Concord,NC — DIRTcar Download is your source for everything in DIRTcar Racing. Throughout the season, you’ll find weekly news, notes and track and driver spotlights from across DIRTcar Racing’s regions.
DIRTcar Racing Western Region:
Driver Spotlight – Anthony Madrid: Dirt racing fans in the Southwest are used to hearing the name Anthony Madrid announced in Victory Lane at the end of the night – after UMP DIRTcar Racing Modified features. In 2008 fans often saw Madrid climbing out of his open-wheel No. 5m machine waving a checkered flag at the famed Manzanita Speedway in Phoenix, Ariz.
This year, however, Madrid will take on a new challenge as he regularly straps into a DIRTcar Super Late Model and takes on the best full-fender racers in the DIRTcar Racing Southwest Region.
“I’ll be driving a Late Model full time (in DIRTcar Racing Southwest Region events) this year,” said Madrid, a Phoenix resident who claimed the UMP DIRTcar Modified Wild West Region championship in 2008. “We have 16 to 18 races to do.”
Driving for car owner Jeff Manka, Madrid will focus on the events that comprise the DIRTcar Racing-sanctioned Southwest Dirt Racing Association (SWDRA) Super Late Model Series by DQ. He’s a novice in the dirt Late Model division, but with multiple championships in different divisions throughout his career in the southwestern United States and a great track record in limited Late Model starts, he’s certainly ready for the challenge.
“I’ve only driven a Late Model two or three times,” commented Madred, “and I’ve won twice.”
Madrid’s first dirt Late Model triumph came last year when he won an SWDRA tour event at Manzanita Speedway in his first career start in the division. His second came last month when he started the 2009 season off on the right foot, capturing the SWDRA opener on Manzanita’s inner one-third-mile oval.
Last month’s Manzy victory proved to be special for Madrid due to the fact that Manzanita’s owners have announced that the track has been sold and will cease operations after a grand finale weekend on April 9-11 that includes an SWDRA Late Model event on Fri., April 10.
“It’s a bummer. It’s like our playground,” Madrid said of the closing of Manzanita, a track where he’s won well over 100 features in various divisions during his career. “It’s historical and will be a big loss for everyone. Hopefully they’ll build something else around here, but it just won’t be the same as Manzy.”
Make no mistake – Madrid will still offer the Southwest’s fans plenty of exciting performances this year as one of the most talented drivers in the region takes on yet another challenge in his already impressive career.
Hogge Crowned: Salinas, Calif.’s Bobby Hogge IV claimed the Gary Jacob Memorial on March 28 at Kings Speedway in Hanford, Calif., launching the 2009 DIRTcar Western Allstars Late Model Series.
Hogge, who was the runner up in the tour’s 2008 points standings, captured a memorial event that is special to many in the motorsports community because it’s named for the late Gary Jacob, a legendary motorsports writer who documented the efforts of many racers who competed on the West Coast.
Like Jacobs did with his journalistic efforts, the best dirt Late Model drivers on the West Coast painted a vivid, and sometimes three-wide, picture at the fast three-eighths-mile facility.
Polesitter Jeff Decker finished second in the event, followed by befending Western Allstars champion Chris Shannon of Merced, Calif., who climbed from the rear of the pack after a consolation race win to place third.
The Western Allstars tour makes its next stop on Sat., April 18, at to Chowchilla Speedway.
USA Hosts SWDRA: Beginning this Saturday night (April 4) at USA Race Park in Tucson, Ariz., the battle for the 2009 DIRTcar Racing Southwest Region Super Late Model Region championship will really heat up.
Saturday’s action at the three-eighths-mile oval features the resumption of the DIRTcar Racing-sanctioned Southwest Dirt Racing Association (SWDRA) Super Late Model Series by DQ, which has already contested two competitive events in 2009 and recently released an updated schedule boasting more dates than originally announced.
2009 Southwest Dirt Racing Association Super Late Model Series Schedule (updated):
March 7, USA Race Park/Tucson, Ariz. (Lonnie Parker Jr.)
March 14, Manzanita Speedway/Phoenix, Ariz. (Anthony Madrid)
April 4, USA Race Park/Tucson, Ariz.
April 10, Manzanita Speedway/Phoenix, Ariz.
May 9, USA Race Park/Tucson, Ariz.;
May 23, Canyon Speedway Park/Phoenix, Ariz.
May 24, Canyon Speedway Park/Phoenix, Ariz.
June 6, USA Race Park/Tucson, Ariz.
July 10, Great Basin Speedway/Ely, Nev. (non-points)
July 11, Great Basin Speedway/Ely, Nev. (non-points)
July 18, Prescott Valley Raceway/Prescott Valley, Ariz.
July 31, Hollywood Hills Raceway/San Felipe, N.M.
Aug. 1, Hollywood Hills Raceway/San Felipe, N.M.
Sept. 5, Canyon Speedway Park/Phoenix, Ariz.
Sept. 6, Canyon Speedway Park/Phoenix, Ariz.
Sept. 19, Prescott Valley Raceway/Prescott Valley, Ariz.
Oct. 3, USA Race Park/Tucson, Ariz.;
Oct. 31, USA Race Park/Tucson, Ariz.
UMP DIRTcar Racing:
Track Spotlight – Macon Speedway: The venerable Macon (Ill.) Speedway will swing open its gates for the 2009 season this Saturday night (April 4) with the second edition of the ‘Spring Fling.’
The special lidlifter at the one-fifth-mile oval boasts increased payouts for UMP DIRTcar Late Models and UMP DIRTcar Modifieds. Also on the card will be UMP DIRTcar action for Sportsman, Street Stocks and 4-Cylinder Hornets.
Gates open on Saturday at 5 p.m., with qualifying set for 7 p.m. and racing action kicking off at 7:30 p.m. Adult tickets are $10 at the gate and kids 12 and under are free.
For more information, visit Macon Speedway on the web at www.maconracing.com
Tour Time: UMP DIRTcar Super Late Model racers have a new tour to chase in 2009.
Under the direction of Farmer City Raceway/Lincoln Speedway promoters Don and Bonny Hammer, the Monster Midwest Series will provide a points-chasing option for racers in the central Illinois area. Currently 22 events at 13 different tracks are scheduled, with two additional dates still to be announced.
After a week-long Monster Midwest Series organized by the Hammers in late-May 2008 proved successful (Kevin Weaver of Gibson City, Ill., emerged as the champion), the concept was expanded to a full tour running from April through October. The Monster Midwest Series kicks off with a $5,000-to-win special on April 24 at Kankakee (Ill.) County Speedway and concludes with a two-day finale paying $10,000 to win on Oct. 23-24 at Lincoln Speedway.
“This is something that’s needed in this area,” said Don Hammer, who has attempted to schedule all the tour’s events at tracks located within a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Bloomington, Ill. “It’s going to bring good cars to the tracks and give the fans real exciting shows.”
Tracks set to host Monster Midwest Series events include Farmer City, Lincoln, Kankakee, Shepp’s Speedway in Alexander, Ill., Peoria (Ill.) Speedway, La Salle (Ill.) Speedway, Charleston (Ill.) Speedway, Kamp Motor Speedway in Boswell, Ind., Vermilion County Speedway in Danville, Ill., Fairbury (Ill.) American Legion Speedway, Highland (Ill.) Speedway, Quincy (Ill.) Raceways and Tri-City Speedway in Pontoon Beach, Ill.
Hammer said events will pay $2,000 to win. A $15,000 points fund has been established with the champion receiving $5,000 and a set of Dyer’s heads, and the top 10 drivers in the points standings will receive $100 in show-up money at each stop of the tour.
Drivers already showing interest in the Monster Midwest Series include Weaver, two-time defending UMP DIRTcar national champion Dennis Erb Jr., Jason Feger, Steve Sheppard Jr., Jason McBride, Mike Mataragas, Daren Friedman, Ryan Unzicker, Michael Kloos and Frank Heckenast Jr.
2009 Monster Midwest Series Schedule:
April 24, Kankakee (Ill.) County Speedway ($5,000 to win)
April 26 Lincoln (Ill.) Speedway ($2,000)
May 26, Shepp’s Speedway/Alexander, Ill. ($2,000)
May 27, Peoria (Ill.) Speedway ($2,000)
May 28, LaSalle (Ill.) Speedway ($2,000)
May 29, Farmer City (Ill.) Raceway ($2,000)
May 30, TBA; May 31, Lincoln (Ill.) Speedway ($2,000)
July 23, Charleston (Ill.) Speedway ($2,000)
July 24, Farmer City (Ill.) Raceway ($2,000)
July 25, Kamp Motor Speedway/Boswell, Ind. ($2,000)
July 26, Vermilion County Speedway/Danville, Ill. ($2,000)
Aug. 15, Fairbury (Ill.) American Legion Speedway ($2,000)
Aug. 22, Highland (Ill.) Speedway ($2,000)
Aug. 23, Quincy (Ill.) Raceways ($2,000)
Aug. 29, Kamp Motor Speedway/Boswell, Ind. ($2,000)
Aug. 30, TBA; Sept. 4, Farmer City (Ill.) Raceway ($5,000)
Sept. 6, Lincoln (Ill.) Speedway ($2,000);
Sept. 18, Tri-City Speedway/Pontoon Beach, Ill. ($2,000)
Sept. 26, Kamp Motor Speedway/Boswell, Ind. ($2,000)
Sept. 27, LaSalle (Ill.) Speedway (tentative – $2,000)
Oct. 3, Lincoln (Ill.) Speedway ($2,000)
Oct. 23-24, Lincoln (Ill.) Speedway ($10,000)
DIRTcar Racing NorthEast:
Track Spotlight – Black Rock Speedway: With a wet month of March finally behind race teams, April now stands to officially open competition towards the crowning of the overall Hoosier Tire-VP Racing Fuels Mr. DIRTcar Champions in 2009.
For the second straight year, Mr. DIRTcar Sportsman title contenders will begin their quest at Black Rock Speedway in Dundee, N.Y., this weekend, visiting the four-tenths-mile oval this Saturday (April 4).
Sign-in for this Saturday’s Mr. DIRTcar Sportsman event at Black begins at 8 a.m., with practice following from 10-11:30 a.m. DIRTcar Sportsman will qualify for the event that has heat racing scheduled for 1 p.m. Admission through the front gate is $15.
Mr. DIRTcar Schedules: DIRTcar Racing Northeast officials recently released Mr. DIRTcar Series schedules for the 358-Modifieds, Sportsman and Pro Stock divisions. Complete schedules for all divisions of Mr. DIRTcar Series competition can be found by logging on to DIRTcarmembers.com or DIRTcar.com.
Summer Sensation: A $20,000-to-win Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series 100-lap spectacular for big-block Modifieds scheduled for Sun., July 19, will cap three days of racing, concerts, fireworks, camping, infield parking and the best food in central New York. Big-Block Modifieds, Sportsman Modifieds, Street Stocks and Pro Late Models all will take center stage during the monster mid-summer event, which runs from July 17-19.
“Super DIRT Week remains the greatest autumn attraction and All-Star Weekend is on the brink of becoming the biggest spectacle of the entire summer to showcase short-track stars in our region,” said Cayuga County Fair Speedway General Manager Jack Deery. “With a posted purse in the neighborhood of $100,000, this is certainly a destination event like no other for fans and racers to mark on their calendars.”
The DIRTcar All-Star Weekend launches Fri., July 17, with big-block Modified practice and title events for DIRTcar Street Stocks and CRSA (Capital Region Sprint Agency) 305 Sprints. The Saturday program is highlighted by a $3,000-to-win, 50-lap Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series preliminary event, with 2008 track and series champion big-block drivers also contending in a unique ‘Challenge of Champions’ dash. The event culminates Sunday with the Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series ‘DIRTcar All-Star 100’ boasting a whopping $20,000 on top and $1,000 to take the green.
For all the latest DIRTcar Racing news and information, visit DIRTcar.com. If you’re a member or would like to become a member, visit DIRTcarMembers.com.