The U.S. Legends Dirt Modified series will race today alongside Dixie’s usual competitors. The series, a tradition in the North and Midwest, hasn’t been able to get a foothold in the Southeast.
That’s where Dixie comes in, and track president Mickey Swims is looking to give the visiting series a boost.
“They’ll be introduced at Dixie, which is a plus for them in the South,” Swims said. “They’re neat little cars — they’re fast and they are open-wheel. They’re $14,000 (each), ready to race. I’ve had a lot of guys ask if we are going to start these things (full-time). It looks like they may be doing something that’s a plus for dirt.”
Much like the mini sprints, the Legends dirt modified cars are small. They weigh no more than 1,000 pounds and carry 140-horsepower motorcycle engines. While the Legends cars are similar to the sprint cars, Swims said that the former carries more speed. He also said the series promised to bring 12 to 14 cars for tonight’s race.
Swims was encouraged by what he had heard of the series’ past racing, and he believes it will bring a good show.
“It’s dirt,” he said. “Everybody loves dirt racing, and (the fans) like to see them slide through those corners. I think it’s going to be a pretty good deal to get them organized and everything.”
Tonight will be the Legends series’ eighth race of the year and its first and only race in Georgia this season. The series races primarily out of North Carolina, close to the respective homes of the series’ developers — Bruton Smith and Ray Evernham.
Those names are familiar to NASCAR fans. Smith is the found of Speedway Motorsports, Inc. — owner of Atlanta Motor Speedway — and Evernham is a former NASCAR crew chief-turned-car owner.
In tonight’s race, likely favorites to watch for are current points leader Tommy Corellis, two-time winner Jimmy Lambert and Evernham’s nephew, Willy Evernham.
Outside of the Legends cars, Dixie’s championship races are turning their attention toward the Pony Stocks.
Last week, Jeremy Ray won followed by Jeremy Millsaps, Jeremie Baines, Natasha Stokes and Bruce Kimber. However, Shannon Ethridge holds the points lead with 156 points — a 16-point advantage over Millsaps.
In the track’s six other series, there are still several close points races.
Cody Richards has 152 points in the Econo Bombers, holding a six-point advantage over Shane Smith, with Eric Hamby another 20 points back.
In the Cruisers, Chris Neese (150) leads Jimmy Wilson by six points, with Randy Ledford (118) a distant third.
Kirk Atkins (136) holds a 16-point lead over Andy Morris in the Super Bombers, while Craig Reece (142) leads the Crate Late Models by 14 over Hunter Jones.
In the Limited Late Model and Super Late Model classes, there are the greatest points disparities of all.
Michael Page has continued his dominance in the Super Lates with 168 points. He holds a 36-point lead over Chip Brindle, with Tyler Millwood trailing by another 26 points.
Jake Herrell has 168 points in the Limited Lates, with his next-closest competition, Rucker Orr, far behind at 110.