DIRTcar UMP Ready For Florida Invasion
CONCORD, N.C. — The 2011 campaigns for DIRTcar UMP’s late-model and modified divisions will begin in a big way with the annual trip to Florida for Speedweeks.
Anchored by the 40th annual DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH Feb. 8-19 at Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla., the season-opening southern swing for the World Racing Group’s Midwest-based UMP circuit boasts seven late-model and 16 modified events spread across four tracks over a 23-day span.
More than $375,000 in purse money will be available in DIRTcar UMP-sanctioned races held in the state of Florida from Jan. 28-Feb. 19, divided between more than a quarter-million dollars earmarked for the late-model events and more than $125,000 for the modified division.
North Florida Speedway in Lake City, Fla., East Bay Raceway Park in Gibsonton, Fla., and Ocala (Fla.) Speedway will join the half-mile Volusia oval in hosting DIRTcar UMP competition.
“This is shaping up as one of the most exciting starts to a season in DIRTcar UMP’s history,” said Sam Driggers, the director of DIRTcar Racing’s UMP organization. “We’ve added some new wrinkles for the late-model racers with the addition of the ‘Bulrush Dash’ to each night’s program at Volusia as well as a race at Ocala (Feb. 13) that will serve as a lead-in to the DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH, and the number of modified events we’re sanctioning shows just how strong and popular the division has become.
“We’re excited to have the opportunity to showcase DIRTcar UMP racing to all the fans traveling to the state of Florida for their winter racing fix,” added Driggers.
A DIRTcar UMP-sanctioned event will be contested each evening of the 12-night DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH held at Volusia, which also includes the World of Outlaws Late Model Series (Feb. 17-19); the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series (Feb. 11-13); the O’Reilly All-Star Circuit of Champions (Feb. 9-10); and the Super DIRTcar Series for big-block modifieds (Feb. 16-19).
Six DIRTcar UMP late-model programs are set for the DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH, including 30-lap features paying $7,000 to win Feb. 14-16, a $10,000-to-win 40-lapper Feb. 18.
There will also be co-sanctioned World of Outlaws Late Model Series events offering $10,000 top prizes for 50 laps of work on Feb. 17 and 19. The $300-to-win Bulrush Dash, a 12-lap, 15-car sprint reserved for the top-five non-transfers from each evening’s B-mains who have not yet qualified for a feature during the week, will cap each night of racing.
The UMP Modifieds will be part of the DIRTcar Nationals for the longest stint — eight consecutive nights from Feb. 8-15.
After the open-wheel division’s meet begins with $1,000-to-win features on Feb. 8-11, the field will be split by the week’s current points standings. Drivers sitting in odd-number positions will race Feb. 12 and those in even-number spots compete Feb. 13 in a pair of $700-to-win qualifying programs leading up to the marquee ‘Gator Championship’ event Feb. 14 that carries a $5,000 first-place prize.
The UMP modified series concludes Feb. 15 with the week’s competitors divided into twin or triple 25-lap features (depending on car count) that each pay $700 to win.
DIRTcar UMP’s satellite events in Florida will be headlined by the inaugural ‘Battle Between The Coasts’ late-model spectacular Feb. 13 at Ocala Speedway, a 50-lap, $8,000-to-win
Ocala will also host the UMP modifieds for three consecutive evenings of action from Feb. 17-19. The UMP modified ‘Winternationals’ will be run in conjunction with Ocala’s Bubba Army USAC Sprint Car Nationals.
DIRTcar UMP’s mid-winter competition in Florida will commence with the two-day UMP Modified Nationals Jan. 28-29 at North Florida Speedway, a three-eighths-mile oval about 60 miles west of Jacksonville. Both programs will be topped by features paying $1,500 to win.
Three nights of UMP modified racing will take place Feb. 3-5 as part of the 35th annual Winternationals at East Bay Raceway Park. Preliminary programs Feb. 3-4 — headlined by features paying $1,500 to win — lead into a 75-lap grand finale Feb. 5 that boasts a $5,000 winner’s check.