Series previews: Peeking at regional touring plans
By Todd TurnerDirtonDirt.com chief writer
Focus during Florida Speedweeks will be on the national travelers with the World of Outlaws Late Model Series and Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, but many of the regional tours are making big plans for the 2010 season. DirtonDirt.com checks in with series throughout the country to see who's running at new tracks, who's instituting new rules and who is boosting points funds. Check out complete capsules for each series for the North, South, Midwest and West with these links, and get a preview below of regional highlights:
Iowa's Dart Corn Belt Clash hopes to double the series points fund. ... The Dart Challenge Series is considering a westward journey to South Dakota, Wyoming and Montana. .... Double-file restarts have been instituted for Deery Brothers Summer Series features. ... The Lucas Oil MLRA series launches the season with the $6,000-to-win Bud Purkey Memorial at Mid-America Motor Speedway. ... The Kansas-based Midwest Dirt Late Model Series plans three trips to Minneapolis (Kan.) Raceway in its second season. ... O'Reilly NCRA and MARS are part of a $10,000-to-win event at the Great American Dirt Track in Jetmore, Kan. ... All but three MARS events pay $3,000-to-win or more. ... Randy Mooneyham takes promotional reins of Race Brothers Show Me Racing Series, allows open carburetors. ... Sunoco American Late Model Series returns to I-96 (Mich.) Speedway for first time since 1997. ... Nebraska-based Super Late Model Racing Series considers paying runner-up more than winner. ... Officials plan to lower winning purses on UMP DIRTcar Summernationals to spread more money among the other top finishers.
Second-year Appalachian Mountain Speedweek comes back with same seven tracks, plans to boost points fund. ... Pennsylvania-based Mid-Atlantic Championship Series closes its doors. ... Northern Tier ULMS plans most ambitious schedule, including five races at Stateline Speedway in Busti, N.Y. ... Schedule isn't complete, but the Ontario Dirt Late Models may run eight races at eight different tracks. ... O'Reilly All Stars plan tighter regional focus with schedule. ... Virginia-based Steel Block Bandits land pair of $5,000-to-win events, the Western Maryland Nationals in Cumberland, Md., and Hillbilly 50 in Mineral Wells, W.Va. ... UFO starts season March 27 with first-ever visit to Mercer (Pa.) Raceway Park.
Becoming the first Super Late Model tour in six years to mandate Goodyear Racing Tires, the Kentucky-based Battle of the Bluegrass DirtCar Series signs a three-year deal that will leave Hoosier and American Racer on the outside looking in. ... Mid-South Racing Association lands Comp Cams sponsorship (after losing O'Reilly Auto Parts) and plans four-race RiceTec Summer Shootout. ... Mississippi State Championship Challenge may run all its event south of Interstate 20. ... O'Reilly Southern Nationals adds East Alabama Motor Speedway to schedule. ... O'Reilly SUPR runs nine races in Texas, the most since '98. ... Four promoters including Johnny Stokes and Rodney Wing launch the Mississippi-based Professional Racing Organization Dirt Car Series for Super Late Models. ... Southern All Stars hire Brad Byrd as series director. ... The Southern Regional Racing Series starts season with Green Valley's $10,000-to-win Bama Bash. ... Splitting into Northern and Southern divisions, the Sunoco United Dirt Late Model Challenge Series will pay two champions $10,000. .... Tennessee Thunder DirtCar Series goes on hiatus. ... Tennessee gets new tour with Volunteer Racing Series.
The Colorado Late Model Association joins DIRTcar banner and aims for 20 races, including events at two new Colorado ovals. ... Cottage Grove (Ore.) Speedway signs on with Oregon-based Northwest I-5 DIRTcar Late Model Tour, but powerful Willamette Speedway hasn't announced its 2010 plans regarding the series. ... Southwest Dirt Racing Association's title sponsorship from Total Seal Pistons Rings triples the points fund with the champ earning $12,000. ... California's Western Allstars schedule uncertain with the expansion of the West Coast Late Model Shootout, which blossomed out of last year's Santa Maria-Bakersfield partnership. ... No races scheduled yet, but the Colorado-based Western Dirt Racing Association plans to muddle through tough economic times.
Correction: Fixes MLRA title sponsorship