DIRTcar Western Region Update: CLMA, NCRA & MARS Tours Combine For Big Show At Jetmore; Late Model & Mod Action Revs Up In Oregon

CONCORD, NC – April 29, 2011 –

BIG SHOW: The evening of Sat., April 30, will be huge for the Championship Late Model Association DIRTcar Series. And the NCRA DIRTcar Late Model Series. And the MARS DIRTcar Late Model Series.

In an historic early-season event, the three DIRTcar-sanctioned regional tours will join forces this Saturday night to contest the second annual ‘Sunflower State Showdown’ at the Great American Dirt Track in Jetmore, Kans. The 50-lap A-Main, which is also co-sanctioned by the Lucas Oil Midwest Late Model Late Model Racing Association, pays $10,000 to win from a purse topping $40,000, making the event one of the biggest ever for each series.

The race kicks off the 2011 seasons for the CLMA DIRTcar Series (formerly the Colorado Late Model Association) and the NCRA DIRTcar Late Model Series, a long-running Kansas-based circuit that will begin its first campaign flying the World Racing Group’s DIRTcar banner.

“The ‘Sunflower State Showdown’ is a spectacular way to showcase three DIRTcar Late Model series at a top facility,” said DIRTcar Western Region operations director Chris Morgan. “Bringing together three of our tours for a major event will provide plenty of excitement for fans and racers from the Rocky Mountain, Great Plains and Midwest regions.

“We’re especially excited to have the well-known NCRA series debut as part of DIRTcar. NCRA will be a perfect complement to our existing CLMA and MARS tours, giving Late Model teams more opportunities to earn recognition and points-fund cash from the DIRTcar UMP program.”

Indeed, Saturday’s program at Jetmore will offer drivers points toward both the DIRTcar UMP national and Western States battles. The Western States classification includes all Late Model events that are part of the CLMA and NCRA tours as well as sanctioned events in states such as Kansas, Colorado and surrounding states. A complete list of tracks that part of the Western States points program is available at www.DirtCar.com.

TRY AGAIN: Maybe this will be the weekend that the state of Oregon’s first DIRTcar-sanctioned Late Model and UMP Modified features of 2011 are completed.

After last weekend’s scheduled Oregon openers for the DIRTcar Late Models and DIRTcar West UMP Modifieds were stopped by rain – Southern Oregon Speedway in Medford was forced to cancel its April 23 Late Model event due to saturated grounds, while rain just before feature time forced the postponement of Cottage Grove Speedway’s UMP Modified action that same evening – both divisions are set for competition this Saturday evening (April 30).

Oregon’s first DIRTcar Late Model event of ’11 is now set for Saturday night at Willamette Speedway in Lebanon, a hub of full-fender racing in the Northwest that is now owned by Jimmy and Jerry Schram. The one-third-mile oval is slated to host a dozen DIRTcar-sanctioned Late Models dates in 2011, including races later this season on May 14, May 28-29 (Northwest I-5 DIRTcar Late Model Series), June 4, June 18, July 2, July 23, Aug. 13, Sept. 3-4 (I-5 Series) and Sept. 17.

Willamette is joining with the Cottage Grove and Southern Oregon speedways to offer DIRTcar Late Model teams an attractive full-fender program in 2011. In addition to Willamette’s dates, DIRTcar Late Models events are scheduled for Cottage Grove on May 7, May 21, June 4, June 18, July 3-4 (I-5 Series), July 9, July 30, Aug. 6, Aug. 12, Aug. 27, Sept. 5 (I-5 Series) and Sept. 10 and Southern Oregon on May 21, June 25, July 1, July 16 (I-5 Series), July 30, Aug. 6 and Sept. 23-24 (I-5 Series).

All of the Late Model events at Willamette, Cottage Grove and Southern Oregon are part of the DIRTcar UMP Northwestern States points races, which includes all DIRTcar-sanctioned events run in California, Oregon, Washington and Nevada, including DIRTcar Western All-Stars Late Model Series and DIRTcar Northwest I-5 Late Model Series shows. The Northwest States points funds offer a $2,000 top prize from a total payout of $5,850.

Cottage Grove will also attempt to run Oregon’s first DIRTcar West UMP Modified feature of the season this Saturday night (April 30).

“All we need this weekend is some cooperation from Mother Nature to kick off a big season of DIRTcar-sanctioned racing in Oregon,” said Chris Morgan, who has worked with the state’s track’s promoters to organize Late Model and UMP Modified action. “Thanks to Willamette, Cottage Grove and Southern Oregon speedways working together, the Late Model and UMP Modified teams in Oregon will have an unprecedented opportunity to gain attention this year competing under the DIRTcar UMP program.”

ON THE BOARD: Bobby Hogge IV of Salinas, Calif., returned to the spotlight on the DIRTcar Western All-Stars Late Model Series last Saturday night, winning the tour’s 30-lap A-Main at Giant Chevrolet Kings Speedway in Hanford, Calif.

The $2,000 victory was Hogge’s 18th career Western All-Stars triumph – extending his series record – but his first as the tour’s reigning champion. He won the championship in 2009, but then the series sat idle last season.

Hogge, who dropped out of the 2011 Western All-Stars season opener on April 16 at Antioch (Calif.) Speedway, came back strong at the Hanford oval. He won his heat and the dash before leading the entire feature distance.

Up-and-coming young talent Clay Daly of Watsonville, Calif., chased Hogge across the finish line, placing second in his 2011 Western All-Stars debut. Richard Papenhausen of Chico, Calif., finished third, followed by 2008 tour champion Chris Shannon of Merced, Calif., and Rob Sanders of Bakersfield, Calif.

NHRA Funny Car star Ron Capps made a special appearance behind the wheel of a Micheli Motorsports dirt Late Model at Hanford and finished 11 th.

Papenhausen leads the Western All-Stars points standings after two events, topping Shannon by six points (311-305). Hogge is third with 301 points, followed by Anthony Restad of Santa Rosa, Calif. (287), Clark Guglielmoni of Vacaville, Calif. (271), Matt Micheli of Yuba City, Calif. (267), Bud Wahlberg of Corning, Calif. (266), Dennis Souza of Pescadero, Calif. (258), Paul Guglielmoni of Vacaville, Calif. (254) and Antioch winner Jeff Decker of Morgan Hill, Calif. (162).

Additional info on all of the series, sanctioning and member tracks of DIRTcar Racing is available at www.DIRTcar.com.