UMP’s Late Model and Modified Divisions Ready To Get Rolling Again During February’s DIRTcar Nationals At Volusia Speedway Park
by Kevin Kovac
EVANSVILLE , IN – Jan. 12, 2007 – As has become customary, the United Midwestern Promoters (UMP) season will get rolling next month in the Sunshine State .
The DIRT MotorSports-owned organization’s top two divisions – dirt Late Models and Modifieds – are set for competition as part of the 36th annual DIRTcar Nationals Presented by Mopar Speed Shop that runs from Feb. 6-17 at Volusia Speedway Park .
The UMP Late Models are scheduled to contest a four-race meet at the half-mile, D-shaped oval on Feb. 12, 13, 14 and 16, while the open-wheel UMP Modifieds will battle for eight consecutive nights from Feb. 6-13.
UMP-sanctioned Late Model and Modified action has been lighting up Volusia Speedway Park in February for more than a decade – and this year the DIRTcar Nationals will even serve as a prelude to more UMP-sanctioned racing at the track. Several of Volusia’s weekly divisions will run under the UMP banner in 2007.
A UMP Late Model field approaching 100 cars is expected to participate in the DIRTcar Nationals. Programs highlighted by 30-lap features paying $5,000 to win will be presented on Mon., Feb 12, Tues., Feb. 13, and Wed., Feb. 14, and then a 50-lap A-Main boasting a $10,000 top prize will serve as the UMP Late Model series finale on Fri., Feb. 16.
Last year’s DIRTcar Nationals yielded only three UMP Late Model features because the series opener was canceled due to unusually cold Florida weather. Chub Frank of Bear Lake , Pa. , and Darren Miller of Millidgeville , Ill. , scored victories in the 30-lap events, while Rick Eckert of York , Pa. , emerged triumphant in the big-money, extra-distance championship show on Friday night.
On the strength of seventh-, second- and third-place finishes in the three A-Mains, Earl Pearson Jr. of Jacksonville , Fla. , was crowned the 2006 UMP Late Model DIRTcar Nationals champion.
Two more nights of dirt Late Model competition during the 2007 DIRTcar Nationals will feature the 360 OTC World of Outlaws Late Model Series, which will battle in separate $10,000-to-win, 50-lap features on Thurs., Feb. 15, and Sat., Feb. 17.
Another huge field of UMP Modified teams will converge on Volusia from all across the country to enjoy eight grueling nights of action beginning on Tues., Feb. 6. The first seven evenings will be topped by 20-lap features, with a 30-lap UMP Modified Championship event bringing the meet to an end on Tues., Feb. 13.
Missouri ’s Scott Drake captured the 2006 UMP Modified DIRTcar Nationals points championship driving as a teammate to Gary Clark, who owns the popular Dirt Works Race Cars manufacturing company.
UMP Modified teams will actually have an opportunity to tune up for the DIRTcar Nationals by competing in the North Florida Winternationals, set for Feb. 1-3 at North Florida Speedway in Lake City, Fla. Following a practice night on Feb. 1, complete programs will be run for the division on Feb. 2 and 3.
Entry forms for UMP teams planning to compete in the DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park are available at www.umpracing.com; www.volusiaspeedwaypark.com; or by calling the Volusia Speedway Park office at 386-985-4402.
Late Model teams that enter prior to the Feb. 3 early-entry deadline will receive one free camping spot for the division’s six nights of action at VSP – a spot that normally sells for $20 per night.
In addition, trackside camping spots will be available for the first time during the DIRTcar Nationals. Interested parties should call the Volusia Speedway Park office for more information on the parking specifics and cost.
The UMP Late Models and Modifieds will be just two parts of the DIRTcar Nationals racing extravaganza at Volusia.
Also on the DIRTcar Nationals docket is racing for the All-Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Cars (Feb. 6-8); the Sprint Car superstars of the World of Outlaws tour (Feb. 9-11); the Advance Auto Parts big-block DIRT Modifieds (Feb. 14-17); and the 360 OTC World of Outlaws Late Model Series (Feb. 15 and 17).
Special reserved-seat ‘Super Tickets’ are now available for the DIRTcar Nationals at a cost of $160 (covering the six nights of Sprint Car racing or the six nights of dirt Late Model action) and $120 (for the four nights of big-block Modified competition). A free gift is included with the purchase of ‘Super Tickets,’ which fans can learn more about by calling the VSP office at 386-985-4402.
The Volusia Speedway Park pit area and campground will open for racer and fan parking on Mon., Feb. 5.