Story By: RYAN DELPH / KIRK PHILLIPS RACING – ASHLAND, KY – Fresh off a very consistent 2021 racing season, Kirk Phillips and his #21 Super Late Model team are poised to take a giant leap in 2022 by committing to run the entire Valvoline Iron-Man Late Model Northern Series schedule.
The regional tour, which is currently slated to sanction sixteen events across the states of Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana, provides the perfect proving ground for the team, as they continue to gain more experience against stiffer competition at a variety of different dirt venues.
The second-year series boasts purse and point money in excess of $430,000, with $5,000 earmarked for the Valvoline Iron-Man Late Model Northern Series Champion.
Kirk will start his Championship and Rookie of the Year quest on April 15 in the series lid lifter at Ponderosa Speedway in Junction City, Kentucky. Other area tracks on the schedule for 2022 include Atomic Speedway in Alma, Ohio, Muskingum County Speedway in Zanesville, Ohio, Richmond Raceway in Richmond, Kentucky, Lake Cumberland Speedway in Burnside, Kentucky, and Brownstown Speedway in Brownstown, Indiana. Each of the sixteen races will pay at least $5,000 to the winner, while six of the contests boast at least a five-figure payday.
In addition to competing full-time with the Valvoline Iron-Man Late Model Northern Series, Kirk plans to support its sister series – the Valvoline Iron-Man Late Model Southern Series – as much as possible. Eying races primarily in the Volunteer State, Kirk will dip south to compete at such venues as 411 Motor Speedway in Seymour, Tennessee, I-75 Raceway in Sweetwater, Tennessee, Tazewell Speedway in Tazewell, Tennessee, and Mountain View Raceway in Spring City, Tennessee.
“We think our race program is ready to take the next step and I’m really looking forward to following the Valvoline Iron-Man Late Model Northern Series next year,” exclaimed Phillips this week while attending the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) Trade Show in downtown Indianapolis. “While we didn’t get as many wins as we had hoped for in 2021, our consistency was there week in and week out and that makes us really hopeful that we can be a serious contender for the Northern Championship next season. It’s a neat little deal that doesn’t require us to travel all that far, but we can get some experience at some good race tracks for some great money.”
In 2021, Kirk Phillips Racing unloaded their #21 XR1 Rocket Chassis on thirty-six (36) different occasions at different facilities across the states of Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, and Tennessee. Kirk captured his lone feature win of the ‘21 campaign at Willard Speedway in Willard, Kentucky, but also amassed fifteen (15) top five finishes and twenty-six (26) top ten performances throughout the year. Expanding upon that consistency, Kirk only endured four (4) DNF’s in 2021, while failing to transfer into only two (2) feature events. Other highlights for the season included sitting on the front row of a DIRTcar Summer Nationals main event and transferring into his first career Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series and World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series headliners.
“I feel like we really built our program into a better local and regional team last year,” the twenty-five-year-old Phillips went on to say. “We kept piling up strong run after strong run and got into a good rhythm as the season wore on. Hopefully we can pick up right where we left off and unload fast right of the box in 2022. I have to thank all of my great sponsors who have helped me get to this point in my career. Without them, none of this would be possible and I look forward to representing all of them again next season!”