Friday, January 30, 2015

7 Wonders of the (DIRT) World: Part 2

Welcome back for the 2nd of three posts that will be counting down the top 20 racing events in the DIRT racing world.

In this segment we release the events that ranked 8-15 in our countdown. Determinants in our countdown range from historical significance, number of years ran, winner's purse, strength of field, fan atmosphere, and everything in between. So without further adieu, here are no. 8-15 in our unique TDN countdown.

8. Kings Royal - Eldora Speedway
     Kicking things off at 8th on our countdown is the Kings Royal at Eldora Speedway. This year’s edition will be the 32nd annual running of the event. The history, the “crowning”, and the $50,000 payday all play a part in making this race special. The recently introduced special format also puts more of an emphasis on the heat races – raising the overall intensity of the program.

9. Prairie Dirt Classic - Fairbury American Legion Speedway
     Clocking in at 9th on the countdown is Fairbury American Legion Speedway’s Prairie Dirt Classic. The 26th Annual Dirt Classic this year will pay $26,000 to win and play host to an atmosphere that closely resembles a college sporting event. Nowhere else will you find the crowd as into as you will at FALS. Aside from all that, Fairbury is historically known for putting on some of the greatest late model races year after.

10. Four Crown Nationals - Eldora Speedway
     This history and tradition of the Four Crown Nationals at Eldora Speedway makes it one of the most-anticipated weekend of the year. This is the only event in the world that includes the 4 premier open-wheel divisions (410 Sprints, Nonwing, Silver Crown, and Midgets). Excitement surrounding the Four Crown has fallen in recent years, partly because it is overshadowed by Eldora’s other major events. Nonetheless, take a weekend getaway to this race if you haven’t already.

11. Dirt Track World Championship - Portsmouth Raceway Park
     11th on our list is the 35th Annual Dirt Track World Championship that will pay $100,000 this year for the first time in its history. After initially starting out at the now-defunct Pennsboro Speedway, the DTWC has progressed through a series of tracks and seems to have found its home at Portsmouth Raceway Park in southern Ohio. This event, which has seen only the best in dirt late model history find victory lane, provides a special fan experience that you won’t find anywhere else.

12. Turkey Night Grand Prix - Perris Auto Speedway
     The only midget race in our rankings falls in line 12th on the grid. The Turkey Night Grand Prix, which will be running its 75th edition this season, is the second oldest race in the country following only the Indy 500. Held on Thanksgiving most years since the inaugural event, the race sneaks into our countdown because it has been ran on asphalt as well as dirt. We’ll give it a pass, as the historic event has more than earned its right to run on whatever surface it wants.

13. North/South 100 - Florence Speedway
     Florence Speedway’s North/South 100 has long been revered as one of the most prestigious races in the Ohio valley. The $50,000 race also features an interesting format, including two sets of heat races and passing points, that is rare in major late model races. We at TDN cannot wait to see how this year’s event plays out!

14. The Dream - Eldora Speedway
     The 21st Annual Dirt Late Model Dream has traditionally been the highest paying dirt late model race in the world (this year matched by the DTWC), and 2nd highest in all of dirt motorsports. Going down as the 4th biggest event at Eldora Speedway hurts it slightly, but 14th on this countdown is nothing to shrug your shoulders at.

15. USA Nationals - Cedar Lake Speedway
     Rounding out the top 15 in the dirt world and finishing off Part 2 of our series is the always popular USA Nationals at Cedar Lake Speedway in New Richmond, Wisconsin. The 28th Annual event will pay the regular $50,000. The USA Nationals also produces a wild crowd and atmosphere much like the Prairie Dirt Classic at FALS. If you’re looking for a way to start August off with a bang, then this is the place to be.

If you missed 16-20 in our last post, you can read about them here

16. Show-Me 100 - Lucas Oil Speedway
17. Short Track Nationals - I-30 Speedway
18. Knoxville Late Model Nationals - Knoxville Raceway
19. Fall Brawl - I-80 Speedway
20. Mudsummer Classic - Eldora Speedway

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