Even though I am not a trained journalist, I try to write most of the pieces I do as professionally as I can and with as little bias as possible. However, I am writing this piece about my weekend at the World Finals purely from the perspective of a fan who just enjoys racing.
The World of Outlaws and the Super DIRTcar Series concluded their seasons this past weekend at The Dirt Track at Charlotte. In so doing, three very different pieces of the dirt racing world were united in what has become a yearly event at the track located in the shadows of NASCAR’s Charlotte Motor Speedway. And as is typically the case, the event known as the World Finals was a huge success as the track announced that its Thursday crowd for qualifying and some heat racing was the largest ever assembled for that particular day of the week. The Friday and Saturday attendance numbers also reached record numbers for this event.
These large gatherings came about despite the fact that the championship battles in the World of Outlaws Late Models Series, the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series and the Super DIRTcar Series had essentially already been determined.
Brandon Sheppard had secured the WoO Late Models title before he even arrived at the track after a dominating season in which he ultimately tied the record of Josh Richards for most feature victories in a single year with nineteen. Donny Schatz locked up his ninth WoO Sprint Car championship after he earned starting spots in the Friday and Saturday features via Thursday’s qualifying. Matt Sheppard, after having won half of all series races, was due to be crowned as the Super DIRTcar Series champ for Big Block Modified cars before he even left his race shop.
None of that seemed to dampen the enthusiasm of those in attendance at all.
As a matter of fact, the atmosphere generated as these three series were brought together in one place at one time was electric. No one was lamenting the fact that there were no championship battles brought about by contrived systems and no one was awaiting the retribution of one driver toward another from an incident that happened the previous week. It was just a weekend filled with great racing and fun interaction among three different groups of fans unified by their love of the sport.
Three very different forms of racing brought three very different fan groups together which made for a fun environment. And this writer, who primarily sees Late Model racing each week, very much loved getting to watch the big stars of Sprint Car racing contest their features in person. And the Big Block Modifieds provided a new loud and ground-shaking experience for someone who had previously only seen them as part of televised productions.
At most dirt racing events I attend, I typically stay so busy doing things for this website that I sometimes forget to just enjoy the moment. This past weekend it was impossible to not simply be a fan of the sport of dirt racing. Particularly since I was not really reporting on the Sprint Car and Big Block Modified portions of the show, I just got to take it all in.
The World Finals is an event this writer would highly recommend for any dirt racing fan, or any fan of racing at all. The variety of competition and of fans will make for a memorable experience for anyone who loves racing.