Dirt Late Model stars from all corners of the ULTIMATE Super Late Model Series will clash at Richmond Raceway (KY) this Friday and Saturday for the Paul “Butterball” Wooldridge Memorial. However, local heroes and regional hotshots alike know going into the weekend that they will likely have to contend with Zack Dohm for a shot at the $20,059 winner’s prize.
Dohm has dominated at the Kentucky bullring in recent years, especially under the FASTRAK/ULTIMATE banner. Dohm won the inaugural FASTRAK Racing Series Damn Yankees 50 last fall, and swept both ULTIMATE Mid-Ohio Valley/Heart of America Series features during Butch Shay Memorial weekend last month.
That success, along with other strong showings at the 1/3-mile oval over recent years, has Dohm riding high into the weekend.
“The first time I went to Richmond was 2011 or 2012, and I ran seventh,” Dohm said. “In the last three or four years, I’ve been there at least 10 times and haven’t run outside the top three. We’re pretty confident going in there, but anything can happen. As long as nothing falls off the car or nothing too crazy happens, we should be good.”
The Cross Lanes, West Virginia native carries plenty of confidence into the Butterball Memorial, but knows there will be ample competition awaiting him.
“I think it’s going to be quite a bit more competition,” Dohm told Speed51. “The regional competition is pretty tough, but I’m sure it will pull a lot of people from down south and up north with $20,000 to win. It’ll be a little tougher than normal, but I’m pretty confident. A lot of luck goes into this racing deal. If we can get a decent qualifying effort, start up front in the heat race, we should have as good a shot as anybody.”
While Dohm certainly hopes to avoid a poor qualifying effort or mechanical issue this weekend, he does enter the Butterball Memorial with an insurance plan. As a byproduct of his Butch Shay Memorial triumph, Dohm earned a provisional spot in the Butterball Memorial field should he fail to qualify on his own merit.
“Hopefully we don’t need it, but if we do it’s nice that we’ve got it,” Dohm said regarding the provisional. “I don’t know if you can start dead last and win. There will have to be a few cautions. Without cautions, it would be hard to start straight up and pass everybody. It’s a small, slick, bullring track, so it would be tough to go 60 laps caution-free at that place.”
The Butterball Memorial is always a special event for racers in the area, celebrating the life of Kentucky Motorsports Hall of Fame inductee Paul Wooldridge. Now entering its 32nd year, the race will take on an extra level of importance with $20,059 on the line for the winner.
Dohm hopes to add his name to the event’s legacy and cash the big payday at the end of Saturday night.
“I’ve heard about the Butterball for a long time,” Dohm stated. “I’ve went to it the last three or four years. It would be a big one to win. My dad started racing in 2000, so we didn’t get to watch Paul race much, but I’ve heard a lot of stories about him.
“I know he was an awesome racer down there in Kentucky,” he added. “All the guys in Kentucky want to win it. You can tell a lot about a Memorial race by how bad the local guys want to win it. It would be awesome to win that race. A lot of people have won it, and a lot of people want to win it this year with what it’s paying.”
Fans who are unable to attend the Butterball Memorial can watch Friday’s preliminary action on the Speed51 Network, and Saturday’s $20,059 feature race via Speed51’s pay-per-view broadcast. Click here to learn more about this weekend’s broadcast and order your video ticket today.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51.com photo