New Favorites and Regional Gems: The Tracks of The Summer Nationals
The DIRTcar Summer Nationals has long been home to one of the most diverse schedules in dirt track racing. Since the beginning, local Illinois tracks like Kankakee, Fairbury and Tri-City Speedway have helped develop the character of the Summer Nationals. The quarter- and 3/8-mile banked ovals have given the series a regional flair while still drawing racers from abroad.
Over the years, stops on the tour have become even more diverse. The 1/5-mile bullring of Macon Speedway and trips to Iowa, Indiana, Missouri, and Kentucky have seen increased track variety for a tour whose fanbase has quickly expanded outside its initial region. The ever-expanding list of tracks has taken many shapes and sizes over the next three decades, but the tradition of introducing new tracks to traveling fans and drivers continues to this day.
The 2018 DIRTcar Summer Nationals Schedule boasts 26 unique racing facilities across five states. The tracks range in size from 1/5-mile bullrings to half-mile, flat paperclips. A few tracks on the tour may not see a Late Model or Modified race the remainder of their season, creating a rare opportunity for those visiting the track.
You’ll find tracks like Sycamore Speedway that only races Late Models on a limited basis. The division didn’t see it’s official return to Sycamore until last season, but it immediately became a favorite stop to many of those in attendance. The track’s unique atmosphere and beautiful grounds cement it as a destination to any that visit.
Tracks like Terre Haute Action Track operate on a special event schedule and are mostly known for their open wheel events. On June 29 the Summer Nationals will meet up with the World of Outlaw Craftsman Late Model Series for a one-of-a-kind event. Terre Haute is a city with an amazing motorsports history, and a trip there to see a Late Model event is something you can only experience during this unique 33-day tour of the midwest.
Many of the stops on the tour do not race Late Models on a regular basis. A lot of these are traditional open wheel tracks like Charleston Speedway (IL). DIRTcar Late Models are rarely seen as a premier class at these tracks, and the DIRTcar Summer Nationals presents a rare chance to see what these cars and drivers can do at the local favorites.
The many traveling fans who use the DIRTcar Summer Nationals as a vacation destination can expect to see some less-travelled tracks that others call home: tracks like Spoon River Speedway (IL) and Highland Speedway (IL). If you’re coming from out of state odds are this is the only time you will make it to these regional gems.
Illinois fans looking to see some out of state favorites might take in Shadyhill Speedway (IN) or Clarksville Speedway (TN).
The important thing all these tracks have in common is that each one is somebody’s home track. Every track visited on the Summer Nationals has the potential to become one of your favorite tracks. Wether you prefer the covered stands and infield flag stands of an Illinois Fairgrounds or the open spaces and scenic locations of Northern Indiana and Michigan, there is something for everyone on the DIRTcar Summer Nationals tour. Your new favorite track just may be one race-cation away.