Barberville, FL — The long, grueling road to national dirt Late Model glory in 2009 starts next month with the 38th annual Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH at Volusia Speedway Park.
For the stars of the World of Outlaws Late Model Series, two nights of competition (Feb. 12 and 14) at the sweeping half-mile oval outside Daytona Beach will set them off on a map-crossing chase for the prestigious tour’s $100,000 championship prize.
For the titans of the UMP DIRTcar Super Late Model division, four programs (Feb. 9, 10, 11 and 13) during the traditional winter meet will serve as the first step in a season-long racing whirlwind through the Midwest to determine the organization’s national champ.
Yes, optimism for the ’09 campaign will be boundless throughout Volusia’s pit area when the green flag drops on the dirt Late Model portion of the Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH.
Leading the charge to sunny Florida , of course, will be the defending champions of the World Racing Group sister circuits: WoO LMS titlist Darrell Lanigan of Union , Ky. , and UMP DIRTcar national king Dennis Erb Jr. of Carpentersville , Ill.
Lanigan, 38, parlayed a remarkable string of consistency during the 2008 season into his first-ever WoO LMS points crown. The owner-operator is hard at work in his shop gearing up for the Alltel DIRTcar Nationals, having announced at last month’s WoO LMS awards banquet that he’s in search of a second consecutive title with a series that currently boasts a 2009 schedule of 45 confirmed events at 37 tracks in 20 states and three Canadian provinces.
While Lanigan has not won a WoO LMS A-Main at Volusia, he pocketed a $10,000 check for winning the UMP DIRTcar Super Late Model finale during the 2007 Alltel DIRTcar Nationals.
The 36-year-old Erb, meanwhile, is a mainstay in the field at the Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH but has never visited Volusia’s Victory Lane . He ranks among the drivers most likely to break through with a triumph in ’09 after sweeping UMP DIRTcar’s marquee Super Late Model championships – the national points race and the Summer Nationals ‘Hell Tour’ – for the second straight season.
Although drivers do not begin earning weekly points toward the UMP DIRTcar national title until the first week of April, Erb and his UMP DIRTcar Super Late Model rivals can get a slight head-start on their championship aspirations by competing in the Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH. Drivers will be able to use their best finish of the week at Volusia as an event toward the total starts that will determine the division’s 2009 national champion.
In addition, the overall high-points earner in the six dirt Late Model A-Mains that comprise the Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH will be recognized as a 2009 UMP DIRTcar champion under the circuit’s ‘State’ points program. The top-10 finishers in the Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH divisional points race are eligible to receive points-fund cash from UMP DIRTcar.
The UMP DIRTcar Super Late Model portion of the Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH will include 30-lap, $7,000-to-win A-Mains on Feb. 9, 10 and 11 (Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights) and a 50-lapper offering a $10,000 winner’s check on Feb. 13 (Friday night). Two complete WoO LMS cards topped by 50-lap, $10,000-to-win headliners will be contested on Feb. 12 and 14 (Thursday and Saturday nights).
This will mark the sixth consecutive year that the dirt Late Model portion of the Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH will include both WoO LMS and UMP DIRTcar action.
Tickets are currently on sale for the 38th Annual Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH. Fans can purchase tickets for each individual night or take advantage of the ‘Super Ticket’ deals that offer seats for all the events contested by each headline division, including the six-day dirt Late Model meet; the six-day Sprint Car portion (All-Star Circuit of Champions on Feb. 3-5, World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series on Feb. 6-8); eight nights of UMP DIRTcar Modified action (Feb. 3-10); and four Advance Auto Parts DIRTcar big-block Modified dates (Feb. 11-14).
For tickets visit www.volusiaspeedwaypark.com or www.dirtcarnationals.com, or call the Volusia Speedway Park office at 386-985-4402.
More information on the WoO LMS and UMP DIRTcar Racing is available by logging on to www.worldofoutlaws.com and www.dirtcar.com.