Story By: ROB HAYES / KING OF DIRT – FONDA, NY – King Of Dirt Racing Schedule for 2019 may be less ambitious than years past, but it’s focus around Crate Modified racing has rejuvenated an organization and brought forth exciting changes to the series championship battle and race format where drivers will vie for a $3,000 dollar crown when they lay it all on the line at the Northeast Crate Nationals.
The 2019 King Of Dirt Racing Crate Modified season begins with a Memorial Day Kickoff 50 Lap special event at Devil’s Bowl Speedway on Sunday May 26th, which was announced earlier as a sneak peek at the schedule. Track promoter Mike Bruno was feeling generous and offered $1,750 to the winner and $125 to start. With the addition of Andy’s Bounty courtesy of Andy’s Speed Shop the race will be worth $2,000 to the victor.
Following the trip to Vermont the King Of Dirt Racing Crate Modified tour heads to the hallowed grounds of Albany Saratoga Speedway for the 30-lap Friday Night Lights event. Courtesy of promoter of the year Lyle DeVore the event offers $1,000 to win along with the Andy’s Bounty of $250. Also on board is Mayhem Motorsports for $250 bringing the winner’s share to $1,500 at the great race place on Friday June 7th.
The third round of the 2019 King Of Dirt Racing Crate Modified tour finds drivers vying for the crown in new territory. Plattsburgh Airborne Speedway will play host to the 30-lap $1,000 to win Plattsburgh Border Battle on Monday July 1st during the Super DIRTcar Big Block Modified tour visit. With the $250 Andy’s Bounty making it $1,250 to win it’s safe to say the best drivers from the North will battle tour Contenders looking to be King.
Round four swings back into Vermont for the Leon Gonyo Memorial in the green mountain state on Sunday August 11th. The winner’s share of the 40-lap event currently sits at $1,250 with every possibility of climbing in value prior to race day. The Crate Modified stars and cars get to shine under the lights on a night featuring triple Modified features at Devil’s Bowl. (358 Race, Big Block Race, Combined Race)
The fifth stop on the Crate Modified tour for 2019 finds drivers tackling the high banks of Lebanon Valley Speedway for the ever-popular Mr. Crate Track USA. Defending race title holder Rob Maxon will look to cash in on the $1,250 winner’s share for a second time, but others like Michael Sabia and Chris Lynch will have their eyes on the prize as well.
The sixth and final stop on the 2019 King Of Dirt Racing Crate Modified tour is the Northeast Crate Nationals, which pays $2,225 to win and $225 to start on the regular. This year’s Nationals event will feature a race within a race, as the qualified ‘Contenders’ will not only battle for the race title, but the tour championship as well. This will be the 10th Anniversary Edition of the Northeast Crate Nationals.
“We have some great tracks we work with and while I’m disappointed to have to dial back our schedule due to health issues, it brings us back to our roots. When we started this gig it was 3 tracks and 2 races at each. Right now we’re working with four great facilities to provide a six race schedule for the Crate Modifieds and with the Contender program in place, it’s anybody’s title to win,” said KOD promoter Rob Hazer.
There isn’t a tour per say for the 358 Modified or Pro Stock divisions in 2019, however KOD promoter Rob Hazer didn’t’ want to leave them out of the program. There will be one special event for each division with a unique format where any driver can earn a ‘Contender’ spot through qualifying Mains and be crown King Of Dirt Champion in their respective division.
On Friday July 19th at Albany Saratoga Speedway the 35-lap Pro Stock Throwdown For The Crown presented by Stone Motorsports will pay $1,000 to the victor. Perhaps the intense and most intriguing part of the event will be the top two drivers from each of the three qualifying mains will earn ‘Contender’ status and vie for the KOD Pro Stock Championship to be invited and honored at next years Banquet Of Champions and Special Awards Ceremony with a little surprise awaiting them.
King Of Dirt Racing returns on Friday September 13th to Albany Saratoga Speedway for the Small Block Gold Rush 35-lap special paying $3,000 to the winner. The event is presented by Lebanon Springs Excavating and will once again feature the unique format where the top two drivers in each of the three qualifying mains will compete not only for the race win, but the KOD 358 Modified Championship. The crowned champion will also be invited to next seasons Banquet Of Champions and Special Awards Ceremony where they will be honored and awarded.
“Albany Saratoga is our home base and Lyle has been great to work with. He understands what we want to offer and finds our unique ideas interesting, so it was rewarding to land both the 358 Modified and Pro Stock specials at the great race place for 2019,” continued KOD promoter Rob Hazer.
He also stated, “I want to thank all the drivers in both the 358 Modified and Pro Stock divisions for their support. It’s not easy to have to dial back due to health issues, but I need to focus on my health a bit more so I can be around a while to do this kind of thing.”
He concluded by saying, “I know some are disappointed, but believe me when I say nobody is more disappointed than I. 2 years ago we were the fastest growing series in the country and now my health has halted that and it’s frustrating to me. But I wanted to keep them part of the program so I’m thankful we still have a race for both 358 Modifieds and Pro Stock and support for each.”