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2020 Ohio Season Preview

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  • 2020 Ohio Season Preview

    Race cars will hit the dirt for the first time this year in 10 days and it's time to get ready for what is shaping up to be an amazing season of racing in the buckeye state in 2020.The racing season officially kicks off at Atomic Speedway in Waverly, Ohio on March 14th. There are many new and exciting events as well as many of the well beloved yearly staples of Ohio racing returning. With that being said, lets take a dive in to a month by month highlight sheet of races around the state.


    March is most notable for being the start of the racing season here in Ohio. Four tracks are slated to host their season openers during the month of March. Atomic will open on the 14th, Attica on the 20th, Hilltop (Millersburg) on the 27th and lastly Waynesfield on the 28th. The Buckeye Spring 50 makes its return to Atomic Speedway paying a grand prize of $12k to the winner as the Lucas Oil Late Models swing into Ohio for the first of four trips into Ohio for the year. Jimmy Owens took home the checkered flag in last years event after a postponement into April.

    Attica's highly anticipated opener usually features some of the largest fields of the year aside from speedweek and many invaders come out to get an early start to their season from the state of Michigan and in recent years a few Upper Midwestern drivers such as Bill Balog and Scotty Thiel have dropped in. The final race of the month sends the month of March out with a bang at Waynesfield Raceway Park featuring the Bob Hampshire Classic. Headlined by the FAST 410 Sprints and BOSS Non Wing sprints season opener and supported by a typically stout field of 305 sprints this is one show a sprint car lover cannot miss.


    The season really starts to get going in April in Ohio as six more tracks will swing their gates open for the first time in 2020. Wayne County will open up on April 4th, Brushcreek on April 5th, Eldora, Fremont, and 35 Raceway Park on April 18th, and Moler on April 24th. The first big set of shows in the month of April take place on the weekend of April 10th and 11th at Attica and Atomic. Attica welcomes the All Stars first two shows of the year at their annual Spring Nationals event on April 10th and 11th. This marks the first time since 2016 that Attica has hosted the points opener for the All Stars. A mix of decorated local drivers, talented all star veterans, and newcomers to the series such as Sam Hafertepe will prove to be an electric race with an unpredictable outcome.

    The Atomic 100 returns for a second season and will pay $6k to win on night one and $12k to win for the finale on Saturday night for the highest paying (to win) unsanctioned show in the state in 2020. The 100 lap feature at the wide high banked oval will leave a lot of room for hard chargers. Both the lucas oil late model series and the WoO late model series are off this weekend leaving the chance for some high stakes invaders to come rolling into town very likely, especially since the world of outlaw late models will be in the state shortly after. The Renegades of Dirt Modifieds will contest for a $2000 to win show at Hilltop alongside a strong field of late models on April 18th, the most northern appearance of the series in the 2020 season.

    The World of Outlaw late models will head to the 'Creek - Brushcreek Motorsports Complex - on April 25th for a 100 lapper promoted by Carl Short. The second show of the weekend following a WoO event at Richmond, KY, the WoO event is the first major sanction to come to the track in recent memory and should provide for a huge crowd at the Peebles, OH oval. The all star circuit of champions will also be heading to Wayne County Speedway that night for the Rick Susong Memorial. Although not a major race, a big development in southern Ohio sprint car racing is that 35 Raceway Park is going to be a weekly racesaver 305 track this year, allowing for a developmental track for young drivers before moving into the 410 ranks.


    The remaining six tracks (not including the rebirth of Deerfield later on) open their gates in May. Jackson County speedway reopens their facility on May 1st, as well as Raceway 7 and Limaland opening up on that date. Sharon opens up on May 2nd, Muskingum Co. and Portsmouth opens on the 9th. The World of Outlaws sprint cars and USAC Non wing sprint cars come into Ohio for the first time of the year with their annual lets race two dates at Eldora Speedway on May 8th and 9th. One of the few opportunities to see the best of winged and traditional sprint car drivers hit the surface on the same night, the annual event has proven to be a fan favorite at Eldora.

    The World of Outlaw Late Models come to Wayne Co. Speedway on the 16th and are accompanied by the OVSCA 410 sprint cars. With two premier classes on hand at the Orrville circuit, this is one of the highlights of the entire year let alone the month. The following Thursday, on the 21st of May Atomic will host their inaugural FAST KC Classic for the FAST 410 sprint cars paying $6.7k to win. A high paying midweek show is rarity in the world of sprint cars, especially with a regional sanctioning body. Heavy hitters may swing into the buckeye state and try to stake their claim for the top prize to kick off their Memorial Day weekend.

    One of the odder additions, but also intriguing is a trio of co sanctioned events during memorial day weekend. The National Racing Alliance and Patriot Sprint Tour will co-sanction events at Limaland, Waynesfield, and Eldora on the 22nd, 23d, and 24th respectively. An interesting group of 360 drivers could be on hand with having a distant sanction such as PST come out for the shows.


    Good's Raceway, formerly Deerfield Raceway, will open up on June 6th being the last full time track to open on the season. The first big event in the month of June is The Dream at Eldora Speedway. One of the crown jewels of dirt late model racing, The Dream is set to pay $126k to the winner this season. The three day event stretches from June 5th to June 7th, featuring double features on the first two nights and capped off by a 100 lap feature on Saturday for the grand prize.

    Next on tap, and the most well attended series of events on the season, is the All Star sanctioned Ohio sprint speedweek. Nine races in nine days criss-cross the state and prove to be one of the most grueling accomplishments and can make or break seasons for the touring drivers. The mini-series kicks off on June 12th at Attica, and then treks down to Eldora for night two. From Eldora, the all stars return to Waynesfield after a one year absence on Sunday night. Wayne County will host their traditional Monday date and the series will continue on to Sharon Tuesday. Next comes a jot down to Zanesville for the hump day show at Muskingum County, followed by the return of speedweek to Fremont Speedway on Thursday night. Limaland is scheduled for Friday, before the all stars conclude their speedweek with a $15+k to win Dean Knittle Memorial at Portsmouth Raceway Park.

    The 27th features all 3 divisions of winged sprints at Fremont speedway for one of their open wheel shootouts. That date also features the first time that Late Models (steel block) will compete at 35 Raceway Park in the bullring's history.


    The Jack Hewitt Classic returns to Waynesfield featuring both the BOSS non wings and the FAST 410s. 360s and 305s will also run a combined show, and USAC D2 Midgets will also make an appearance. The storied event for the famed driver is Waynesfield's traditional crown jewel, and should feature a huge field of sprinters, winged and non winged, filling in the pits. The event precedes two nights of All Star racing at Attica and Fremont so with the proper permissions, maybe even some all star drivers will be able to pop in? Expo Speedway will have it's one race of the year on July 9th during the Trumbull County Fair featuring the BRP Big Block Modifieds and RUSH Sportsman Modifieds.

    The unofficial second speedweek of the year kicks off on July 10th with an AFCS show at Attica. The following night, 410 sprint teams have the choice of going to Atomic for a FAST show, Fremont for an AFCS show, or Sharon for the Lou Blaney Memorial. Sharon also hosts a second all star show on Sunday the 12th as well. After a night off, Attica will host the always anticipated Brad Doty Classic - the only time the Outlaws take on the Ohio locals at a weekly race track. Then there are four straight nights of Outlaw action at Eldora speedway with the nightcap being the $175k to win King's Royal.

    Coinciding with the King's Royal is the finale of the Summer Nationals Hell Tour for Late Models and Modifieds at Oakshade Raceway. Meanwhile, the opener of Buckeye Late Model Dirt week at Muskingum County Speedway takes place on the 18th as well. The Buckeye Late Model Dirtweek has their next Ohio race at Hilltop on July 24th, and hosts it's final Ohio date at Moler on the 31st of July. The NASCAR Trucks will have their annual Dirt Derby at Eldora on Thursday July 30th. Limaland's season finale is July 31st.


    The dog days of summer bring fair season and a lot of nights off across the state of Ohio. Before the fair kicks off for Sandusky County, Fremont will have a sprint car extravaganza with BOSS Non wing sprints, the winged 410s and 305s all on hand as well as the dirt trucks on August 8th. Portsmouth will also host a $5k to win unsanctioned late Model show that same night for the Boone Coleman Gator 50. Wayne County Speedway will have their annual Danny Gardner Memorial paying $2.7k to win for the super stock division.

    Fremont's fair race for the 305 sprints will be on Tuesday August 25th this season, a rare atmosphere in this day in age and only one of two fair races in Ohio. Attica will have it's Championship night on the 28th and Wayne County on the 29th.


    The Attica ambush returns on the 4th and 5th of the month with the All Stars coming back to Ohio and concluding Attica's season with a $10k to win event on Saturday. The All stars will head to Wayne County on Sunday for a $13k to win Pete Jacobs Memorial. Also on Sunday is 35 Raceway's annual Chuck Engle classic featuring their lone 410 appearance of the year with the OVSCA 410s to take on the quarter mile bullring. The King of Compacts paying $7.5k to win will take place at Atomic on Sunday the 6th, as well as the Baltes classic at Eldora Speedway. All in all a very busy weekend in the state of Ohio.

    The World 100 is September's Marquee event at Eldora Speedway, lasting three days and running from the 10th to the 12th. The 50th running of the event comes to a conclusion on Saturday and the winner will take home a $53k check and a coveted Globe trophy. The Apple Festival Nationals will run the 11th and 12th at Sharon Speedway and feature a multitude of classes, with more information still pending on exactly what classic are running each night be sure to check back for more info on their site and Facebook. Raceway 7 will have Super late models paying $5k to win for their annual September shootout on the 12th.

    Fremont will host their annual Jim Ford Classic the weekend of the 18th and 19th, paying $10k to win for the 410s on the final night of action at Fremont Speedway for the season. The event will be sanctioned by FAST for the second consecutive year and both the 305s and trucks will be in support both nights. The Weekend on the Hill at Hilltop is also scheduled for the 18th and 19th and is headlined by their late model division and typically a bump in purse. Remaining classes will be announced at a later date.

    Eldora will host the four crown nationals over the weekend of September 25th and 26th, with the second night having all three USAC divisions and the ASCoC points finale for the final event of the season at Eldora Speedway. Meanwhile, Wayne County Speedway will Host their annual Dirt Blowout on the same weekend capping off with an OVSCA headlined show on Saturday evening.


    The last month of racing for the buckeye state enters with a brand new event hosted by Atomic Speedway - the First ever DIRTcar Eastern Fall Nationals. Two nights of racing action with Saturday the 3rd featuring the FAST 410 Sprints, and Late Models and Modifieds both vying for $5k to win prizes. A great car count can certainly be expected across the divisions as racing winds down for the state on the year. Raceway 7 will host the Lucas Oil Late Models for the second straight season for the Great Lakes 50 in Conneaut.

    The FAST 410 Sprints and BOSS Non Wing sprints will host their championship night on October 9th at Moler Raceway Park. The grand conclusion of the two co-ran series is the second to last night of sprint car racing on the schedule in Ohio this year, with the final night at Atomic for the winged 410s the following night.

    The last major event of the year in the state of Ohio is the Lucas Oil Late Model points finale at Portsmouth - The Dirt Track World Championship. Always featuring the stars of the sport, the final crown jewel event of the year for the late models in Ohio is up for grabs as the winter chill starts to bite the southern Ohio air.

    The final weekend of the year is October 30th and 31st, with Moler racing on Friday and Brushcreek on Saturday.


    There are so many great events throughout our state, and we should be thankful for the mix of major sanctions, crown jewels, high paying unsanctioned shows, and a steady diet of weekly tracks across the state. The revival of two tracks this year in Jackson County and Good's Raceway are shining a positive vibe on the season as well. Everyone should be able to find an event for them throughout the year. There are many shows I've omitted that i will attend and think are fantastic events, but when we have such a plethora of great racing you can only list so much. Stay dirty everyone, and have a great day.
    2020 Race Counter: 1
    Lincoln (1)

  • #2
    You need to start a You Tube Channel to complement this site and back. You could pick up some $s to support your race outings.

    Excellent review as always.


    • #3
      Holy ****, is that accurate bout limaland finale last weekend of July? Used to be early at2nd or 3rd weekend in August but damn that's worthless


      • #4
        Originally posted by Jim11h View Post
        Holy ****, is that accurate bout limaland finale last weekend of July? Used to be early at2nd or 3rd weekend in August but damn that's worthless
        That’s the points championship night. They have one race in August if I recall correctly.
        2020 Race Counter: 1
        Lincoln (1)


        • #5

          That’s the points championship night. They have one race in August if I recall correctly.[/QUOTE

          They have a complete show the first week of August with the King of Quarter Mile the same night, just not a points night, the last points race is the end of July.
          2019 Race Counter: 39
          Port Royal (4); Attica (3); Waynesfield (3); Williams Grove (2); Eldora (5); Limaland (3); Haggerstown (1); Sellingsgrove (2); Fremont (2); Mansfield (1); Wayne County (1); Outlaw Speedway (1); Weedsport Speedway (1); Vado, NM (2) Atomic Speedway (2); USA Raceway (2); Devil's Bowl (3); Lonestar Speedway (1)