By Charlie Brown, Delmar, DE – For the third consecutive year, the Delaware State Dirt Track Championships at the Delaware International Speedway will be held under the lights on Friday night, October 19th and Saturday night October 20th. The evening format has proved to be a big hit with both the fans and drivers. Racers from a five state area are looking forward to once again competing on the two grooved nighttime surface and competing for an increased purse in all divisions.
The tacky night time surface appears to have brought the “home field” advantage back to the weekly racers. Last year Jamie Mills of Milford, Del. topped a strong field of Big Block Modifieds while Seaford, Del.’s Ricky Elliott did likewise in the Super Late Models. In the past when the event was held on the hard and slick daytime surface, the fall championship was dominated by weekend invaders. The night time surface event has be won by its fare share of the tracks top weekly racers, the event also hold the reputation of producing some interesting first time winners in the event.
In the last two decades in the Big Block Modifieds there have been a number of invaders who have scored wins. Brett Hearn, Billy Pauch, Craig VonDohren, Kevin Hirthler, Duane Howard, Frank Cozze, Danny Johnson, John Willman, Jimmy Chester and Jimmy Horton have all posted single or multiple wins while Jamie Mills, Bobby Wilkins, Ricky Elliott and invader then but 2010 track champion, Kenny Brightbill were the only drivers from 1991 on scoring victories for the “home” team.
Top local racers in the Super Late Models have had more success during that same 20 year period. Ten time track champion, Kenny Pettyjohn has scored five wins while five time champion, David Hill scored three of his four total wins during that period and former track champion, David Pettyjohn took the win in 2006 and Ricky Elliott scored the nighttime win for the past two season. The list of “outside” winners is a diverse group that includes Les Hare, Gary Stuhler, D.J. Myers, Scott Brode, Dan Stone, Booper Bare, Roy Deese, Jamie Lathroum and Kirk Ryan.
More than $60,000 will be on the line in the two night event. The Big Block Modified 50 lap championship will pay $5000 to win which jumps to $6000 with a $50 gambler’s fee and $7000 with a $100 gambler’s fee plus lap leader money. Similarly in the Super Late Model 50 lapper it will be $5000 to win, $6000 with a $50 gambler’s fee and $7000 with a $100 gamblers fee plus lap leader money. The Small Block Modifieds will make their only appearance of the season with $3000 to win the 50 lap main plus an additional $1000 with a $50 gambler’s fee and a total of $5000 with a $100 gambler’s fee plus lap money.
The support divisions will also have their chance at big paydays. In both the AC Delco TSS Modifieds and the Crate Models the 25 lap winner will receive $1250 to win plus lap money. A $50 gambler’s fee will increase the winner’s share to $1750. The Mod Lite 20 lap main will pay $750 to win plus lap money and $1250 to win with the $50 gambler’s fee. There will also be championship events for the Little Lincoln Cars, Vintage Stock Cars, Delmarva Charger/Super Trucks and the Slide for 5.
Gates open Friday Oct. 19th at 3 p.m. with hot laps at 6 p.m. Qualifying heats (in order of qualifying) will be held for the AC Delco Modifieds, Crate Models, Mod Lites, Small Blocks, Super Late Models, and Big Block Modifieds. Feature events for the evening will include the 10 lap Delmarva Chargers/Super Truck championship, a 12-lap Little Lincoln championship and the 50 lap Small Block Modified championship.
On Saturday Oct. 20th gates open at 4 p.m. with hot laps for non-qualified cars beginning at 5:30 p.m. Feature events for the evening in order will be the 25 Lap AC Delco Modified, 50 Lap Big Block Modified, 50 Lap Super Late Model, 25 Lap Crate Model, 20 Lap Mod Lite, Vintage Cars and ending with the Slide for 5. Two day general admission is just $40 and $60 pits. One day admission each night is $25 general admission $35 pits and as always, children 13 and under are free on the spectator side when accompanied by a parent. For more information contact the speedway office at (302) 875-1911