By Charlie Brown, Delmar, DE – For the fourth consecutive year, the Delaware State Dirt Track Championships at the Delaware International Speedway will be held under the lights on Friday night, October 18th and Saturday night October 19th. The evening format may give the Saturday night regulars at the track the “home court” advantage against an always talented group of invaders.
Seaford, Del.’s Ricky Elliott picked up his first Super Late Model championship at the track in 2013 and is looking to make it three in a row in the Fall Championship event. In the past when the event was held on the hard and slick daytime surface, the 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, Rick Laubach, 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. Mat Jester who earned his second championship this year with a late season run of feature wins seems to have the momentum to add his name to the list for the weekly regulars this weekend.
Top local racers in the Super Late Models have had more success during that same 20 plus year period. Ten time track champion, Kenny Pettyjohn has scored five wins while five time champion, David Hill, who retired in 2013, scored three of his four total wins during that period and former track champion, David Pettyjohn took the win in 2006. Ricky Elliott has scored the nighttime win for the past three seasons. 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 Chargers, Super Trucks and the Slide for 5.
Gates open Friday Oct. 18th 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, Small Blocks, Mod Lites, Super Late Models, and Big Block Modifieds. Feature events for the evening will include the 10 lap Delmarva Chargers, 10 lap Super Truck championship, a 12-lap Little Lincoln championship and the 50 lap Small Block Modified championship.
On Saturday Oct. 19th 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, 12 lap 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