For the third year in a row, the World of Outlaws Dirt Late Model Series will be making an appearance at Shawano Speedway in 2012. The event will take place on Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012.
This announcement isn’t a surprise considering the fan response this event has been generated the past two years. In fact, some could argue that it would have been surprising if the Series didn’t return in 2012.
“Quite frankly, when I called the World of Outlaws to say that we would like to again host the event, they told me, ‘Well, we already have you on our schedule,'” said Dale Hodkiewicz, race director at Shawano Speedway.
Hodkiewicz said that the World of Outlaws organization has been pleased with the race at Shawano Speedway, and think the facility is outstanding.
“Obviously the crowd was very good,” Hodkiewicz said. “It was a little bit less from the previous year but according to the World of Outlaws officials you can expect that after the first year. They said for the most part your crowd will remain pretty close to the same after that. You have your people who really want to follow them.”
When asked if he thought this race was becoming an annual, must-see event, Hodkiewicz replied, “I think you have to go in a little deeper, a year or two to find out if that is going to be the actual case.”
As one can see, it was an easy mutual decision to have the World of Outlaws Dirt Late Model Series return to Shawano Speedway. Once again, the highlight of the Late Model portion will be a 50-lap, $10,000-to-win feature. Billy Moyer of Batesville, Ark. won the event in 2010, while Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky. won the event in 2011.
Fans will also be happy to hear no race car haulers will be allowed to park in the infield that night.
There will be one change from 2011’s show. Instead of the IMCA Stock Car division being the support class, the IMCA Northern SportMod division will be the support class. The IMCA Modified division was the support class in 2010.
“We are just giving everybody who races on our track an opportunity to be involved in the big show,” Hodkiewicz said. “It was just a fair thing to do. And they are a good support group for us.”
In other Late Model news at Shawano Speedway, Hodkiewicz confirmed that both the WISSOTA and FASTRAK Late Model divisions will return to the weekly program in 2012. Also, the weekly race program in 2012 will get underway at 6:30 p.m. each Saturday night.
For two weeks during the season, dates still to be announced, the regular WISSOTA Late Model division at the Speedway will not be sanctioned by WISSOTA.
“We will have somewhat of an open thing, not necessarily WDLMA (rules),” Hodkiewicz said. “We are still working on what exactly we are going to allow. We are going to have some type of restrictions.”
Part of the goal of going unsanctioned for two weeks is to give the opportunity to southeastern Wisconsin Late Model drivers to race at Shawano Speedway. The Sheboygan County Fairgrounds in Plymouth hosts weekly dirt Late Model racing, but the weeks Shawano Speedway goes unsanctioned will be weeks that Plymouth won’t have Late Models participating.
FASTRAK Late Models will be racing its regular weekly program at Shawano Speedway those nights. Hodkiewicz said FASTRAK Late Model drivers will not be allowed to participate in both Late Model events with the same car.
“I’m always open to trying something different to see if it makes any impact on the show or on the crowd,” Hodkiewicz said. “Does it attract people? It mixes things up a little bit.”