Barberville,FL — Jan. 18, 2009 — In only 16 days, Volusia Speedway Park will come alive for the 38th Alltel DIRTcar Nationals By UNOH. From the collective roar of a huge crowd to the rumble of the massive engines, there is no clearer sign that the 2009 racing season is under way.
The Alltel DIRTcar Nationals By University at Northwestern Ohio is usually the first indicator most teams will have about the changes they’ve made in hopes of improving their results from previous seasons.
Since its revival in 2004, the World of Outlaws Late Model Series has crowned five different champions in five years, but how have these champions fared when it came time to tame Volusia’s high-speed, half-mile oval? Looking at previous championship runs, success in Volusia can easily be a prelude of good things to come. For instance, defending champions Scott Bloomquist (2004) and Billy Moyer (2005) used Volusia victories to start championship-winning seasons.
In 2004, Bloomquist captured the checkered flag on the final night at Volusia and from there was a fixture in Victory Lane, winding up with eight feature wins to clinch the crown by 13 points. In 2005, Moyer used momentum from an Alltel DIRTcar Nationals By UNOH victory to earn four more feature wins throughout the season. His storybook year wound up back at Volusia, where he won a tiebreaker to earn the World of Outlaws Late Model Series championship.
On the World of Outlaws Sprint Car circuit, it has been Craig Dollansky who has had the hottest starts the past two seasons to earn event championships. In the end, though, Donny Schatz remains the three-time defending series champion after solid performances at Volusia.
Coming off of his championship season in 2006 and a successful winter of racing in Australia, Schatz posted a quick start in the Alltel DIRTcar Nationals By UNOH in All Star Circuit of Champions events. He would go on to one of the most impressive seasons in World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series history, winning nearly every major event and posting 71 top-10s in 75 events. All eyes will be on Schatz in 16 days as he begins his second year as the pilot of Tony Stewart’s Armor All machine, but Dollansky will no doubt be a force as he moves into Kasey Kahne’s DIRECTV car.
Success for Brett Hearn in Big-Block Modified competition during the 2007 Alltel DIRTcar Nationals By UNOH was certainly a precursor of what was to come, as he rolled from the event championship to the Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series crown. Hearn and Billy Pauch shared the title honors last year, but it was Billy Decker who used his Volusia campaign to spark a championship run.
To see who emerges as a star in the 38th running of the Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH, make sure to reserve your favorite seats in advance before they’re sold out. With infield trailer heights limited to 9 feet, 6 inches, there are no bad seats in the grandstands at Volusia Speedway Park.
Take advantage of special ‘Super Ticket’ deals that offer seats for all the events contested by each headline division, including six Sprint Car events (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); six-nights of Dirt Late Model racing (Feb. 9-14); the and four Advance Auto Parts DIRTcar big-block Modified dates (Feb. 11-14).