One thing that can definitely be said about dirt racing is that this sport certainly knows how to begin and end a season.
Every year competitors stream toward the southeastern corner of the country to kick off the season for the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series, the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series, the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series and the Super DIRTcar Big-Block Modified Series during Georgia-Florida SpeedWeeks throughout the month February. Those tours hit multiple tracks over a three to four week period of time and provide numerous opportunities for fans who have been cooped up all winter to get a major racing fix over a relatively short period of time.
And on the opposite end of the calendar, dirt racing enthusiasts have an opportunity to get one last racing fix before going into hibernation during the winter months as the WoO Sprint Cars, WoO Late Models and the Big-Block Modifieds converge on one location in November to end their campaigns. But unlike the Georgia-Florida SpeedWeeks portion of the schedule, all of the racing action can be taken in at a single venue as each of those national tours will take to The Dirt Track at Charlotte this coming weekend for the Can-Am World Finals in one of the sport’s premier events.
This is the only opportunity to see all three of those series racing in the same location at the same time. And there is business still to be completed as each series concludes its respective campaign.
Brad Sweet will enter the two-race weekend for the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series with a slim eight point lead over Donny Schatz as each seeks that prestigious series title. Schatz is after an amazing eleventh title while this could potentially be the first crown awarded to Sweet.
The Jason Johnson Racing effort of David Gravel sits 96 points out of the lead after collecting ten checkered flags so far in 2019.
In an interesting side note, this battle puts two former NASCAR Cup Series stars at odds with each other as Sweet’s Kasey Kahne Racing team squares off against Schatz’s Tony Stewart Racing operation.
The World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series title has already been decided coming into this weekend at the facility located in Concord, NC. Brandon Sheppard and his Mark Richards-owned Rocket Chassis house car team have completely dominated the series this season by collecting 18 feature wins in 39 starts. As a matter of fact, the No. 1 car has failed to finish a series event in the top-10 only one time during the campaign.
But just because the championship is wrapped doesn’t mean there is nothing on the line. Chase Junghans, Darrell Lanigan, Shane Clanton and Ricky Weiss enter the weekend separated by a total of only 32 points as they contest positions 2-5 in the final standings.
And it isn’t simply the prestige of a solid finish in the WoO Late Model standings on the line as the races play out in the shadow of NASCAR’s Charlotte Motor Speedway. A total of $30,000 is the difference between finishing second and fifth in the standings as the runner-up will receive $60,000 while the fifth place runner will take home a check for $30,000.
The battle for the Super DIRTcar Big-Block Modified championship is even closer than that of the WoO Sprint Cars.
Matt Sheppard makes his way to the Charlotte area with a slim six-point cushion over Mat Williamson. These two drivers have combined to win 11 of the twenty features contested so far in 2019 with Sheppard scoring eight victories and Williamson grabbing three checkered flags on the circuit. Williamson leads the Super DIRTcar Series in money earned by taking over $100,000 in prize money over the course of the season to this point.
The Can-Am World Finals offers a once-a-season opportunity to watch three of the top divisions in dirt racing all in one location at the same time. While the racing season has expanded to essentially run all year long, these races are the last of the year to be included as part of a touring series. The event provides a great chance to get a racing fix before winter sets in.
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