Jacksonville Confirms Three Major Event Dates

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Jacksonville Confirms Three
The World of Outlaws will be among the major touring series returning to Jacksonville Speedway in 2020. (Mark Funderburk photo)

JACKSONVILLE, Ill. – Jacksonville Speedway officials confirmed the dates for the quarter-mile dirt oval’s three biggest race events of the 2020 season on Friday evening.

After finally getting a World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series event in at the track in late September following a spring rainout, The Greatest Show on Dirt will return to Jacksonville on Wednesday, May 6.

It will mark the fourth Outlaw race in track history, coming on the heels of a highly-successful event this year which saw Carson Macedo outduel Sheldon Haudenschild in a thrilling 40-lap main event.

“We’re extremely excited to bring the Outlaws back to Jacksonville in 2020,” track manager Ken Dobson told Sprint Car & Midget by phone Friday night. “All of our Outlaw races here have just been exceptionally fun to watch, and it’s really cool to be able to watch them on a smaller track where they really have to fight for every position in a lot of traffic. It’s sort of a ‘how bad do you want it?’ kind of race track with the way it seems to work out here a lot of the time.”

“All of us here are grateful to continue working with World Racing Group and we hope that our upcoming race in May provides the same excitement that fans have seen at Jacksonville in the past.

Former Outlaw winners at Jacksonville include Christopher Bell (2014), Joey Saldana (2016) and Macedo, with Dobson alluding to the fact that next year’s race may just start a yearly tradition of Outlaw action at Jacksonville.

“It’s been a nice journey for us with the Outlaws,” Dobson noted. “We started out now, probably seven years ago, just begging for the opportunity to have a race. We probably asked the question even before then, honestly … and then we finally got one (in 2014) and we kind of set it up to be an every other year thing at that point, just with where we were in our business plans at the time. Now, there’s some pride in the fact that we’re now sort of able to do this in back-to-back years, and hopefully annually going forward.

“That, to me, says a lot about our fans and the support they give the track that we’re now able to schedule the Outlaws here in back-to-back years.”

In addition to Jacksonville’s May Outlaw date, the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series and Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions will also visit the quarter-mile bullring next year.

The stars of the Lucas tour will invade Jacksonville on Friday, May 29, while the All Stars will come to town on Friday, July 24.

Friday night’s reveal allows Jacksonville’s fan base to make their plans early, Dobson noted, so they can make sure they’re in town for the track’s pair of marquee races.

“We try to get the big dates out of the way so that we can then schedule what I’ll call our medium dates around them,” Dobson explained. “Then we build our weekly racing around all of that. So we kind of go in order, because obviously those big national series are ones where you’re limited on your options as far as scheduling them is concerned. We always try to get them in the books first and then work around that.

“We’re excited about 2020. With these dates out there, we’ll have more news coming before too long.”