The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series is set to kick off its 2022 season this weekend(Jan. 27-29) with three consecutive nights of racing in the Super Clean Super Bowl of Racing at the Golden Isles Speedway near Brunswick, Georgia. Purses of $10,000, $12,000 and $15,000 will kick off this national touring series’ 14-race portion of Georgia-Florida SpeedWeeks that will see the series make its way to Florida’s Bubba Raceway Park, All-Tech Raceway and East Bay Raceway Park. Each of the ten points-paying races during SpeedWeeks will dole out between $10,000 and $15,000 to the winners.
But it will be after the racing action has concluded in Georgia and Florida that the grind of the upcoming 65-race slate will begin. Following a break of almost one month, the competitors who will be vying for the Lucas Oil title will be taken on a journey that will see them contest nine features at eight tracks across seven different states within the two-month time span of March and April. That early season stretch is often where the pretenders are typically separated from the contenders.
One thing about this year will be different for those who choose to follow this tour. More money and perhaps even more prestige than ever before will be on the line for series regulars.
During the off-season, the LOLMDS announced that it would increase its points fund payouts dramatically for the 2022 campaign. Tim McCreadie was crowned as the series champion last season and earned a check worth $75,000($94,000 counting contingency awards). By contrast, this season’s titlist will be awarded a minimum of $150,000 with the runner-up garnering $75,000 and third-place cashing in for $50,000. The total amount of money awaiting the top-12 in the final standings amounts to more than $500,000.
Although some of the sport’s top stars are being somewhat non-committal about their upcoming plans, McCreadie is expected to be back to defend his Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series championship in 2022. The Watertown, New York driver will be challenged by the likes of last year’s second-place man Hudson O’Neal along with Kyle Bronson, Ricky Thornton Jr., four-time champion Earl Pearson Jr. and up-and-coming sensation Spencer Hughes.
Series regulars from previous years such as four-time champion Jimmy Owens and Tyler Erb may not have their full schedules posted on their websites as of now but a strong showing in the early portion of the schedule could very well encourage them to stick with this tour for the full season.
It isn’t just points fund money that will reward drivers and teams on this series in 2022. Many events will have additional purse money up for grabs. And, races at new venues will also add to the prize money available but to the prestige as well.
The Firecracker 100 will become a Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series-sanctioned event this June along with its $50,000-to-win purse. Also added are contests at the Huset’s Speedway in South Dakota, and Missouri’s I-70 Motorsports Park. At the same time, already existing tracks such as Smoky Mountain Speedway and Lucas Oil Speedway have increased their payouts significantly as those tracks located in Maryville, Tennessee and Wheatland, Missouri respectively will each pay $50,000 to their victors.
Eleven features on this year’s schedule will pay at least $50,000 to the winners.
While all the drivers who will compete full-time on the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series in 2022 may not be determined, one thing is for certain. This national touring series is offering more money than ever before so those who do race will be handsomely rewarded for their efforts.
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