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What began as a passion project for country music artist Dylan Scott turned into a full-fledged business venture.
When Scott, a longtime auto racing fan from Monroe, La., first considered covering his hometown’s Revolution Park’s 3/8-mile asphalt oval with dirt, the plan was to host just a few weekends of racing, capped by a special event for Late Models. But when the Covid-19 pandemic wiped out the majority of Scott’s planned singing engagements this year, suddenly, the Southern crooner who loves dirt racing had a lot of extra time on his hands.
Turning a negative into a positive, Scott extended his Dirt on the Rev project to include weekly racing at the northern Louisiana facility. Now, after what Scott calls a successful and educational season, the Dirt on the Rev is set to host the Hooked Up 50 on Sept. 18-19, featuring two separate programs for Super Late Models — $3,000-to-win on Friday and $7,000-to-win on Saturday — along with $2,000-to-win programs for Crate Late Models, limited modifieds and factory stocks with live streaming at DirtonDirt.com and FloRacing.
“First of all, it’s going better than I expected, so it’s really cool,” said Scott while attending the opening night of the Topless 100 at Batesville Speedway near Locust Grove, Ark. “We wanted to come in and put dirt on it and was initially gonna run two weekends. We were gonna run a regular weekend show and do a big $10,000-to-win Super Late Model race.
“My touring schedule has come to a halt, which freed up my whole summer. So, I called Nick Brown, my partner in this, and said, ‘Hey let’s just run a whole summer series there.’ So (we decided) to run 10 weekends. Man, it’s been great. The racers … the drivers have 100 percent supported it. The fans are packing the stands every night. I’ve been around this a long time and it’s one of the craziest things I’ve seen.”
Scott said that having his music schedule cut back was a blessing in disguise. Rather than being forced to abandon the promoting gig as quickly as he jumped into it in order to return to his touring schedule, the extra time around the track has instead been insightful, even for a guy who grew up attending races.
“This would’ve been a totally different experience (if they had only promoted two events) I would tell you that,” Scott said. “You gotta get going. You gotta get your feet wet and get in there. It took about three weekends for us to go ‘Oh man something’s happening. Something’s really working right here.’ So if I wouldn’t have had that third weekend, who knows, I might’ve just been like, ‘That was fun, but I know I don’t want to do that again.’
“But it’s something special there, and the Covid-19 as bad as it is and the pandemic we’re in, it’s hurt me from being on the road and doing what I love to do, which is play music, but it’s also helped me in the aspect of, ‘Hey it opened up this whole new door,’ for me.”
Scott’s constantly looking for ways to improve the experience at Revolution Park as well. After all, he is in the entertainment business. That’s one of the reasons he decided to make the 275-mile drive from Monroe to Batesville, knowing he’d have to turn around and head back home when the Thursday opener was done. That’s also one of the reasons he’s reached out to others in the industry.
“There’s Jacob Nord, him and Cody (Sommer) are I guess in business. I don’t know exactly what they do, I just know that they’re doing it and they’re doing it the right way,” Scott said. “So, me and Jacob have become really good friends. So, I’ll call Jacob sometimes two or three times a week just picking his brain about what I need to do and he helped me a ton and is still helping me till this day. So he’s helped me a lot.
“Going to different racetracks, and being (at the Topless 100), basically I’m looking around and going, ‘Here’s some things we can do different. Here’s some things we need to do and look at.’ It’s like being on tour, you go and watch other people’s set and you learn. You go to other tracks and you learn.”
Touring with his music has allowed the 29-year-old Scott to both stay connected to his roots, while at the same time make new connections.
“To this day, if I’m on tour if I play early enough on a Friday or Saturday night and there’s a racetrack around, I’ll let the band go do their thing and I’ll go over to the racetrack and spend the night over there watching the races and get the bus to pick me up and roll on to the next (show). I just love it man,” Scott said. “The touring world, and being a country music singer, has definitely helped me meet people. I’ve met a lot of people in the dirt business, in the dirt world.
“It’s just the older I get the more I’m around it, the more I see this is how this is done and this is done and, OK, I want to try this. The opportunity was right there in Monroe with that track and I thought man it’s sitting here. It’s been sitting there for seven years doing nothing, so let’s just put dirt on it. I figured out how much it was gonna cost to do it and who I needed to get to do it and we just went and did it.”
With the summer drawing to a close and his track’s marque event on the horizon, Scott has already starting thinking about the future.
“I would love to buy the track and continue at that facility,” he said. “That facility is a great facility. It’s right there off the interstate. It’s just a great spot and the fans love it. I would love to buy the place and continue there. If not, if they don’t want to sell, I’m gonna explore the option of building a brand new dirt track in Monroe. We know it will work. We’ve seen it.
“The area is hungry for a place like that and I think it could bring big things to the city of Monroe, especially when you get some big races in there, when you get some Lucas Oil races or some World of Outlaw races. That’s something that that area has never experienced ever. So I think it would be an awesome thing.”