Chris Dilbeck didn’t hesitate to accept his invitation to the inaugural Speed51 Super Select at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis, now less than three months away, but there was just one tiny problem.
Dilbeck didn’t have a Super Late Model to race with.
“We were humbled and impressed to be invited,” Dilbeck told Speed51.com. “But then after getting the invitation, we kind of realized we don’t have a Super Late Model.”
After talking to Ronnie Whitlock with Whitlock Driver Development, Dilbeck was able to work out a deal to race several times throughout the end of the year.
“They have a Super Late Model that we’re actually going to take and go run that race,” Dilbeck said. “After we put that deal together it kind of allowed us to really accept the invitation and be able to go run. We’re going to run that car a few times now through the end of the season.”
Dilbeck plans to run the Southern Super Series race at Crisp Motorsports Park in Cordele, GA before heading up a couple weeks later to Indianapolis, where he hopes to run well against those who have raced before at the .686-mile oval.
“The good thing about Lucas Oil Raceway is they don’t race Late Models there very often, I think it’s like only twice a year,” Dilbeck said. “I think that’s going to benefit us. Obviously, guys that have run well at that racetrack, Donnie Wilson and some of these other guys that have been there a few times will be tough to beat, but I feel like it brings it back into our ballpark a little bit because they don’t race there on a weekly or even monthly basis.”
Having the opportunity to run against the best of the best at Lucas Oil Raceway will be a big highlight in Dilbeck’s racing career.
“Anytime you have an invitation-only event, I told Bob (Dillner), it kind of has an All-Star feel to it,” Dilbeck said. “You’ve got Bubba Pollard and Donnie Wilson, it’s just pretty neat to see who these invitations are going out to. My name being in there was a big deal. It’s a testament to what we were able to accomplish at Hickory.”
The CARS Tour race at Hickory was Dilbeck’s first win of the 2018 season. On the final lap of the feature, Dilbeck was able to take over the lead from recent ARCA Racing Series winner Chandler Smith to take home the victory.
Though his win seemed clouded by the Lessard/Setzer drama that unfolded both on the track and post-race, Dilbeck admits that good things resulted from that chaotic night.
“I really didn’t realize how big of a deal it would be to win the CARS Tour race at Hickory,” Dilbeck said. “It’s done a lot for us, made it possible for us to find funding to be able to go and run some more races throughout the rest of the year.”
As for adding a Speed51 Super Select win to his resume, Dilbeck said the long-term reward would be indescribable.
“It would be huge,” Dilbeck said. “You can’t really quantify it. If we win that event, there’s no telling what it would do for us in 2019.”
Throughout the 2018 season more drivers will earn invites to the race and have the chance to compete against an all-star field.
The Speed51 Super Select will be hosted by Track Enterprises and sanctioned by the Champion Racing Association (CRA). A pair of features will be contested that evening, one for the Super Late Models and a 100-lap race for the USAC Silver Crown Series. The winner of the Super Late Model race will have a chance to win at least $10,000.
There will also be a 50-lap Super Late Model race that will be open to all drivers to compete in. That race will transfer more drivers into the Super Select field.
Stay tuned to Speed51.com for more details on the event. Additional information can also be found by visiting www.trackenterprises.com.
-By: Melissa Strahley, Speed51.com Gulf Coast Editor — Twitter: @MelissaStrahley
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com