Tomorrow, the stars of the World of Outlaws Late Model Series will clash with up-and-coming NASCAR stars at The Dirt Track at Charlotte Wednesday night for the Circle K Late Model Showdown. The following are several key story lines leading into one of the biggest late model races of the year.
Trevor Bayne and Dillon Brothers to Race Wednesday
Trevor Bayne, 2011 Daytona 500 champion, will join 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion and 2012 NASCAR Nationwide Series title contender Austin Dillon and current NASCAR Camping World Truck Series points leader Ty Dillon to compete in the Circle K Late Model Showdown. The three will take a break from their budding NASCAR careers to have some fun racing against the World of Outlaws Late Model Series regulars.
“It’s cool. They bring in other fans that wouldn’t normally come to watch our races,” said Rick Eckert, 2011 World of Outlaws Late Model Series champion. “The Dillon boys have run really well when I’ve raced with them before. I’ve never raced with Trevor before and I didn’t even know he had a dirt car. It will be cool to see him there.”
This will be Bayne’s first start at The Dirt Track at Charlotte while Austin and Ty each have won at the track in FASTRAK Late Model Series events.
Joining them will be Josh Richards, 2009 and 2010 World of Outlaws Late Model Series champion and current NASCAR Nationwide Series driver. Richards will be looking for his fourth straight Circle K Late Model Showdown win.
NDRA Competitor Overcomes Leg Amputation to Compete
James Plemmons, of Greer, S.C., will be racing in the National Dirt Racing Association (NDRA) Late Model feature less than two years after having one of his legs amputated as result of a severe car accident.
While on a wrecker call for his company in July of 2010, Plemmons’ truck was struck by a second car passing by, which caused the truck to fall on top of him. The outcome of that crash proved to be tragic for Plemmons, as the injuries he suffered left him no choice but to have his leg amputated.
Against all odds, Plemmons returned to racing and has already competed in 10 races this year, including one top-five finish, and he will be making the trip to Charlotte for the Circle K Late Model Showdown. He has never raced at The Dirt Track before, but he is thrilled to be making his debut.
“I think it will be a life-changing experience,” said Plemmons. “Just to be tied to the name Charlotte with the racing history and tradition that Charlotte’s had, it will be special.”
Just competing in a race at Charlotte would be enough for him, but winning his first race after overcoming his injury, in an atmosphere like Charlotte, would be almost too much for Plemmons to handle.
“Really, words can’t even remotely begin to describe what that would mean,” said Plemmons. “We might burn the town down that night.”
The NDRA Crate Late Model Series drivers will compete in a 30-lap feature race after the Circle K Late Model Showdown 50-lap feature.
Defending World of Outlaws Late Model Champion on Racing at Charlotte
Rick Eckert, the 2011 World of Outlaws Late Model Series champion, is no stranger to The Dirt Track at Charlotte. He clinched his championship at The World of Outlaws World Finals at the track last year. However, the York, Penn. native has yet to get a win at the four-tenths-mile clay oval. He’s hoping to get a win Wednesday at the Circle K Late Model Showdown.
“It’s a nice race track because it’s big and it has plenty of room to race,” said Eckert. “It has multiple lanes usually and the race track has been in great shape the last several years we’ve been there. The best I’ve run there is second and I’d like to win. We’ve been running pretty well here lately so hopefully we can go down there and pull off a win.”
Eckert is currently second in the points standings behind leader Darrell Lanigan.
Driver Autograph Session
Prior to the start of the Circle K Late Model Showdown at The Dirt Track at Charlotte on Wednesday night, fans will have the opportunity to attend an autograph session with some of the late model drivers. Located on the main concourse, the autograph session will start at 5:00 p.m. Fans will be able to receive autographs from series regulars like Darrell Lanigan, Rick Eckert, Shane Clanton, Clint Smith, Chub Frank, Tim McCreadie and many more.
Pit Pass Upgrade
Fans who purchase a ticket to the Circle K Late Model Showdown can upgrade to include a pit pass for just $15 more. With the pit pass, fans will have the opportunity to get up close to the drivers and their crews as they work on their cars. Tickets and pit passes can be obtained by calling the Charlotte Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.
Spectator gates open at 5 p.m. with opening ceremonies at 7:20 p.m. The 50-lap Circle K Late Model Showdown is scheduled to start at 9:10 p.m.
Tickets are just $25 for adults and $10 for children 13 and under for reserved seats to the Late Model Showdown.
Fans can get $5 off of their $25 adult ticket for Wednesday night’s Circle K Late Model Showdown when they purchase a 24-ounce premium coffee from Circle K by simply bringing the cup to the ticket office or gate when purchasing a ticket to the Wednesday night event.