GILBERTSVILLE – Work goes on to get Kentucky Lake Motor Speedway ready for stock car racing in 2014, despite weather that can most politely be described as “uncooperative.”
Track officials also continue to make plans that are not weather-contingent, such as establishing rules and classes of competition that will make up the Saturday night racing programs at the 3/8-mile dirt oval.
General manager Tommy House knows competitors are anxious about rules, and offered a blanket reassurance.
“If you have a car that you were able to race at [Paducah International Raceway], you will be able to race it here,” House said.
He went on to mention other area speedways, including Clarksville (Tenn.) Speedway, Western Kentucky Speedway in Nebo and others which operate under sanction and rules of United Midwest Promoters (UMP) and said that UMP rules will be used as the basis for KLMS regulations.
That will apply to the top four UMP classes, House said, listing Super Late Model, Crate Late Model, Modified and Street Stock.
Plans are on hold for other classes, including the popular four-cylinder subcompact classes. At PIR, those cars were labeled Warriors. They are among the most low-cost of all short-track racing cars.
One issue is that the KLMS high-speed oval is not well-suited for those cars and others, including the open-wheel Mini-Sprints and other classes of small, lightweight machines.
The main PIR oval is similar in size to Kentucky Lake, but there is a small, slightly banked oval inside the big track on which Warrior cars compete.
The Paducah track has battled adverse weather the last three years, suffering a half-dozen rainouts in its first nine weeks of the 2013 season and eventually shutting down its weekly show. Only eight events were staged at PIR last year.
Paducah promoter Bob Sargent still has not revealed any plans for 2014 other than to confirm two Super Late Model special races.
As for KLMS, a special event is tentatively scheduled for the last weekend in March. The NDRL Bluegrass Nationals will be sanctioned by the National Dirt Racing League, a Pennsylvania-based organization that debuted last year, presenting its first event, the Let’s Get Dirty 75, at Paducah. Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., won the race and its $20,000 first-place prize.
The NDRL “Kings of Dirt” series will open the new season Friday with practice at Tucson (Ariz.) International Raceway for the seven-day Winter Extreme program. Feature races are on tap on Saturday, paying $3,000 to the winner, and Sunday, $5,000 to win.
Winter Extreme continues Jan. 15-19, followed by the Battle at the Border Jan. 23-26 at El Paso (Texas) Speedway Park.
Those programs are non-points exhibitions, with a top winner’s purse of $10,000. Points competition begins at East Alabama Motor Speedway in Phenix City, Ala., Feb. 27-March 1, and continues at Smoky Mountain Raceway in Maryville, Tenn., March 6-8, before moving on to Kentucky Lake Motor Speedway.