DIRTcar Big Blocks Bound For Michigan

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LAKE ODESSA, Mich. – The first caravans westward may not have carried haulers loaded with 800-plus horsepower Big-Block Modifieds, but this one will.

The Super DIRTcar Series roars into Michigan Aug. 7 for the first time in history with a 100-lap race at I-96 Speedway, bringing drivers from as far east as New York and New Jersey and touting the power of the Northeast’s Big-Block Modifieds.

For this historic night of racing, the series, a staple of short-track dirt racing in the Northeast, makes its farthest haul west in its 37-year regime. Earlier this season I-96 Speedway was host to the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series on its three-eighths-mile, high-banked dirt oval, but for this special event the speedway is re-opening its half-mile track to these formidable and exotic machines.

Current point leader and defending series champion Matt Sheppard said his team expects the 500-mile journey from its home in Waterloo, N.Y., to be well worthwhile.

“We’re excited to be going,” Sheppard said. “It’ll be interesting. Everybody’s going to be on a level playing field there.”

Several other Super DIRTcar Series heavyweights are planning on making the trip, including seven-time champion Brett Hearn of Sussex, N.J.; four-time titlist Danny Johnson of Rochester, N.Y.; Jimmy Phelps of Baldwinsville, N.Y.; and Billy Dunn of Watertown, N.Y. A 24-car field will compete for the $7,500 first-place award.

Rounding out the event will be a Pro Stocks/Pro Trucks invitational and Smyrna Bar UMP Sport Compacts. The track opens its gates for this special event earlier than its weekly events, with pit gates open at 2 p.m. to accommodate travelers. Grandstands open at 4 p.m., practice begins at 4:30 p.m., and racing is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

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