Many of the best dirt late-model and modified drivers in the country will be at I-80 Speedway on Friday and Saturday for the Silver Dollar Nationals, one of the biggest racing events in Nebraska in recent years.
The late-model portion of the event will end on Saturday night with an 80-lap feature involving 35 cars and paying $25,000 to win and $1,000 to start. The late-model portion of the event is co-sanctioned by the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series and the Midwest Late Model Racing Association.
The Lucas Oil series is arguably the best touring dirt late-model series in the country. Drivers competing in the series include Scott Bloomquist, Jimmy Owens, Don O’Neal, Steve Francis and Earl Pearson Jr. Add to the mix other nationally known stars such as Billy Moyer, Brian Birkhofer, Jimmy Mars and regional drivers such as John Anderson, Kyle Berck and Chad and Chris Simpson and you know it’s going to be a whale of a race.
One of the unique features of the Silver Dollar Nationals is that there are no time trials. All late-model drivers will run two qualifying heat races Friday night. The average starting position for each driver will be the same. Eighteen cars will qualify through the heat races, with another six added from the consolation event. The rest of the field will be filled with series and individual race provisionals. Drivers who do not make the feature will get a chance to earn extra money in the just-added Al Belt Custom Homes Builder’s Bash, a 12-car, 12-lap event for nonqualifiers.
Then there’s the United States Modified Touring Series, which races 90 times a year through the middle part of the country and features the top dirt modified drivers in the country. Ryan Gustin of Marshalltown, Iowa, leads the USMTS national points race, but he will have stiff competition from nine-time series champion Kelly Shryock, Johnny Scott, Rodney Sanders, Jason Hughes and others. The USMTS will run complete programs on both Friday and Saturday night, with Friday’s being a national event paying $4,000 to win and Saturday’s feature a qualifier paying $2,000 to win.
Races start at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, with grandstands opening at 5 p.m.
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