Bristol Motor Speedway
Topless 100 highlights 2008 Lucas Oil schedule
From series and staff reports
Three events paying at least $40,000 to the winner, including the previously unsanctioned Topless 100 at Batesville (Ark.) Motor Speedway, highlight the 2008 Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series schedule. The 4-year-old tour on Tuesday afternoon announced a schedule with 39 races in 16 states for 2008, and increase of six events from 2007.
The $47,000-to-win Topless 100, the richest event on the tour, is scheduled for Aug. 15-16 and marks the first-ever series event in Arkansas. Two other big-purse events — paying $40,000 to the winner in 2008, up $15,000 from 2007 — are the Diamond Nationals on May 9-10 at Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, Mo., and the Hillbilly 100 on Aug. 31. The Hillbilly 100 has been run in previous years at Tyler County Speedway in Middlebourne, W.Va., but a site for the 2008 version of one of the nation's oldest events hasn't been announced.
Another major race, the 29th annual Jackson 100 at Brownstown (Ind.) Speedway, received a purse bump and a later date. The $20,000-to-win event (up $5,000 from 2007) traditionally held in August shifts to Sept. 19-20 at the south-central Indiana oval.
Besides Batesville, the Lucas Oil tour has five other new venues in 2008: Screven Motor Speedway in Sylvania, Ga.; Bedford (Pa.) Speedway; Hilltop Speedway in Millersburg, Ohio; Winchester (Va.) Speedway; and Lawrenceburg (Ind.) Speedway. Returning to the schedule will be Golden Isles Speedway in Brunswick, Ga., Cherokee Speedway in Gaffney, S.C., and K-C Raceway in Alma, Ohio.
Many tracks from 2007 are back on the schedule, including Rome (Ga.) Speedway and Dixie Speedway in Woodstock, Ga., two tracks that canceled 2007 events after the death of promoter Mike Swims. The Rome-Dixie doubleheader wraps up the season Oct. 3-4.
"We are very pleased with the way the schedule has turned out for next season," said series director Ritchie Lewis. "It just shows the strength of the series that the tracks were calling us immediately after our season was over to make sure they got a date for next year."
As usual, the season kicks off with six consecutive nights of racing at East Bay Raceway Park near Tampa, Fla., for the 32nd annual Winternationals. The Feb. 4-9 action is capped by a $12,000-to-win event.
Winning purses for 2008 total nearly $470,000 for the 39 events, 12 of which are scheduled to be taped by the Speed cable network for later telecast. The 2007 tour featured 18 winners in 33 races with more than 630 drivers competing. Earl Pearson Jr. of Jacksonville, Fla., won the championship for the third consecutive year.
2008 Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series schedule
Date, Track, location, winning purse
Feb. 4, East Bay Raceway Park, Gibsonton, Fla., $5,000
Feb. 5, East Bay Raceway Park, Gibsonton, Fla., $5,000
Feb. 6, East Bay Raceway Park, Gibsonton, Fla., $5,000
Feb. 7, East Bay Raceway Park, Gibsonton, Fla., $10,000
Feb. 8, East Bay Raceway Park, Gibsonton, Fla., $10,000
Feb. 9, East Bay Raceway Park, Gibsonton, Fla., $12,000
March 29, Brownstown (Ind.) Speedway, $10,000
April 4, Screven Motor Speedway, Sylvania, Ga., $10,000
April 5, Golden Isles Speedway, Brunswick, Ga., $10,000
April 12, K-C Raceway, Alma, Ohio, $10,000
April 25, Bedford (Pa.) Speedway, $7,000
April 26, Hagerstown (Md.) Speedway $10,000
May 2, Kentucky Lake Motor Speedway, Calvert City, Ky., $9,999
May 3, Kentucky Lake Motor Speedway, Calvert City, Ky., $9,999
May 9-10, Lucas Oil Speedway, Wheatland, Mo., $40,000
May 16, Farley (Iowa) Speedway, $10,000
May 17, La Salle (Ill.) Speedway, $10,000
May 30, Hilltop Speedway, Millersburg, Ohio, $7,000
May 31, Florence Speedway, Union, Ky., $10,000
June 12, Duck River Speedway, Wheel, Tenn., $7,000
June 13, North Georgia Speedway, Chatsworth, Ga., $10,000
June 14, Talladega Short Track, Eastaboga, Ala., $10,000
June 20, Cherokee Speedway, Gaffney, S.C., $7,000
June 21, Fayetteville (N.C.) Motor Speedway, $10,000
July 3, Muskingum County Speedway, Zanesville, Ohio, $10,000
July 4, Tazewell (Tenn.) Speedway, $10,000
July 5, Volunteer Speedway, Bulls Gap, Tenn., $10,000
July 11, North Alabama Speedway, Tuscumbia, Ala., $7,000
July 12, Columbus (Miss.) Speedway, $10,000
July 18, Tri-City Speedway, Granite City, Ill., $10,000
July 19, Lucas Oil Speedway, Wheatland, Mo., $10,000
Aug. 1, Winchester (Va.) Speedway, $7,000
Aug. 2, Hagerstown (Md.) Speedway, $10,000
Aug. 15-16, Batesville Motor Speedway, Locust Grove, Ark., $47,000
Aug. 22, Lawrenceburg (Ind.) Speedway, $7,000
Aug. 23, Bluegrass Speedway, Bardstown, Ky., $10,000
Aug. 30, Portsmouth (Ohio) Raceway Park, $10,000
Aug. 31, Hillbilly 100 (site to be determined), $40,000
Sept. 19-20, Brownstown (Ind.) Speedway, $20,000
Oct. 3, Rome (Ga.) Speedway, $10,000
Oct. 4, Dixie Speedway, Woodstock, Ga., $15,000