Lake Odessa, MI -- As a massive snow storm blew through the region, American Ethanol Late Model Tour (AELMT) officials were in Springfield, Illinois finishing up details for the summer of 2019. As officials took part in the Midwest Speed Expo and the DIRTcar UMP National Banquet, they also wrapped up the 2019 AELMT schedule - which features 24 confirmed races, 13 confirmed tracks in four different states.
The 2019 season begins on Friday and Saturday, March 29th and 30th from LaSalle Speedway in LaSalle, Illinois. Drivers and crews have been invited to begin their season during the 8th Annual Thaw Brawl Presented by Hoker Trucking. The weekend begins with a practice day on Thursday, March 28th, before drivers compete for a $5,000 pay day on Friday. Then on Saturday, everyone will be trying for a chance to take home the $15,000 prize. Last year when the AELMT visited LaSalle Speedway, it was Chatham, Illinois’ Brian Shirley who claimed the $4,000 pay day ahead of Billy Drake and Dennis Erb, Jr. Chris Simpson is the defending Champion of the Thaw Brawl event.
The Michigan portion of the schedule opens at I-96 Speedway in Lake Odessa, Michigan for the “Ice Breaker” on Friday, April 19th. The wide 4/10’s mile oval offers drivers plenty of lanes for three and even four wide racing. Defending AELMT Champion, Brandon Thirlby, picked up his one and only win during 2018 at I-96 Speedway in May.
From there, it’s a quick trip south to Plymouth Speedway in Plymouth, Indiana on Saturday, April 20th. Drivers with the AELMT will return to Plymouth for the first time since 2017, when Richmond, Indiana’s Steve Casebolt picked up the win ahead of Tim Manville and the 2016-17 AELMT Champion Dona Marcoullier.
Crews will get a break ahead of a grueling May schedule that features eight races in four weeks in Indiana, Ohio and Michigan. Saturday, May 4th, the Tour will invade Montpelier Motor Speedway for the first of two shows in 2019. Last year, the AELMT made the trip for the first Late Model show at Montpelier in over 10 years - DIRTcar UMP National Champion Rusty Schlenk went to victory lane during the event. From there, crews get ready for a Buckeye State double-header starting Friday, May 10th at Attica Raceway Park in Attica, Ohio, before continuing south to Atomic Speedway in Chillicothe, Ohio for the Tour’s first ever appearance at the high-banked 3/8ths mile oval during the Radioactive 40. The following weekend, the Tour swings over to the Hoosier state for a double-header weekend at a pair of first-time tracks. The weekend starts at Brownstown Speedway in Brownstown, Indiana on Saturday, May 18th before heading north to Gas City Speedway on Sunday, May 19th.
The state of Michigan takes the honors of helping the American Ethanol Late Model Tour ring in the unofficial start to summer during a Memorial Day weekend triple-header. I-96 Speedway starts things off on Friday, May 24th for their second appearance on the Tour, then crews head north for Muskegon and Thunderbird Raceway on May 25th. Finally, the weekend of racing comes to a boil at Lake City, Michigan’s Merritt Speedway on Sunday, May 26th.
A pair of Friday shows highlight the month of June and the start of the second half of the season for the AELMT, starting on Friday, June 21st, teams head back to Hartford, Michigan’s wide and fast Hartford Speedway. The last time the AELMT appeared at Hartford was in 2016, when Batesville, Arkansas’ Billy Moyer Jr. took home the win on what was then, a half-mile oval. Crews this time around will battle on the reconfigured 3/8th’s mile. From there, it’s back to I-96 Speedway on Friday, June 28th for the Battle of Speed event, with the Great Lakes Super Sprints.
July opens with a full weekend at Merritt Speedway Friday and Saturday, July 5th and 6th. Friday the AELMT will be a part of Fan Appreciation night, before squaring off for a $7,000 pay day during the 31st Annual Wood Tic on Saturday. The month of July ends with another trip to LaSalle Speedway for the 9th Annual Bill Waite Jr. Memorial Classic, a $6,000 to win show on Sunday, July 21st.
August features two new tracks in three events starting with a return to Montpelier Motor Speedway in Montpelier, Indiana on Saturday, August 17th. Then the Tour takes on a $10,000 to win double-header weekend in Illinois starting at Farmer City Raceway in Farmer City on Friday August 30th, before heading to Fairbury American Legion Speedway on Saturday, August 31st. Each event paying $5,000 to win.
The season winds down in September with a trip back to Hartford Speedway on Saturday, September 14th before the final double-header weekend of the season on Friday and Saturday September 27th and 28th from LaSalle Speedway during the Fan Fueled 50k. More details will be released soon on that event.
The 2019 season comes to a close during the $5,000 to win Fall 50 from Atomic Speedway on Saturday, October 12th. A champion will be crowned during the season ending event.
Approximately $150,000 in first place prize money is up for grabs during the 2019 American Ethanol Late Model Tour season. $10,000 will await the Tour’s fifth Champion, at the conclusion of the 24-race schedule.
A complete schedule can be found at aelmt.com/schedule. Keep up with the American Ethanol Late Model Tour on Social Media including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
American Ethanol Late Model Tour 2019 Schedule
Friday, March 29 – Thaw Brawl Presented by Hoker Trucking – LaSalle Speedway (IL) - $5,000
Saturday, March 30 – Thaw Brawl Presented by Hoker Trucking – LaSalle Speedway (IL) - $15,000
Friday, April 19 – Ice Breaker – I-96 Speedway (MI) - $4,000
Saturday, April 20 – Plymouth Speedway (IN) - $4,000
Saturday, May 4 – Montpelier Motor Speedway (IN) - $4,000
Friday, May 10 – Attica Raceway Park (OH) - $4,000
Saturday, May 11 – Radio Active 40 – Atomic Speedway (OH) - $4,000
Saturday, May 18 – Brownstown Speedway (IN) - $4,000
Sunday, May 19 – Gas City Speedway (IN) - $4,000
Friday, May 24 – I-96 Speedway (MI) - $4,000
Saturday, May 25 – Thunderbird Raceway (MI) - $4,000
Sunday, May 26 – Merritt Speedway (MI) - $4,000
Friday, June 21 – Hartford Speedway (MI) - $4,000
Friday, June 28 – I-96 Speedway (MI) - $4,000
Friday, July 5 – Merritt Speedway (MI) – TBA
Saturday, July 6 – 31st Annual Wood Tic – Merritt Speedway (MI) - $7,000
Sunday, July 21 – 9th Annual Bill Waite Jr. Memorial Classic – LaSalle Speedway (IL) - $6,000
Saturday, August 17 – Montpelier Motor Speedway (IN) - $4,000
Friday, August 30 – Famer City Raceway - $5,000
Saturday, August 31 – Fairbury American Legion Speedway - $5,000
Saturday, September 14 – Hartford Speedway - $4,000
Friday, September 27 – Fan Fueled 50k – LaSalle Speedway (IL) – TBA
Saturday, September 28 – Fan Fueled 50k – LaSalle Speedway (IL) – TBA
Saturday, October 12 – Fall 50 – Atomic Speedway (OH) - $5,000
-American Ethanol Late Model Tour Press Release
-Photo credit: Jim Denhamer