Lucas Oil Series notebook
Lucas Oil plans 44 races at 30 tracks next season
The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series on Monday released its 2013 schedule with a planned 44 events at 30 tracks in 20 states. Boasting 11 events paying at least $20,000 to the winner, the national tour’s season will once again kick off its ninth season with February’s Dart Winternationals at East Bay Raceway Park in Gibsonton, Fla., and wrap up with the $50,000-to-win Dirt Track World Championship at Portsmouth (Ohio) Raceway Park. | Schedule
Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn., will lead the series into the new season fresh off his season consecutive series championship. Winning seven of the tour’s 43 events in 2012, Owens topped Don O’Neal of Martinsville, Ind., by 470 points in the final standings. O’Neal, who scored a series-best 11 victories, finished second in the standings for the third time in his career.
“The 2012 season was another great year. We feel that we have the best show in Dirt Late Model Racing, and I can’t thank our promoters, my staff, our drivers, car owners, sponsors, and our fans enough for their support,” series director Ritchie Lewis said. “Lucas Oil and our Team Lucas partners have put together a great infrastructure for making the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series the foremost national late model touring series in the country.”
The series will once again sanction some of the sport’s biggest events in 2013. Highlights of the schedule include traditional crown jewel events such as the $30,000-to-win Show-Me 100 May 24-25 at Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, Mo.; the $50,000-to-win North-South 100 Aug. 9-10 at Florence Speedway in Union, Ky.; the COMP Cams Topless 100 Aug. 16-17 at Batesville (Ark.) Motor Speedway; the Knoxville Late Model Nationals, a three-race event Sept. 26-28 at Knoxville (Iowa) Speedway that concludes with a $40,000-to-win finale; and the DTWC Oct. 18-19, which returns to Portsmouth for the second straight year after being held there for the first time last season.
Other major events on the series schedule include the Virginia Motor Speedway’s Commonwealth 100 April 12-13, I-80 Speedway’s Silver Dollar Nationals July 19-20, the Hillbilly Hundred at Sept. 1 at West Virginia’s I-77 Raceway Park and the Jackson 100 Sept. 20-21 at Brownstown Speedway.
Several events on the schedule have increased their purse monies for the 2013 season. The 21st annual Show-Me 100 on Memorial Day Weekend will add $10,000 to the overall purse for the feature event including an increase to at least $1,500 for each driver starting the main event. In addition, drivers failing to transfer to the feature event will now receive $250, up from last years $100.
The 21st annual COMP Cams Topless 100 at Moonie Star’s Batesville Motor Speedway has picked up an additional sponsor for 2013 in Crop Production Services, an agricultural retail supplier doing business in 48 states. With the added sponsorship, there will be two additional starting positions added to the 100-lap feature event with an additional $15,000 in cash monies to the consolation races for drivers not transferring to the main event.
Overall, the 2013 schedule sticks closely to the tour’s 2012 schedule. Returning to the tour for the first time since 2009, Swainsboro (Ga.) Raceway is the only track on the schedule that didn’t host a race in 2012. The half-mile oval kicks off a tripleheader weekend on June 20 that leads into events at Cherokee Speedway in Gaffney, S.C., and Wythe Raceway in Wytheville, Va., the following two nights. Utica-Rome Speedway in Vernon, N.Y., and Fonda (N.Y.) Speedway are the only tracks not back on the series in 2013 after hosting events in 2012.