Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 to host the 23rd annual event for the first time
by Matt Prieur
CONCORD, NC — Sept. 27, 2018 — The 23rd annual DIRTcar Fall Nationals will be hosted by a new venue for the first time in event history. The prestigious event is heading west for the 2018 racing season as the newly rebranded 23rd annual DIRTcar Fall Nationals, the traditional season-ending weekend for national DIRTcar points, will be held at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55, in Pevely, MO, on Thursday through Saturday, October 4-6.
DIRTcar Super Late Models will highlight the weekend of racing with a $5,000-to-win payday on the line, while the DIRTcar Modifieds go for a hefty $3,000 to win. DIRTcar Pro Late Models race for $2,000 to win, as the DIRTcar Pro Modifieds run for $1,500 on the line. The DIRTcar Pro Sprints and DIRTcar Factory Stocks vie for $1,000 paychecks as the DIRTcar Sport Compacts race for $750 to win during the action-packed three days of excitement in the Show-Me State.
The schedule of events for the DIRTcar Fall Nationals will see activity beginning on Thursday, October 4 with Hot Laps for all divisions. On Friday, October 5, the day starts with Qualifying and Heat Races, plus the special “Rays Rumble” events for the top drivers in national points and the top qualifiers in the DIRTcar Super Late Models and DIRTcar Modifieds, which will highlight the night of racing followed by a Bonfire Party after the races. Then on Saturday, October 6, C-Mains and Last Chance Showdowns, as needed, will be followed by the Features and crowning of the 2018 DIRTcar National Champions.
Rusty Schlenk, the two-time and defending DIRTcar Super Late Model National Champion, leads the way in his bid for a second consecutive national title and third of his career. The McClure, OH standout, who won his first National Championship in 2010, carries a 54-point lead over 2012 National Champion Brian Shirley, the now two-time DIRTcar Summer Nationals Champion. The Chatham, IL star added the 2018 Hell Tour title to the crown he won before, also in 2012. Mike Spatola, the current DIRTcar Illinois regional points leader, is third in the country over 2018 I-96 Speedway (MI) Track Champion Brandon Thirlby and 2018 Merritt Speedway (MI) Track Champion and current DIRTcar Michigan regional points leader Nick Kurtz, who rounds out the top five in the nation.
The DIRTcar Modifieds will see Highland, IL veteran Mike Harrison chase after his record-breaking fourth national title in a row and seventh overall of his stellar career, also a record. The 44-year-old has scored an impressive 30 feature wins in 2018 and is also the current DIRTcar Missouri/Illinois regional points leader. He leads current DIRTcar Illinois state points leader Mike McKinney by 73 markers. Earlier in the season, Harrison edged McKinney by just five points to score his sixth Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals title. 2018 Shadyhill Speedway (IN) Track Champion Jamie Lomax, also the current DIRTcar Northern Indiana regional points leader, is third in the nation ahead of Tyler Nicely and current DIRTcar South regional points leader Trent Young, also the current American Modified Series points leader and 2016 Series Champion, who are the top five in the country.
For the first time in event history, the DIRTcar Pro Late Models are a part of the DIRTcar Fall Nationals. 2016 DIRTcar National Champion, A.J. May, who calls Creve Coure, IL home, was recently crowned the 2018 Farmer City Raceway (IL) Track Champion and has a 29-point lead over the now two-time reigning Kankakee County Speedway (IL) Track Champion and current DIRTcar East Regional points leader Torin Mettile. Dakota Ewing is third over 2018 Lincoln Speedway (IL) and Macon Speedway (IL) Track Champion as well as 2018 Big 10 Pro Late Model Series Champion and current DIRTcar West Regional points leader Guy Taylor. Jake Little completes the top five in the nation.
Also competing for the first time in the DIRTcar Fall Nationals are the DIRTcar Pro Modifieds, with Mt. Olive, IL driver Tim Hancock on his way to a three-peat as national champion as he leads 2018 Charleston Speedway (IL) Track Champion Everett Bradham by 118 points. Hancock traveled extensively during the year and has scored 16 feature wins at four different tracks thus far. 2018 Farmer City Raceway (IL) Track Champion Jordan Smith is third. 2018 Highland Speedway (IL) Track Champion Jimmy Cummins and Adam Scherer round out the top five.
The DIRTcar Factory Stocks will also be making their DIRTcar Fall Nationals debut. 2018 Belle-Clair Speedway (IL) & Highland Speedway (IL) Track Champion Trevor Isaak, who calls Highland, IL home, has a 69-point lead over 2018 Twin Cities Raceway Park (IN) Track Champion Troy Clark. Dustin McClintock, the Highland runner-up, is third ahead of two-time defending DIRTcar Factory Stock National Champion and 2018 Charleston Speedway (IL) Track Champion Jesse Simmons, while 2018 Fayette County Speedway (IL) Track Champion Gary Walker completes the top five.
The third of four DIRTcar divisions making their DIRTcar Fall Nationals debut are the DIRTcar Sport Compacts. Two-time National Champion (2016 & 2014), Decatur, IL driver Jeremy Reed leads fellow two-time National Champion (2015 & 2013) Adam Webb by 50 markers as both drivers are chasing after their third National title respectively. Reed is also the DIRTcar North regional points leader. Dave Lauritson, a five-time feature winner at Peoria Speedway (IL), is third in the national standings, DIRTcar West regional points leader and 2018 Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 (MO) Track Champion Drew Dudash is fourth, and Jay Mariuza, a seven-time feature winner at Peoria, completes the top five.
Finally, in the DIRTcar Pro Sprints, in their third season of competition, 2018 Plymouth Speedway (IN) Track Champion Garrett Saunders leads his brother, defending DIRTcar National Champion Eric Saunders, by 26 points. Eli Lakin is third in the standings over John Gurley and Jack James, the top five.
Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 is a 1/3-mile high-banked dirt oval located south of St. Louis in Pevely, MO, with regular races on Saturday nights during the season. The track is co-owned by longtime Federated spokesperson and long-time NASCAR star and dirt track legend Ken Schrader. Under Promoter Ray Marlar, I-55 won the 2017 DIRTcar Promoter of the Year Award at the 34th annual DIRTcar National Awards Banquet on January 14 in Springfield, IL.
For complete information on the 23rd annual DIRTcar Fall Nationals, see the event page. You can also find DIRTcar Racing on Facebook and Twitter at: facebook.com/DIRTcar & twitter.com/DIRTcar_Racing.
For more information about Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55, visit their website. You can also call the track at: (636) 479-3219.