Bristol Motor Speedway
UMP launching division for crate Late Models
By Kevin KovacDIRT Motorsports
UMP DIRTcar Racing will offer its first division that uses crate engines exclusively with the 2008 introduction of the Pro Late Model class, organization officials announced today.
Designed to provide racers an economical pathway to UMP DIRTcar Racing’s marquee Super Late Model and open-wheel modified divisions, the Pro Late Models will combine the increasingly popular crate-engine concept with UMP DIRTcar Racing’s trademark uniform technical rules and other cost-cutting measures.
Tracks spread across Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee and other states are expected to be part of the UMP DIRTcar Racing Pro Late Model program in 2008.
“For the last three years the biggest question I’ve heard from people has been, ‘When is UMP DIRTcar Racing going to offer a crate Late Model division?’ ” said UMP director Sam Driggers. “I’ve repeated that we’ve just been waiting for the right time to do it — and that time has come.”
The centerpiece of the Pro Late Model class will be the GM 602 and 604 crate engines. Aspiring competitors will be able to purchase the durable powerplants at a cost of approximately $3,500 (GM 602) or $5,000 (604).
UMP's standard Late Model body and chassis rules will be used for the Pro Late Models. Additional rules, including mandates on such items as shocks and tire compounds, will be put in place to help keep costs in check.
Complete Pro Late Model rules and information about purchasing GM crate engines will be available within the next week by visiting the UMP DIRTcar racing website or calling the UMP DIRTcar Racing office at (812) 426-1200.
The Pro Late Models will compete for UMP national and state points championships in 2008, said Driggers.
“We invite all UMP DIRTcar Racing tracks currently running crate motor Late Model classes to join our Pro Late Model division in 2008,” Driggers said. “We see the division growing every year and serving as a great steppingstone to our Super Late Models and open-wheel modifieds.”