Keeping the momentum, the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series championship format is undergoing a major overhaul in 2023.
The new model will be an elimination style format designed to reward the worthiest, battle-tested driver at the end of the season. In addition to the revitalized championship format, more than $470,000 has been added to the championship point fund, bringing the grand total for the Big River Steel Chase for the Championship presented by ARP to just over $1,000,000.
Under the new model, the field will be whittled down to a final four drivers through four rounds of eliminations. The remaining four drivers will go into the season finale at Eldora Speedway with an equal chance to win the championship.
After the first round of eliminations, there will be 15 drivers. After the second round, the field will drop to twelve, and following the third round eight drivers will remain. The final round of eliminations will leave only four drivers in championship contention.
The four rounds of eliminations are:
- Round of 15: Sunoco Road to Wheatland: May 27 at Lucas Oil Speedway; 31st Annual Show-Me 100
- Round of 12: Summit Racing Equipment Super Twelve: July 15 at Lucas Oil Speedway; 17th Annual Diamond Nationals
- Round of 8: UNOH Great Eight: August 26 at Port Royal Speedway; The Rumble by the River
- Round of 4: Big River Steel Big Four: September 30 at Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway; 35th Annual Pittsburgher
Following each round of eliminations, the teams advancing to the next round will be awarded the following cash bonuses:
- Sunoco Road to Wheatland: 1. $2,500, 2. $1,500, 3. $1,500, 4. $1,500, 5. $1,500, 6. $1,000, 7. $1,000, 8. $1,000, 9. $1,000, 10. $1,000, 11. $500, 12. $500, 13. $500, 14. $500, 15. $500 = $16,000
- Summit Racing Equipment Super Twelve: 1. $5,000, 2. $1,000, 3. $1,000, 4. $1,000, 5. $1,000, 6. $1,000, 7. $1,000, 8. $1,000, 9. $1,000, 10. $1,000, 11. $1,000, 12. $1,000 = $16,000
- UNOH Great Eight: 1. $7,500, 2. $1,500, 3. $1,500, 4. $1,500, 5. $1,500, 6. $1,500, 7. $1,500, 8. $1,500 = $18,000
- Big River Steel Big Four: 1. $10,000, 2. $2,000, 3. $2,000, 4. $2,000 = $16,000
Drivers will continue to earn points at every event throughout the season based on the traditional championship point structure. At the season finale, points for the Big River Steel Big Four drivers will be consolidated. The first of the four drivers to cross the finish line in the 43rd Annual Dirt Track World Championship will be crowned the 2023 Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series National Champion.
2023 Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Point Fund:
Chase Bonuses: $66,000
Point Fund: $935,000
“The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series has seen tremendous growth throughout its history,’ said Rick Schwallie, Series Director. “We look forward to crowning our 18th National Champion, Tim McCreadie, on Friday night. As we look ahead to our 19th season, we’re ready for an action-packed season that will culminate in our first ever visit to the historic Eldora Speedway. Only twice in our Series history has the championship been contested at the season finale. The Dirt Track World Championship is an event that is worthy of crowning a Champion. Not only will the crown jewel pay $100,000 to win, but now, the race inside the race is worthy of the persona that is the Dirt Track World Championship. For us to be proud of this program, there were two key factors. First, the event needed to be contested at the speedway that dirt late model racing calls home, Eldora. Second, the four finalists contending for a national title needed to be well compensated for their efforts all season. The unwavering dedication of Lucas Oil, our exclusive broadcast partner FloRacing, and our great marketing partners allow us to strive as the elite dirt late model tour.”
“We are passionately committed to our involvement in motorsports and the continued growth of the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series. We are incredibly excited about the new million-dollar point fund and elimination-style championship format for the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series – it elevates the drama, the action, the stories, and the passion that fans like us have for these drivers and teams,” said Morgan Lucas, president of Lucas Oil. “Motorsports, and the Late Models series specifically, is in our DNA. Ratcheting up the fan experience and excitement for the sport while celebrating and supporting these tremendous athletes is a win-win. I can’t wait to see how this season shakes out.”
The Big River Steel Chase for the Championship presented by ARP kicks off at Golden Isles Speedway with the Super Bowl of Racing on January 25-28. From there, the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series is back at Bubba Raceway Park for two nights on January 29-30 before heading to All-Tech Raceway, February 2-4. The 47th Annual Wieland Winternationals will close out Speedweeks, February 5-11, at East Bay Raceway Park.
For a complete Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series schedule, please visit www.lucasdirt.com.