Lucas Oil Series notebook
Five new tracks highlight Lucas Oil's 2014 slate
The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series will have some new flavor on its 2014 tour with five new tracks highlighting the 47-race schedule officials with the national tour released Saturday. The tour’s 11th season will see the series visit 19 states with the series visiting two states for the first time. | 2014 Lucas Oil schedule
The five new tracks to the series schedule are ArkLaTex Speedway in Vivian, La.; Outlaw Motor Speedway in Muskogee, Okla.; Macon (Ill.) Speedway; Smoky Mountain Speedway in Maryville, Tenn.; and 201 Speedway in Sitka, Ky. The events at ArLaTex and Outlaw Motor Speedway mark the tour’s first-ever events in Louisiana and Oklahoma respectively.
The tour will continue its sanctioning of a number of the sport’s big-purse events like the Knoxville Nationals (Sept. 25-27) at Knoxville (Iowa) Raceway, Show-Me 100 (May 23-24) at Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, Mo., Topless 100 (Aug. 15-16) at Batesville (Ark.) Motor Speedway, North-South 100 (Aug. 8-9) at Florence Speedway in Union, Ky., and Brownstown (Ind.) Speedway’s Jackson 100 (Sept. 19-20).
The Carl Short-promoted Hillbilly 100 (Aug. 31) and Dirt Track World Championship (Oct. 17-18) are both also on the schedule again in 2014, but the venues haven’t been announced.
The series will once again open the season with a trip south for February’s Georgia-Florida Speedweeks, but for the first time kick off the season at Golden Isles Speedway in Brunswick, Ga., with three events during the Super Bowl of Racing Feb. 6-8. A $5,000-to-win event on Feb. 6 is a non-points race with $10,000-to-win events on Feb. 7-8 both paying full series points. Both of the final two races will be filmed for a tape-delayed broadcast on multiple networks.
The Lucas Oil Series has held one previous event at Golden Isles’ 4/10-mile oval, a race won by four-time series champion Earl Pearson Jr. of nearby Jacksonville, Fla., in 2008. While the Lucas Oil Series is sanctioning the Super Bowl of Racing for the first time this season, the event has been a staple of the traditional Georgia-Florida Speedweeks slate since track owner Frankie Lloyd launched the event in 2005.
Besides the addition of five new tracks and the sanctioning of the Super Bowl of Racing, the schedule mostly has the framework of recent years, beginning with more Speedweeks action at East Bay Raceway Park’s 28th annual Winternationals. The series returns to East Bay in Gibsonton, Fla., for the 10th straight season to sanction all six Winternationals events Feb. 10-15. The Feb. 14-15 events will be taped for television broadcasts with the Feb. 14 event to be aired live on MAVTV.
To make room for the new tracks, the series has scheduled four tripleheader weekends on next year’s tour. The first includes two of the new tracks as part of an April 4-6 stretch that kicks off at Jackson Motor Speedway in Byram, Miss., on Friday, before heading to ArkLaTex Saturday and Outlaw Motor Speedway on Sunday.
The tour’s first-ever visit to the tiny sixth-mile oval of Macon (Ill.) Speedway kicks off the season’s second tripleheader on Thursday, May 1. The first of the tour’s two events at Tri-City Speedway in Pontoon Beach, Ill., follows on May 2 with a trip to Paducah (Ky.) International Raceway set for May 3.
The Fourth of July weekend will feature three events again in 2014, kicking off with an event at Muskingum County Speedway Zanesville, Ohio, on July 3 followed by Portsmouth (Ohio) Raceway Park’s event on July 4. Another new track appears on July 5 with the tour heading south to 201 Speedway in Sitka, Ky.
The other new track is scheduled as part of a doubleheader header weekend June 20-21 with Smoky Mountain Speedway in Maryville, Tenn., hosting the series on June 21, following a June 20 event at Cherokee Speedway in Gaffney, S.C.
The tour will host a total of nine events paying at least $20,000 to the winner in 2014 with the Clash at The Mag (June 13-14) at Magnolia Motor Speedway in Columbus, Miss., and the Silver Dollar Nationals (July 18-19) at I-80 Speedway in Greenwood, Neb., joining the previously mentioned big-money events on the series schedule.