PADUCAH – With last week’s cold weather causing cancellation of the scheduled opening night program of stock car racing at Paducah International Raceway, this Friday’s Let’s Get Dirty 75, the inaugural event for the new National Dirt Racing League, will serve as the track’s 2013 season opener.
The feature event is a 75-lap Super Late Model race paying $20,000 to the winner.
Also on the program is a special event for open-wheel Modified cars offering a $2,000 first-place prize.
The PIR program is the first half of a Friday-Saturday combination of events at Paducah and at Federated Auto Parts Raceway in Pevely, Mo., where a similar program will be staged on Saturday night.
If the weather cooperates Friday night, a stellar field of cars and drivers should be on hand to compete for the big money, as there are no major regional touring series events in conflict with the PIR and Pevely races.
An unsanctioned program at Lancaster (S.C.) Motor Speedway will offer $30,000 and may draw drivers from the Carolinas-Georgia region, and LaSalle (Ill.) Speedway will stage the American Late Model Series opener March 30, offering a $10,000 first-place payoff.
Still, a strong field is expected at Paducah and Pevely. National touring series competitors who have indicated plans to compete include Jason Feger of Bloomington, Ill., winner of last year’s USA World 50 at PIR and Brian Shirley of Chatham, Ill. Shirley will be looking for his first PIR win since June 3, 2011.
Others who have verbally committed, according to an NDRL press release, include Billy Moyer, winner of last year’s Lucas Oil Late Model Series race at PIR; Brian Birkhofer, winner of last year’s Summernationals-Chris Smith Memorial race; Scott Bloomquist, Shannon Babb, Dennis Erb Jr., Jimmy Mars, Tim McCreadie, Tyler Reddick and others.
PIR Super Late Model champion Tim Brown of Palma and the Benton father-son duo of Terry and Tanner English will represent Marshall County.
General admission tickets for Friday’s race are $30 advance and $35 at the gate. Reserved seats are $35 in advance and $40 at the gate. Pit passes cost $45 in advance and $50 at the gate. Children under 12 receive general admission free.
For more information, call (270) 898-7469 or visit www.paducahracing.com.
n A pre-race tailgate party will be hosted by Four Rivers Harley-Davidson at Exit 11 of Interstate 24. The event will feature live remote radio broadcasts on WLLE-102.1 FM, The Q 93.3 and Froggy 103.7, with NASCAR drivers Kenny Wallace and Ken Schrader as guests.
Wallace and Schrader will also compete in Friday night’s racing activities.
The tailgate party will raise funds to be donated to the St. Nichols Family Clinic in Paducah and U.S. military personnel.
A $5 discount is available at the motorcycle dealership for active duty, retired, National Guard and reserve military members.
n The Paducah and Pevely races will feature pre- and post-race concerts by singer Cody McCarver.
n PIR has announced an increase in prize money for the Pro (Crate) Late Model division this year. The feature will pay $500 to the winner, with a minimum $75 for all starters.
According to a track announcement, “PIR is aware of the increasing popularity in this division and is glad to have such a loyal base of Pro Late Model drivers in the pits each and every week.”
Cameron Brown of Calvert City is reigning track champion in the division.
n Other special events on the PIR schedule include the Lucas Oil Late Model Series on May 4, and two visits by the DIRTcar MARS Late Models on May 31 and Aug. 23.
Also, the STP World of Outlaws sprint car series returns on April 19.