Story By: JORDAN DELUCIA / DIRTCAR – CONCORD, NC – For its 38th consecutive campaign, the DIRTcar Summer Nationals returns to its familiar five-week format, spread out over a one-month period in June-July 2023.
The Late Models will contest 29 races over 33 days, while the DIRTcar Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals are slated for 25 races over the same timeframe – concluding the season with the final two races in the 33rd annual Prairie Dirt Classic at Fairbury Speedway, July 28-29.
It’s a schedule arrangement not seen since 2019 – one Series Director Sam Driggers has tailored himself with both drivers and fans’ interest in mind as DIRTcar Racing prepares to celebrate its 40th year in operation.
“The DIRTcar Summer Nationals has grown into one of the most iconic spectacles in motorsports over the past four decades, and what better way to ring in 40 years of the best weekly dirt track racing in the country than with five-straight weeks of non-stop Late Model and Modified action,” Driggers said. “It’s a layout that recalls the traditional Hell Tour format our fans are used to seeing, and one that our teams will be pleased to race again.”
• Kickoff at Peoria – For the second time in tour history, both tours kick off the 2023 season at the quarter-mile bullring of Peoria Speedway on Wednesday, June 14. Standing as one of DIRTcar’s longest-running weekly venues, the Late Models will tackle Peoria’s high-banked corners for the 23rd time after its debut on the Hell Tour in 2000.
• Herald & Review 100 – Standing as one of the most prestigious events in Midwest motorsports history, Macon Speedway hosts the Late Models and Summit Modifieds in the 43rd running of the Herald & Review 100 on Thursday, July 6. Twenty-two Dirt Late Models will rip around the high-banked, 1/5-mile oval 100 times, battling for one of the most historic titles in Dirt Late Model racing.
• Birthday Race – Both tours will light the candles at Oakshade Raceway on Saturday, July 15, celebrating the silver anniversary of the prestigious Birthday Race. The event, having been run nearly every year since the first in 1999, is another of the most prestigious events on the Summer Nationals schedule. Ohio driver Devin Moran scored his first win in the event last year after his father Donnie did it in the inaugural running, becoming just the second father-son duo in event history to win.
• Modified Prairie Dirt Classic – The Summit Modifieds will take to the Fairbury Speedway on Friday-Saturday, July 28-29, for their annual marquee event in the 33rd running of the Prairie Dirt Classic. Racing adjacent to the World of Outlaws CASE Construction Equipment Late Models, a $5,000 check awaits the winner of this special, invite-only event, one which former track champion Mike McKinney captured for the first time in his career this past July.
NEW RACE PLACES
• Randolph County Raceway (Moberly, MO) – With its high banks, long straightaways and sweeping corners, this fast, half-mile oval hosted both tours in 2020. Racing veteran Reid Millard has since taken over ownership of the venue and will host both the Late Models and Summit Modifieds in their second-ever trip on Tuesday, June 20.
• Benton Speedway (Benton, MO) – The 1/4-mile oval took on new management in 2022 and will host the Late Models for the fourth time in tour history on Thursday, June 29. The Modifieds will make their debut while the Late Models make their first appearance since 1997.
• Lake Cumberland Speedway (Burnside, KY) – The second and final date in Kentucky comes on Sunday, July 2, when the tours debut at Lake Cumberland. The 3/8-mile, red clay oval is poised to be a great cap to the third week of racing on tour.
• Hartford Motor Speedway (Hartford, MI) – For the fifth time in tour history, the Late Models will take on this 3/8-mile oval on Friday, July 14, in a $10,000-to-win event, alongside the Modifieds. Billy Moyer Jr. and Nick Hoffman took home the checkered flags there in 2017 – the last time both tours appeared at Hartford on the same date.
• Wayne County Speedway (Orrville, OH) – In the final Late Model event on the schedule, Wayne County will make its schedule debut on Sunday, July 16. The race helps to set the stage for the Summit Modified championship before the tour heads back to Illinois to cap-off the season.
PURSES, PAYOUTS, BONUSES
The progressive points fund scale, seen in the past two seasons, again outlines the payout for Late Model championship chasers at season’s end. Starting with a $25,000-to-win minimum, every race completed after 25th race will tack an additional $2,000 onto the champion’s check, creating a possible $33,000 payout to accompany the 2023 tour crown. A $5,000 champion’s check is on the line for the Summit Modified champion, taking each driver’s best 12 finishes into account for the points standings.
Friday and Saturday Late Model events will feature the traditional $10,000-to-win purses with $5,000-to-win races during the week, while the Summit Modifieds will battle for a $1,500 check most nights. One exception to this pattern comes on Wednesday, July 12, when both tours return to the 1/4-mile oval of Shadyhill Speedway in Indiana to take part in a $10,000-to-win Late Model and $3,000-to-win Modified midweek special.
Cash bonuses for the top-10 in Late Model points will also be distributed at the end of each week, as well as a tow money bonus for drivers with perfect attendance through every 500 miles traveled from track-to-track.
COMBINED 2023 TOUR SCHEDULES
Date Day Track
June 14 Wednesday Peoria Speedway Peoria, IL $5,000/$1,500
June 15 Thursday Kankakee Co. Speedway Kankakee, IL $5,000/$1,500
June 16 Friday Tri-City Speedway Pontoon Beach, IL $10,000/$1,500
June 17 Saturday Fairbury Speedway Fairbury, IL $10,000/$2,000
June 18 Sunday Sycamore Speedway Maple Park, IL $5,000 (LM only)
June 19 Monday OFF
June 20 Tuesday Randolph County Raceway Moberly, MO $5,000 (LM only)
June 21 Wednesday Davenport Speedway Davenport, IA $5,000 (LM only)
June 22 Thursday Spoon River Speedway Canton, IL $5,000/$1,500
June 23 Friday Fayette Co. Speedway Brownstown, IL $10,000/$1,500
June 24 Saturday I-55 Raceway Pevely, MO $10,000/$1,500
June 25 Sunday Lincoln Speedway Lincoln, IL $5,000/$1,500
June 26 Monday OFF
June 27 Tuesday Adams Co. (IL) Speedway Quincy, IL $5,000/$1,500
June 28 Wednesday TBA
June 29 Thursday Benton Speedway Benton, MO $5,000/$1,500
June 30 Friday Paducah Int’l Raceway Paducah, KY $10,000/$1,500
July 1 Saturday Clarksville Speedway Clarksville, TN $10,000/$1,500
July 2 Sunday Lake Cumberland Spdwy Burnside, KY $5,000/$1,500
July 3 Monday OFF
July 4 Tuesday TBA
July 5 Wednesday Red Hill Raceway Sumner, IL $5,000/$1,500
July 6 Thursday Macon Speedway Macon, IL $5,000/$1,500
July 7 Friday Farmer City Raceway Farmer City, IL $10,000/$1,500
July 8 Saturday Highland Speedway Highland, IL $10,000/$1,500
July 9 Sunday Tri-State Speedway Haubstadt, IN $5,000/$1,500
July 10 Monday OFF
July 11 Tuesday TBA
July 12 Wednesday Shadyhill Speedway Medaryville, IN $10,000/$3,000
July 13 Thursday Butler Motor Speedway Quincy, MI $5,000/$1,500
July 14 Friday Hartford Motor Speedway Hartford, MI $10,000/$1,500
July 15 Saturday Oakshade Raceway Wauseon, OH $10,000/$1,500
July 16 Sunday Wayne Co. Speedway Orrville, OH $5,000/$1,500
July 28 Friday Fairbury Speedway Fairbury, IL $500 (Mods only)
July 29 Saturday Fairbury Speedway Fairbury, IL $5,000 (Mods only)