INDIANAPOLIS — A record number of events appear on the 2014 DIRTcar Summer Nationals ‘Hell Tour’ schedule, which was released Thursday by DIRTcar officials during the Performance Racing Industry Trade Show.
Stretching nearly six weeks for the second consecutive year, dirt late model racing’s biggest test of man and machine will feature 33 races at 32 tracks in nine states over a period of 39 days.
The DIRTcar Summer Nationals will begin and end with traditional dates, kicking off June 11 at Brownstown (Ind.) Speedway and concluding July 19 at Oakshade Raceway in Wauseon, Ohio. In between competitors will travel nearly 6,000 miles and compete for $215,000 in first-place prize money.
“The expansion of the DIRTcar Summer Nationals to six weekends in 2013 proved to be a big success so we’re sticking with the same time frame for the 2014 ‘Hell Tour’ schedule,” said DIRTcar UMP director Sam Driggers. “Extending the Summer Nationals not only allows us to slot in more off days for the race teams but also gives us the opportunity to accommodate more racetracks that desire events — and that, of course, brings the Summer Nationals to more fans across the Midwest.”
While weather prevented the 2013 ‘Hell Tour’ from boasting a record number of events (26 of the 32 scheduled points races were run), Driggers’s scheduling of 33 races in ’14 once again puts the circuit in line for a new high-water mark. The current record for DIRTcar Summer Nationals points races is 28 in 2010 and 2012.
As has become customary, racing in the DIRTcar UMP hotbed of Illinois dominates the 2014 DIRTcar Summer Nationals schedule with 15 tracks located in the Land of Lincoln set to host events. The series will also compete at four tracks in Ohio; three in Indiana; two in Iowa, Kentucky, Tennessee and Wisconsin; and one in Michigan and Missouri.
The only track scheduled to hold more than one DIRTcar Summer Nationals event is Cedar Lake Speedway in New Richmond, Wis., which will make its ‘Masters’ weekend a part of the ‘Hell Tour’ for the fifth consecutive season. The one-third-mile oval will run a $5,000-to-win A-Main on June 13 and a $10,000-to-win affair June 14.
The lone track that will hold a DIRTcar Summer Nationals event for the first time in 2014 is Atomic Speedway (formerly K-C Raceway) in Chillicothe, Ohio, which leads off the series-ending four-race swing through the Buckeye State with a $5,000-to-win show July 16.
Most of the host tracks are stalwarts on the DIRTcar Summer Nationals – none more so than Fairbury (Ill.) American Legion Speedway, which is set to present a record 26th ‘Hell Tour’ A-Main on June 21.
Among the notable returning tracks are Farmer City (Ill.) Raceway, which is back on the ‘Hell Tour’ schedule after a two-year absence on July 11, and Farley (Iowa) Speedway, which will host its first Summer Nationals event since 2005 on June 17.
A total of 10 DIRTcar Summer Nationals events will offer $10,000 first-place checks. Another 22 features will pay $5,000 to win and a single race has a posted winner’s check of $7,500 (July 4 at Fayette County Speedway in Brownstown, Ill.).
Purses for the ‘Hell Tour’ will total nearly $900,000. Another $65,000-plus in points-fund money will be on the line, including a $25,000 check for the 2014 champion.
Twenty-year-old Brandon Sheppard won the DIRTcar Summer Nationals championship in 2013, becoming the youngest driver to capture the title since the series began in 1986.
2014 DIRTcar Summer Nationals Schedule
June 11 Brownstown Speedway Brownstown, Ind.
June 12 Kankakee County Speedway Kankakee, Ill.
June 13-14 Cedar Lake Speedway New Richmond, Wis.
June 15 Wilmot Speedway Wilmot, Wis.
June 16 Off
June 17 Farley Speedway Farley, Iowa
June 18 Spoon River Speedway Canton, Ill.
June 19 Quincy Raceways Quincy, Ill.
June 20 Tri-City Speedway Granite City, Ill.
June 21 Fairbury American Legion Speedway Fairbury, Ill.
June 22 I-96 Speedway Lake Odessa, Mich.
June 23 Peoria Speedway Peoria, Ill.
June 24 Off
June 25 Clayhill Motorsports Park Atwood, Tenn.
June 26 Clarksville Speedway Clarksville, Tenn.
June 27 Paducah Int’l Raceway Paducah, Ky.
June 28 Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 Pevely, Mo.
June 29 Lincoln Speedway Lincoln, Ill.
June 30 Off
July 1 Belle-Clair Speedway Belleville, Ill.
July 2 Jacksonville Speedway Jacksonville, Ill.
July 3 LaSalle Speedway LaSalle, Ill.
July 4 Fayette County Speedway Brownstown, Ill.
July 5 Highland Speedway Highland, Ill.
July 6 Tri-State Speedway Haubstadt, Ind.
July 7 Off
July 8 Florence Speedway Union, Ky.
July 9 Terre Haute Action Track Terre Haute, Ind.
July 10 Macon Speedway Macon, Ill.
July 11 Farmer City Raceway Farmer City, Ill.
July 12 34 Raceway W. Burlington, Iowa
July 13 Vermilion County Speedway Danville, Ill.
July 14-15 Off
July 16 Atomic Speedway Chillicothe, Ohio
July 17 Brushcreek Motorsports Park Peebles, Ohio
July 18 Attica Raceway Park Attica, Ohio
July 19 Oakshade Raceway Wauseon, Ohio