Look Back: 2016 Dirt Track World Championship

20171012_Josh Richards_Twitter_-Josh_Richards1.jpg

One race remains on the Lucas Oil Dirt Late Model Series schedule, and there's lot on the line. On October 20-21, the series rolls into Portsmouth (OH) Raceway Park to compete for a $100,000 paycheck and championship points.

If last year’s race is an indication, this week could prove to be pivotal for the top three in the standings.

In the 2016 edition of the Dirt Track World Championship, Brandon Sheppard needed 72 laps to take the lead for the first time. For the next five laps, he engaged in a battle with Josh Richards until he finally took control on lap 77. Sheppard led the rest of the way and pocketed a check in excess of $100,000.

Sheppard chose to run with the World of Outlaws Late Model Series this year and the decision has been great for the driver. He currently leads the Outlaw points standings and is closing in a record for the most wins in a season for that series — a record set just last year by none other than Richards.

In fact, the drivers swapped primary series and it has been beneficial to both. Richards held the Lucas Oil points lead until a couple of weeks when Tim McCreadie overtook him, but “Kid Rocket” has managed to stay within striking distance as the differential is only 40 markers.

Now there is only one remaining chance for Richards to earn Lucas Oil points and close the distance.

In the 2016 Dirt Track World Championship, Richards was also passed by Earl Pearson Jr. — who finished second. But Richards’ third-place finish was six spots ahead of McCreadie, however, and eight above Scott Bloomquist, who currently sits third in the standings.

Richards might have been able to hold onto the lead until then end if not for damage to the car. 

“It was definitely the nosepiece that cost us this race,” Richards said from the bottom step of the podium. “Once it folded back I knew we were in trouble.”

This year, problems for any of the top three drivers could eliminate them from competition, but great drivers tend to step up in high-visibility races.

The USMTS Finalizes Their 2018 Schedule

USMTS, Tyler Rinken Productions USMTS Tyler Rinken Productions A.png

The United States Modified Touring Series has filled the final slots on the 2018 with three events that were listed at To Be Announced filled and one brand new date on their schedule. Two of these events will be inaugural races at the track.

Shane Stewart Won In Familiar And New Places To Land 44th

Shane Stewart, Facebook Shane Stewart_Facebook.png

By Victoria Beaver

Justin Grant Replaces Tyler Courtney At TOPP Motorsports

USACRacing.com Justin Grant USAC Racing.png

Justin Grant will join TOPP Motorsports in 2018 and hopes that the combination will be that little something extra needed to earn a championship next year. In 2017, he came up just six points short of winning the USAC National Sprint Car title to Chris Windom.

The Hell Tour Gets Hotter with Nine $10,000-To-Win Races

@SummerNationals , Twitter Summer Nationals.png

The world was once filled with endurance races. The Paris-to-Dakar Rally, Baja 1000, and even the World 600 was conceived as a way to push drivers and equipment to their limit. Established in 1985, the Hell Tour was another of those tests of stamina. Now, 33 years it is the last event standing.

Kyle Larson Takes Over Full Ownership Of His Sprint Car Team

Brian Fluharty, USA Today Kyle Larson.png

After four years as equal partners in Larson Marks Racing (LMR), Kyle Larson is taking over a full ownership role. Justin Marks will become an advisor for the new team. Kyle Larson Racing (KLR) will continue to field the No. 2 sprint piloted in the World of Outlaws Sprint Car series by driver Shane Stewart. Together Stewart and the team have accomplished 35 wins over four years.

Eight Races In Four States Make Up The NeSmith Winter Shootout

NeSmith Racing, Facebook NeSmith Racing Facebook.png

Four multi-night weekends over the course of three months at four different tracks will highlight the NeSmith Chevrolet Late Model Series Winter Shootout, with the first race coming just days after the calendar turns to 2018. If a single driver sweeps the entire schedule, he will walk away with $27,500.

Sign Of The Tides: Drivers Prepare For Highs, Lows At East Bay Raceway

East Bay Raceway Park, Instagram East Bay Race surface.png

By Victoria Beaver

Where else but Florida would Mother Nature find a new way to impact a racing weekend? At East Bay Raceway Park in Gibsonton, track regulars have learned to check the tide schedule online or printed in the local paper — because if you go in unprepared, the track could pull you under like a riptide.

Game On: Ryan Newman Buys Into Clauson-Marshall Racing

Denny Medley, USA Today Ryan Newman.png

Ryan Newman is going back to his roots in a big way. 

Three Cheers For Zac Taylor And His Three Championships

Inside Line Promotions 20171207_Zac Taylor_ILP.jpg

By Victoria Beaver

Zac Taylor enjoyed a breakout season in 2017 by taking home three championships in a single year. Taylor closed out the season with a trio of titles: one at El Paso County Raceway in Calhan, CO; the second in the Blood, Sweat and Tears/Colorado Alliance Tour; and the third in the International Motor Car Association Colorado State tour.

Live Updates: PRI Day 1, The Show Starts

Jonathon Masters IMG_2532.jpeg

Bookmark this page for Live Updates by Jonathon Masters of the first day of the Performance Racing Industry Trade Show.