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.
Track Spotlight: Clarksville Speedway Gearing Up For Tuckasee Toilet Bowl Classic
To most, a fresh-painted toilet bowl may not be considered a prized possession. That will undoubtedly change for one DIRTcar Late Model driver next week.
The fifth annual ‘Tuckasee Toilet Bowl Classic’ is set to take place at Clarksville (Tenn.) Speedway on March 13-14. In its short history, the event has become known for its competitive fields, large payout ($5,000 to win this year) that attracts top-level UMP DIRTcar drivers – and, of course, its signature trophy.
Track owner William Scogin hands the winner of the Saturday-night headline A-Main a full-fledged toilet in Victory Lane.
“When I bought the racetrack I said, ‘We have to have a signature race,’” commented Scogin, who gives plungers to the winner of Friday night’s preliminary features. “I thought a toilet bowl was a signature thing in itself.”
Two-time and defending UMP DIRTcar national Late Model champion Dennis Erb of Carpentersville, Ill., and reigning MARS DIRTcar Series titlist Terry Phillips of Springfield, Mo., are expected to lead the full-fender contingent to Clarksville for the unique weekend.
The DIRTcar Late Models aren’t the only attraction on the bill at the banked, three-eighths-mile facility. Both the UMP DIRTcar Modifieds and UMP DIRTcar Pro Late Models will be in action, vying for $1,000 winner’s prizes each night.
“Both the UMP DIRTcar Modifieds and the UMP DIRTcar Pro Late Models provide fans with excellent racing and we wanted to reward those competitors with a good payout as well,” said Scogin. “It should be an excellent two days of action.”
Driver Spotlight: 2008 UMP DIRTcar Sportsman Champion Jeremy Hines
Hard work and dedication have been a constant theme in the life of Jeremy Hines.
The combination paid off in 2008 for Hines, who claimed both state and national points championships in the UMP DIRTcar Sportsman class.
The young Indiana pilot started the 2008 season with a bang, winning his first night out, and never looked back.
“Winning the first night was a big deal,” said Hines. “We were just trying to do the best we could.”
Hines, who grew up watching his father accumulate over 150 wins in nearly 25 years as a racer, claims a streak of eight consecutive 1-2 finishes with his father in 2001 to be his greatest racing memory. But that doesn’t mean his 2008 season wasn’t just as memorable.
“It’s obviously a big accomplishment,” Hines said of his UMP DIRTcar titles. “It’s something you can’t really even think about while you’re racing. I’ve had a little bit of success, but last year we had an awesome year. About June we realized it was something we could do (win the national crown), so why not give it a shot.”
All of his success might not have ever been realized had Hines not made one of his more admirable decisions after high school. Before Hines ever climbed into the seat of a racecar, he made sure he got an education. But the classroom wasn’t the only place he excelled while in school. He also played football, a sport that he said helped lead to his racing success.
“I went to college and played football,” said Hines. “It instilled a good work ethic (that carried over to racing).
“It’s all about working hard in the garage. If you want to be good at anything, you gotta work hard. Whether it’s playing pool or playing ball or racing, you have to work hard. You practice hard so you can play hard.”
All of his success in 2008 has once again led to bigger and better things for Hines. He acquired a UMP DIRTcar Pro Late Model ride before last October’s UMP DIRTcar Roundup at I-55 Raceway in Pevely. Mo.
“Before the UMP DIRTcar Roundup last year a guy from Indiana called me who I didn’t know,” said Hines. “He said he wanted to go to the DIRTcar Roundup and wanted me to go race with him. I couldn’t turn it down.”
Hines showed promise once again at I-55’s ‘Party in Pevely’ with a fifth-place finish against a strong crowd in UMP DIRTcar Pro Late Model competition – a showing that definitely carried over to the early stages of 2009.
“We started off running early this year at East Bay (in Florida),” said Hines. “We didn’t win, but we had success. To go to East Bay and run decent is saying something in my eyes.”
With a schedule of approximately 40 nights in his UMP DIRTcar Pro Late Model and 30 events in his UMP DIRTcar Sportsman, Hines has a busy season ahead. But if 2009 is anything like 2008, he has quite a bit to look forward to.
Hines knows all of his success wouldn’t be possible if it were just him. He understands success comes from a combination of things.
“Hard work and dedication and a lot of awesome help,” emphasized Hines. “Racing takes a lot of money, and I’ve got good car owners and a lot of good sponsors.”
“My first goal is always to run competitive in either class,” he continued, talking about his aspirations for ’09. “Ten wins between the two classes would be awesome for me, but obviously 20 is better.”
Armed with a strong following and his ’08 success, nothing should be out of the question for Hines in 2009.
Alltel All-star Winners: For the second consecutive year a driver from the Northeastern United States claimed the Alltel DIRTcar Nationals All-Star fan vote grand prize of $10,000.
Randy Hall of Olean, N.Y., near the New York/western Pennsylvania border, claimed the UMP DIRTcar Modified feature at Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla., on Feb. 7 – the second of two preliminary nights leading up to the inaugural ‘The Gator Championship.’ Then Hall, who didn’t decide to enter the 38th Annual Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH until his sponsors provided him backing to make the trip, earned the most combined text-message and on-line votes to beat 13 other Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH feature winners for the 10-grand top prize.
Hall’s captured 28 percent of the final fan vote, besting the 16 percent earned by Jared Landers of Batesville, Ark.
The Northeast also claimed an Alltel DIRTcar Nationals All-Star divisional winner in DIRTcar big-block Modified veteran Pat Ward of Genoa, N.Y., who captured seven percent of the final fan vote to pocket $1,000 as his division’s top vote-getter. Ward claimed Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series big-block Modified features on the first two nights of action at the Volusia half-mile.
DIRTcar Northeast ’09 Openers On Tap (from Tom Skibinski, DIRTcar Racing Northeast PR Director):
2009 marks DIRTcar Racing’s 34th consecutive year of sanctioning motorsports events in the Northeast. Twenty-four tracks currently carry full membership, while more than a dozen ovals in the region maintain associate status as hosts for either Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series, Western Pa./Ohio-based BRP Modified Tour or specially approved events scheduled during the upcoming summer months.
Beginning with the season openers at all DIRTcar member tracks, valuable points will be on the line for teams contending for both DIRTcar Weekly Racing Series Track and DIRTcar Regional Championships, as well as the overall Hoosier Tire-VP Racing Fuels Mr. DIRTcar titles.
The premier DIRTcar Big-Block Modified class was first established in 1976, current 358-Modified division was initiated in 1980 and Sportsman gained notoriety in 1987 before the Northeastern Pro Stocks comprised the first full-fender class to be recognized in 1995. In competition at many tracks around the DIRTcar NE circuit today, entry level Street Stocks are officially enjoying the fifth year of sanctioning in 2009 while the Pro Late Models make their area debut at Can-Am Motorsports Park in April.
DIRTcar Racing Northeast Tracks — Opening Day/Track/Location/Sanctioned Divisions):
Sat-May 2……Airborne Speedway/Plattsburgh, NY (358)
Sat-May 23….Albany-Saratoga Speedway/Malta, NY (Spt)
Sat-Apr. 3……Black Rock Speedway/Dundee, NY (Spt, Sts)
Fri-Apr. 17……..Brewerton Speedway/Brewerton, NY (Mod)
Sat-May 16.…..Brockville Ontario Speedway/Brockville, ONT (358, Spt)
Fri-Apr. 17……..Can-Am Motorsports Park,Ltd./LaFargeville, NY (Mod/358, Spt, Sts, Pro LM)
Sat-Apr. 18…….Canandaigua Speedway/Canandaigua, NY (Mod, Spt, Pro, Sts)
Sun-Apr. 19……Cayuga Co. Fair Speedway/Weedsport, NY (Mod, Spt, Sts)
Sun-May 17……Cornwall Motor Speedway/Cornwall, ONT (358, Pro)
Sat-May 16…….Autodrome Drummond/Drummondville, QUE (358, Pro)
Fri-May 15……..Autodrome Edelweiss/Hull, QUE (358, Pro)
Sat-Apr. 25…….Fulton Speedway/Fulton, NY (Mod, Spt, Sts)
Sat-Apr. 25…….Genesee Speedway/Batavia, NY (Spt, Pro)
Fri-Apr. 17…….Glen Ridge Motorsports Park/Fultonville, NY (Mod, Spt)
Fri-May 15……..Autodrome Granby/Granby, QUE (358)
Sun-Apr. 26……Humberstone Speedway/Pt. Colborne, ONT (358, Spt)
Sat-Apr. 18…… Lebanon Valley Speedway/West Lebanon, NY (Mod, Pro)
Fri-Mar. 27…….Lernerville Speedway/Sarver, PA (Mod, Pro)
Sat-Apr. 25…….Merrittville Speedway/Thorold, ONT (358, Spt)
Fri-May 22……..Mohawk Int’l Raceway/Hogansburg, NY (358, Pro)
Oct. 6-11….……New York State Fairgrounds/Syracuse, NY (Mod, 358, Spt, Pro)
Fri-May 1……….Ransomville Speedway/Ransomville, NY (358, Spt)
Sun-May 3……..Rolling Wheels Raceway Park/Elbridge, NY (Mod, 358, Spt, Pro, Sts)
Sun-Apr. 5……Tri-City Speedway/Franklin, PA (Mod)
Alltel All-Star Winners: Although the winner of the Alltel DIRTcar Nationals All-Star contest’s top prize didn’t hail from the Midwest, a driver from the heart of the UMP DIRTcar circuit was the top Late Model division vote-getter.
Darren ‘The Thriller’ Miller of Milledgeville, Ill., who is a familiar face on the annual UMP DIRTcar Summer Nationals tour, claimed an additional $1,000 for beating out four other Alltel DIRTcar Nationals Late Model winners in the text-message and on-line voting.
Illini 100 Tickets On Sale: Reserved seat tickets for the biggest early-season event in UMP DIRTcar country – the second annual $20,000-to-win World of Outlaws Late Model Series Illini 100 on April 3-4 at Farmer City (Ill.) Raceway – went on sale earlier this week.
With last year’s thrilling inaugural Illini 100 witnessed by a track-record crowd, tickets for the ’09 version are in high demand. Call Truspeed Inc. at 217-828-0078 or visit www.farmercityraceway.net for more information.
DIRTcar Western Region:
Frozen No More: Winter gives way to racing in the Southwestern United States with the running of the Winter Meltdown this weekend (March 6-7) at Southern New Mexico Speedway in Las Cruces, N.M.
The event features the third annual Chub Daniels Memorial, which will boast a huge $10,000 winner’s take for UMP DIRTcar Modified competitors.
The event is quickly becoming one of the top draws in UMP DIRTcar Modified competition in the United States.
“We want to make it one of the biggest races in the western United States,” said Brian Hulbert of Southern New Mexico Speedway. “We want the fans to be able to see these really big-name, high-profile drivers come to their area and compete on this scale in a community that is as small as ours is.”
SWDRA Is Racing: The 2009 season for the Southwest Dirt Racing Association (SWDRA) Super Late Model Series – which is part of the new DIRTcar Racing Southwest Region and thus offers points toward the UMP DIRTcar Racing regional and national points battles – kicks off this Saturday night (March 7) at USA Raceway in Tucson, Ariz.
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.