Barberville, FL — From the Alltel Fan Zone to the massive infield video screen to the breathtaking action on the track, the 37th Annual Alltel DIRTcar Nationals launch on Tuesday night at Volusia Speedway Park was a rousing success.
With 74 UMP DIRTcar Modifieds and 52 410-Sprint Cars, the action was fast and furious all night long in near perfect weather.
Jesse Stovall of Branson , Mo. , captured the first feature of the night by driving from fifth to first in his modified while Donny Schatz of Fargo , N.D. , raced past Jason Meyers to capture the Sprint Car main event.
With their victories, Stovall and Schatz became the first two of a potential 24 different drivers vying to become the Alltel All-Star as there are two feature events on each of the 12 nights of the Alltel DIRTcar Nationals. Now it’s up to the fans to decide what driver will win the $12,000 cash prize.
Fans can to go to AlltelAllStar.com and choose their favorite Alltel All-Star, or text #52191 plus his letter code (available at alltelallstar.com). Voting opened at 9 a.m. on Feb.6, and will remain open until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, March 16. The winning driver will be named in a special ceremony shortly thereafter.
“That’s wild, fan interaction is what we’re all here for,” said Schatz, the two-time and defending Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series champion. “We all appreciate the fans being in the stands, and any time you can come out with a little extra cash on top is good, too. It would be pretty cool to be voted that rather than win it on the track.”
Stovall is a standout competitor in his native Missouri , but he was clearly thrilled with his victory on Tuesday night.
“It’s been a dream for me to even get to come down here, and to win a race on the first night is unreal, I’m beside myself,” Stovall said. “It’d be a great thing if everybody would vote for me.”
The 37th Annual Alltel DIRTcar Nationals runs from Feb. 5-16 and features the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series™, the World of Outlaws Late Model Series™, the Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series™, UMP DIRTcar Racing™ Late Models and Open Wheel Modifieds, and the All Star Circuit of Champions over 12 consecutive nights from Feb. 5 through Feb. 16. Each night includes two feature events so by the end of the event, there is the potential for 24 different drivers to be eligible for the online poll.
Alltel is owner and operator of the nation’s largest wireless network and has more than 12 million customers. For more information about Alltel, please visit www.alltel.com.