bandits Series, Harrell is at least a little tempted to give it a shot on a tour that typically offers $5,000- and $10,000-to-win purses.

"He does put up good money for our class — Late Models — and a factor this year for me not running with him was work schedule. But I might run with him full time next year,” Harrell said. “He tries to improve it every year, which is what you want to do. But he definitely strives to do something and make it bigger and better than the previous year.”

9:02 a.m. | PRI tidbits

The show floor just reopened and it appears the Dirt Late Model crowd might be getting a later start this morning. ... Former Dirt Late Model racer Nick Lyons was touring the show Thursday with his 9-year-old son, Keatin Lyons. The fourth-grader at New Horizons Christian School in Centralia, Ill., was an 11-time feature winner on the KidModz Racing Series and is looking to move up to Crate Late Models in a Black Diamond Chassis for 2024. … Drivers can drop by the WISSOTA Promoter’s Association exhibit (Booth 3029) and drop their name in the box to get in a drawing for a free WISSOTA license. … Among Dirt Late Model cars on display and the booth: Brandon Overton (Strange Oval), Dave Hess Jr. (American Racer), Audie Swartz (DRP Performance Products), Bryan Bernheisel (Lazer Chassis) and Wil Herrington (Penske Shocks). Additionally Bilstein Shocks has a Late Model hanging high above its exhibit. ... The Schaeffer's Spring Nationals and Schaeffer's Southern Nationals schedules are set to be released in about an hour.

8:23 a.m. | Second day looms

Some may be moving slower than others for the second day of the show, either because folks had 20,000 steps on a busy first day or they may have enjoyed Thursday’s nightlife in downtown Indy a bit too much. There’s already a lengthy line at registration for new arrivals more than an hour before attendees can check out the exhibits.

We’ll be scouring the show floor for more news from Dirt Late Model teams and drivers, with one expected announcement today from the Dave and Judy Steine-owned Tri Star Engines and Transmissions team which previously fielded a car for World of Outlaws Case Late Model Series regular Ryan Gustin of Marshalltown, Iowa. With Gustin announcing in October he’d be driving a second car for fellow Iowan Todd Cooney on the WoO circuit, we’ll see who will fill the Tri Star team’s seat and whether they’ll continue running a national tour as the team has done for two consecutive seasons.

We’ll also be seeing what other Dirt Late Model schedules may drop with the Comp Cams Super Dirt Series slate promised sometime during the show. We’ll also check on schedules for Ray Cook’s Schaeffer's Spring Nationals and Schaeffer's Southern Nationals and other circuits, although a healthy number of races have been scheduled for 2024 (we have about 337 officially announced races on our master schedule so far, mostly for Super Late Model events; among dozens of series and independent events, our master schedule typically has 1,100 or so events listed annually).

And after the show floor closes tonight, the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series folks will be heading to Lucas Oil stadium for the postseason banquet. Hudson O’Neal will celebrate the first Lucas Oil championship for the Rocket Chassis house car team and the series will hand out an array of other honors, including the Mike Swims Award. You can watch the banquet at FloRacing.

Editor's note: Reporting by DirtonDirt.com staffers Kyle McFadden and Todd Turner along with other DirtonDirt.com contributors and staffers (some credited specifically); remote assistance from staffers Kevin Kovac and Aaron Clay.

Sponsor 1249
Sponsor 728
©2006-Present FloSports, Inc. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Cookie Preferences / Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information