Bristol Motor Speedway
Notes: O'Reilly All Stars post 20-race schedule
The most ambitious regional Dirt Late Model tour launched in several years has released an ambitious schedule for the 2009 season. The O'Reilly All Star Late Model Series has announced a 20-race slate of events paying at least $5,000 to win at 18 tracks in eight states.
Among highlights of the schedule is the $10,000-to-win Yankee Doodle 50 at Central Pennsylvania Speedway in Clearfield, Pa., on July 3, a May 29-30 Michigan weekend at Hartford Speedway and Butler Motor Speedway and the season-ending, $7,500-to-win Fall Classic at Natural Bridge (Va.) Speedway on Oct. 2-3.
Series president Guy Webb, who developed the series after buying out the Dean Miracle-promoted Independent Racing Series in 2008, said he was aiming for a 30-race schedule with events within an eight-hour drive of Columbus, Ohio. Series director Jason Shank thinks they've achieved a driver-friendly tour with a schedule that should grow in coming weeks.
"With the fluctuation of fuel costs and not knowing what (fuel prices) will be during the summer months, that is a huge component in what we, as a series, were trying to accomplish," Shank said. "We have up to 10 additional events that are as close as crossing some T’s and dotting some I’s away from being finalized. Those events will be released as soon as they are firm.”
Webb hopes to draw several regional travelers after posting a $50,000 guaranteed points fund along with a tow-money package for the top 10 in series points that pushes the total points fund close to $150,000.
Webb, who also promotes the O'Reilly All Star Circuit of Champions sprint car series, has reincarnated the All-Star Circuit of Champion Late Model Series that dissolved in 1993. By using Ohio as its base, the series balances itself between the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions much like the defunct STARS circuit did a dozen years ago.
Lernerville Speedway in Sarver, Pa., starts the series season April 17, and the tour returns to Lernerville for a Sept. 4 event opening Labor Day weekend.
Eight multiple-race weekends of two or more races also dot the schedule. Those weekends begin May 8-9 with events at Potomac Speedway in Budds Creek, Md. (the event farthest from Columbus) and Winchester (Va.) Speedway.
Among other multiple-race weekends are July 19-20 at Elkins (W.Va.) Speedway and Tyler County Speedway in Middlebourne, W.Va; July 17-18 at Twin Cities Raceway Park in North Vernon, Ind., and Lawrenceburg (Ind.) Speedway; July 24-25 at Hilltop Speedway in Millersburg, Ohio, and Waynesfield (Ohio) Motorsports Park; and Aug. 14-16 at Kankakee County (Ill.) Speedway, Vermilion County Speedway in Danville, Ill., and Terre Haute (Ind.) Action Track. — Todd Turner
FOUR MACS RACES SCHEDULED: The Mid-Atlantic Championship Series has made piecemeal announcements of four summer events for the 2009 season. Portsmouth (Ohio) Raceway Park hosts the $10,000-to-win Pepsi 75 on the Fourth of July. The Aug. 7-8 weekend features the $5,000-to-win Bobby Allen Memorial at Potomac Speedway in Budds Creek, Md., followed by the $11,000-to-win USA 100 at Virginia Motor Speedway in Jamaica, Va. On Sept. 19, MACS competitors run the $5,000-to-win Apple Festival Nationals at Sharon Speedway in Hartford, Ohio. The 11-year-old tour ran seven events the last season, the fewest in a single series season. — From series reports
ULMS POSTS 13-RACE SCHEDULE: The Northern Tier United Late Model Series added events at northeast Ohio's Raceway 7 and Little Valley (N.Y.) Speedway to expand its 2009 schedule to 13 races, including six events at McKean County Raceway in East Smethport, Pa. The event at Raceway 7, the track near Conneaut scheduled to be promoted by Lorain County Speedway promoter Terry Adams in 2009, will be the first ULMS race there since 2003. Other ULMS events are scheduled to Tri-City Speedway in Franklin, Pa., Arcade International Raceway in Delevan, N.Y., and Woodhull (N.Y.) Raceway. The season openers April 25 at McKean County for the $2,000-to-win Jim Duffy Memorial. — From series reports
TRI-CITY SOLD TO H&H MOTORSPORTS: Rich Hetrick and Roy Hill, the new owners of Tri-City Speedway in Franklin, Pa., plan to continue running weekly Fastrak Crate Late Models at the Sunday night track, as well as add more Super Late Model specials, Hetrick said. H&H Motorsports recently completed purchase of the half-mile track from Mike Graham and Roger Crick, who operated the track from 1996-2008 after it lay dormant for nine years. "Roger and I believe that Rich and Roy will be excellent owners," Graham said. "Their preliminary plans are impressive and we wanted to sell Tri-City Speedway to them because we believe it is in good hands." Besides weekly Fastrak events, among Super Late Model specials expected are with the O'Reilly All Stars and the World of Outlaws Late Model Series (Sept. 5-6). — From track reports
STATELINE CHAMP LOSES LONG-TIME RIDE: Rich Gardner of Waterford, Pa., a 31-year racing veteran, may not get a chance to defend his 2008 championship at Stateline Speedway in Busti, N.Y., because car owner Toby Jordan of Tobber Race Cars is cutting back. “The tough economy hasn’t ignored the racing world, that’s for sure," said Gardner, who recently retired from UPS. "Money is tight everywhere and we were unable to secure the proper sponsorship that is required to field a top-notch Super Late." Gardner told the Erie (Pa.) Times-News he might run Jordan's car in occasional big-purse events and hasn't ruled out driving for another car owner if the car was capable. Gardner has 53 career victories and nine championships, including five in a row at Eriez Speedway from 2000-04. — From team and special reports
ONTARIO DIRT LATE MODELS SCHEDULE FIVE RACES: The Ontario Dirt Late Models have scheduled five summer races at five racetracks for the 2009 season. Humberstone Speedway opens the season Aug. 2 while Brighton Speedway hosts the Sept. 19 finale. In between is a three-race weekend on Aug. 14-16 with events at Autodrome Edelweiss, Brockville Ontario Speedway and Cornwall Motor Speedway. All the races pay $2,000 to the winner except for the opener, which pays $3,000. Greg Oakes of Franklinville, N.Y. won 2008's series championship. — From series reports
ODDS AND ENDS: Central Pennsylvania Speedway announced its 2009 Yankee Doodle 50 will pay a track-high $10,000 to the winner. The 34th running of the July 3 event will be sanctioned by O'Reilly All Stars. ... Eriez Speedway near Erie, Pa., has scheduled the Dick Litz Memorial for June 14. The $2,900-to-win event will pay at least $290 to each of 29 starters.