Portsmouth Raceway Park is hosting a dirt late model throwback weekend
It’s going to be awesome! You’ve seen it in NASCAR. Now, the retro theme comes to dirt racing.
The event takes place on October 20-21 at Portsmouth Raceway Park in Portsmouth, Ohio. It’s the DTWC sanctioned by the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series.
It’s the final race of the year for the national dirt late model tour. The event will pay $100,000 to the winner. In addition, a series champion will be crowned after a close year long battle.
How did this idea come about and why was this race selected?
“I guess the original concept is a month or two old. It’s something I wanted to do at some time of another,” Rick Schwallie spoke to RacingNews.co about the throwback weekend.
“I thought the DTWC would be the prefect race. Just because it’s the last race of the year. It’s a big race where people typically put [new] bodies and stuff on. It also isn’t a TV race. Some of our guys have absolute TV sponsors, looks and things like that.”
“It wouldn’t impact them there. The race has some flexibility for them to change. So that was a big reason why we selected that race.”
“It could come right off the footsteps of Darlington in NASCAR. Then, up at Eldora there was a couple guys that had throwbacks there. It wasn’t just scheming off of that. NASCAR sorta gives a theme for what the weekend’s suppose to be. Really, we didn’t have any of that criteria.”
“I grew up in late model racing. To me, Scott Bloomquist was #18, Darrell Lanigan was #29, Don O’Neal was #71. It’s kinda cool to see the flashback, the throwback to be back to the days of those guys in those cars.”
It’s more than just a paint scheme throwback. A lot of the drivers will be changing their numbers as well.
“Not just me, I’m only 39 years old. Most late model fans are going to remember them in those cars. Their going to show up in their old numbers. The criteria we gave them or what we coached them on was just to do something that was a memorable moment in their career.”
Dirt late model throwback cars
“McCreadie’s car hasn’t changed much over the years at all. But, he won the championship in 2006. So, that’s the one he’s going with. Steve Francis he lost his brother, who was also his crew chief in 2001. Steve’s got many more traditional cars from his career, but that’s the one he’s gunna do. In honor of his brother. The final year that his brother was racing with him.”
“I think most of the 12 are gunna do it. But, for the most part, everybody’s participating.”
“It’s an expense, it’s a burden. New sheet metal, new decks, new body work and new decal work. It’s an expense but it’s a cool thing for our fans to see.”
How did you entice teams to do it?
The idea is awesome! It’s certainly going to add a level of excitement to the program at Partsmouth Raceway Park. I’m sure most if not all of the LOLMDS regulars will show up in the dirt late model throwback. But how do you entice the other guys?
The CARS Tour did this as well. Their way of enticing the field was to offer awards. They had voting on the best looking throwback scheme, best dressed crew and so on. Anything like that?
“Well, I don’t know how many of the other guys will actually do it. We thought about doing some awards and hitting some sponsors up and letting them participate in helping the awards.”
“But, the more we thought about it. We want it to be about raising money for the Hurricane Relief. We’re auctioning off, one door from each car. So, if somebody wants to participate, I’d hope they’d want to participate because they believe in the cause.”
“We’ll do a silent auction during the day. At the end of the night, we’ll already know who’s won the auction. At the end of the night, we’re just going to take the door off, autograph it and give it to the one that’s bought it.”
“That’s the reason that hopefully teams will participate. It’s not about awards. It’s not about who has the best one. It’s about remembering what we’ve done back in the day and how we raced. In doing so, hopefully we raise a little bit of money for those in need.”
“We have sponsors, car owners, families, photographers, tracks that are on our schedule. People that we know that have been effected by the hurricanes. Seeing everything that’s happened down there. I have no idea, it may be a small chunk of change that we’re able to raise. Still, any little bit matters.”
Related: Chub Frank / Boom Briggs throwback