Race Weekend Central

Dirty (Half) Dozen: 6 Dirt Races to Watch for This July

Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup (All-Star Circuit of Champions)

Where: Lernerville Speedway – Server, Pa. (streaming on Flo Racing)
Winner’s Purse: $26,000

Lernerville Speedway went through a major transition this season, with its signature late model event, the Firecracker 100, switching from World of Outlaws to Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series sanction. The parent company of the Outlaws didn’t take too kindly to that, and as such the track lost its World of Outlaws sprint car date.

Enter the All-Star Circuit of Champions, which will now sanction the Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup on July 6. While the star power for this race may not be the same as a year ago, given that the drivers that are Outlaws regulars will not be competing, there is potential here, as the new sanctioning agreement for the Firecracker 100 led to packed grandstands, substantially increased demand for camping, and a car count that beat the track’s seven-year average by more than 20%.

Wednesday night races don’t get much better than this one.

Fever Heat 100 (XR Super Series)

Where: Stuart International Speedway – Stuart, Iowa (streaming on RaceXR)
Winner’s Purse: $20,000 (nightly)

Way back when the XR Super Series schedule first announced its schedule, I highlighted Stuart International Speedway as the hidden gem on the tour. A classic black dirt bullring in rural Iowa, the XR ranks are the only national super late model tour making the trip to Stuart, Iowa in 2022. That’s to the loss of race fans nationally.

I fully expect the on-track action at Stuart, scheduled for July 11 and 12, to be as good as the series will see in 2022. The real question is whether the cars show up. Despite offering rich purses, the car count for XR tour events have yet to consistently reach the top-tier WoO and Lucas Oil shows. What’s more, the XR tour in June made their first trip off the beaten trail of national dirt tracks at the Belleville High Banks, an event that despite big money drew less than a full field of cars.

Granted, Stuart’s Fever Heat 100 will not be contested immediately following a four-day residency at Eldora, so the national super late model ringers may not be facing the same level of fatigue. Fingers crossed that the big names show up for this one, because the track is capable of putting on a classic.

Historical Big 1

Where: Eldora Speedway – New Weston, Ohio (streamed on DirtVision)
Winner’s Purse: $100,000

I don’t need to write a column reminding race fans that the King’s Royal sprint car event will go off July 16 at Eldora. Well, I shouldn’t at least. But just as super late model fans were treated to the return of the Eldora Million last month, sprint car fans will also get to see the return of a major event, with the Historical Big 1 being returned to the schedule for the first time in nearly two decades, to run Thursday, July 14.

See also
Thinkin' Dirty: 2021 King's Royal(s) at Eldora

Billed by the track as the original $100,000-to-win sprint car race, the race has been moved from a traditional August date to serve as the opener of the King’s Royal weekend. It may not be the million, but this Thursday night race will be one of the richest nights sprint car racing has to offer all season long. 

And let’s not forget that after the Eldora Million week, the track officials there have regained control of their racing surface. Traditional Eldora with sprint cars? It doesn’t get much better than that.

Rayce Rudeen Foundation Race (All-Star Circuit of Champions)

Where: I-70 Motorsports Park – Odessa, Mo. (streaming on Flo Racing)
Winner’s Purse: $26,000 (Friday)

Friday, July 29 will see plenty of sprint car racing firepower descend on the Midwest for serious cash. The refurbished I-70 Motorsports Park will play host to the annual Rayce Rudeen Foundation Race, offering one of the top-five biggest purses of the year for the All-Star Circuit of Champions tour.

The two-day event will mark the first time that it has been held of the state of Missouri, following visits to Iowa, Wisconsin and Indiana during its first three years of existence. The race has been no stranger to big-name winners, with Kyle Larson and Tony Stewart among those that have claimed this trophy.

Silver Dollar Nationals (Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series)

Where: I-80 Speedway – Greenwood, Neb. (streaming on MAVTV Plus)
Winner’s Purse: $53,000 (Saturday)

Four days of racing at arguably the premier dirt track in Nebraska comes to a climax on Saturday, July 30, with the finale of the Silver Dollar Nationals. A major-dollar event that routinely draws the best of the super late model ranks, this summer’s race is going to be bittersweet, as it’ll likely be the last Silver Dollar Nationals run at I-80; the track has been put up for sale, with no suitors of yet that plan to keep the facility as a racetrack beyond 2022.

See also
Thinkin' Dirty: 2021 Silver Dollar Nationals at I-80

Prairie Dirt Classic (World of Outlaws Late Models)

Where: Fairbury American Legion Speedway – Fairbury, Ill. (streaming on DirtVision)
Winner’s Purse: $50,000

What’s racing without a little competition? The same night as the Silver Dollar Nationals will see the World of Outlaws late models run their own crown jewel event, with the annual Prairie Dirt Classic going off for 100 laps on Saturday. July 30. The WoO tour is seeking to amplify the event further, making it part of a larger speed week event in conjunction with the $30,000-to-win Hawkeye 100 in Boone, Iowa.

Fairbury American Legion Speedway (affectionately known as FALS) is not the facility that I-80 is, but in terms of character there’s few tracks in America with more of it. As tight a bullring as late models contest anywhere in the country, there’s no reason to expect anything short of a classic to unfold. The real question is whether Kyle Larson can/will return to defend his crown, which a year ago became his first crown jewel victory in a super late model.

About the author

Richmond, Virginia native. Wake Forest University class of 2008. Affiliated with Frontstretch since 2008, as of today the site's first dirt racing commentator. Emphasis on commentary. Big race fan, bigger First Amendment advocate.

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