PADUCAH – For the second year in a row, Paducah International Raceway is running a limited schedule of races for the high-dollar Late Model division and is focusing on special events.
None is likely to be much more special than Friday night’s offering.
The relentless, 29-races-in-32-days UMP Summer Nationals tour for dirt Late Models comes to PIR for Round 15 of the series.
Record-high temperatures are in the forecast for the week, but the heat would be on at PIR regardless of the reading on area thermometers.
Feature races during the Summer Nationals pay between $5,000 and $10,000 except for the PIR main event, which offers $12,000 to the winner.
That should attract a lineup of the top stars of dirt-track racing, including Benton father-and-son duo Terry and Tanner English. Terry English is a former UMP national champion.
Tanner English finished 14th Wednesday in Round 7 of the Summer Nationals at Highland (Ill.) Speedway, a race won by Rodney Melvin of Benton, Ill.
The Englishes have swept the last three Late Model features at PIR and have won four of the eight features (two apiece) at the track this year.
The tour is at Lincoln Park Speedway in Putnamville, Ind., tonight, and then moves on to Belle Clair Speedway in Belleville, Ill., and Clayhill Motorsports Park in Atwood, Tenn., before coming to Paducah.
Drivers will travel to Pevely, Mo., on Saturday, the first of nine races in nine days before a day off on Monday, July 9.
The tour resumes with five straight days of racing and concludes July 14 at Oakshade Raceway in Wauseon, Ohio.
The race will be the third big-money Late Model show at the 3/8-mile PIR oval this year.
Billy Moyer of Batesville, Ark., won the Lucas Oil Series feature May 5 and Terry English won the Paducah round of the Tri-State Challenge, a series of three races in three nights at tracks in Illinois, Kentucky and Missouri, June 1.
Moyer won Friday night’s race at Tri-City Speedway in Pontoon Beach, Ill., near St. Louis.
Admission is $25 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. Pit admission is $35. Pit gates open at 4 p.m. and grandstands open at 5 p.m.
Late Model qualifying is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. after warm-ups at 6:30 and racing is slated to begin at 7:30.
Another Late Model special is on tap with PIR’s signature event, the USA World 50, scheduled for Aug. 24.