Concord,NC — CONCORD, NC – April 2, 2009 – 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.
With the recent news that Manzanita Speedway in Phoenix, Ariz., was sold by its owners and will cease operation after an April 9-11 weekend of racing, SWDRA officials huddled with other track promoters to replace the tour’s planned dates at Manzanita and add additional stops to the 2009 series. The SWDRA schedule now shows 16 points races at five different tracks in Arizona and New Mexico, including a last-hurrah on the Manzanita half-mile on Fri., April 10, as part of the speedway’s farewell weekend.
The updated SWDRA schedule provides more points-earning opportunities for DIRTcar Racing Southwest Region Super Late Model drivers, who are poised to race for a share of a UMP DIRTcar Racing points fund that topped $200,000 in 2008. All of this year’s SWDRA tour events will be sanctioned by DIRTcar Racing – the brand name for the sanctioning body run by the World Racing Group of Concord, N.C. – and offer UMP DIRTcar Racing points toward the Southwest Region and national standings.
Fourteen points race remain on the 2009 SWDRA slate, which kicked off last month with events on March 7 at USA Race Park (won by Lonnie Parker Jr. of El Mirage, Ariz.) and March 14 on Manzanita’s inner one-third-mile oval (won by DIRTcar Modified standout Anthony Madrid of Phoenix).
In addition to the April 10 event at Manzanita, new dates that didn’t appear on the original SWDRA schedule include May 9 and Oct. 31 at USA Race Park; holiday weekend doubleheaders on May 23-24 and Sept. 5-6 at Canyon Speedway Park on the north side of Phoenix; July 18 at Prescott Valley (Ariz.) Raceway; and a two-day special on July 31-Aug. 1 at Hollywood Hills Raceway in San Felipe, N.M., that will see teams compete for an increased purse. Originally-announced events that remain on the SWDRA sked include April 4, June 6 and Oct. 3 at USA Race Park and Sept. 19 at Prescott Valley.
A two-day event on July 10-11 at Great Basin Speedway in Ely, Nev., is also listed on the SWDRA schedule, but the doubleheader will not offer tour points. The program is part of the DIRTcar Western Allstars Late Model Series, so Southwest drivers with DIRTcar Racing memberships can receive pit-admission discounts and insurance coverage if they attend.
“We’re certainly disappointed to lose a historic track like Manzanita Speedway,” said SWDRA representative Kyle Porter. “But after the news of the track’s sale broke, we opened lines of communication with other track promoters and with their cooperation we’ve been able to provide the Southwest’s dirt Late Model teams an even stronger schedule.
“There’s been strong car counts and a very positive vibe on both sides of the fence at the first two SWDRA events of the season, and we’re expecting to ride that optimism throughout an exciting year of racing.”
Brad Williams of Tucson, Ariz., leads the SWDRA points standings entering this Saturday night’s action, but he’s still searching for his first win of 2009.
Parker, who has won the last five SWDRA points championships, won the season opener but followed that with a rough night at Manzanita. He was involved in two accidents on Manzy’s one-third-mile oval and didn’t finish the feature, leaving him in a tie for second in the points standings.
The Tucson event is also expected to include DIRTcar Modified standouts R.C. Whitwell of Tucson (driving the T-Mac Pipe Construction No. 96T) and Jeremy Thornton of Tucson (in Lonnie Parker Sr.’s machine); Terry Belcher Jr. of Phoenix, who has contended for victory in both races run this season before experiencing mechanical trouble; and Tommy Hussak III of Picacho, Ariz., who will bring out a new car to replace the Late Model he flipped in the season opener at USA Race Park.
Additional info on all of the series, sanctioning and member tracks of DIRTcar Racing is available at www.DIRTcar.com.
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.