Big Block Modifieds will be taking their brand of racing down south this weekend for the inaugural DIRTcar Sportsman South of the Border Showdown at Lake View Motor Speedway. The DIRTcar Sportsman Modifieds will be the headliners for their first appearance at the South Carolina facility for two nights of racing.
The event has been in the works for several months after Lake View Motor Speedway track owner approached DIRTcar Director of Series and Sanctioning Dean Reynolds about the possibility of having the event. While the two thought they could get a full field for the event, they did not expect to see the numbers they are already receiving in pre-entries.
“When Scott (Tripp) approached us in August, I thought we would be able to get them a full field of 24, 26 cars. We’re at 37 pre-entries and you think a couple more might even show,” Reynolds told Speed51’s “The Bullring.” “Scott was hoping for 40 and he might be close to getting it.”
DIRTcar-sanctioned Sportsman Modifieds are mainly based in New York, but Sportsman Mods inside and outside the sanctioning body can also be found in surrounding states and Canadian provinces. The South of the Border Showdown looks to be bringing those drivers together to go racing in late January.
“We have 25 tracks that are sanctioned under the DIRTcar banner and the Sportsman probably race at 23 of the 25 tracks. To branch out and have the guys come down south is something new to us. It’s something exciting and as you can tell with the entries, the teams are looking forward to it.”
While on the show, Reynolds gave fans an explanation of Sportsman Modifieds and what makes them different from the Big Block Modifieds seen with the Super DIRTcar Series.
“Chassis-wise, they’re the exact same as your Big Blocks or 358 Small Blocks. The difference is the 602 Crate engine. It’s the same 602 Crate engine that you see all around the country that are in Late Models and UMP Modifieds. It’s just the same chassis as a Big Block Modified with an affordable 602 Crate engine under the hood.”
While there are a large amount of Big Block Modifieds in the Northeast, the count dwarfs the potential number of Sportsman Modifieds in the region. The class has quickly grown to see one of the highest car counts in the region, dirt or asphalt.
“We do get about 180-200 Big Blocks that sign on. For the Sportsman in New York and Canada, we get about 600 of them. You’re not even talking about unsanctioned Sportsman in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, you’re probably betting about 900 of these up in the Northeast. I think it’s a good foundation up here, it’s a building block.”
Friday night’s DIRTcar Sportsman Modified feature will go 30 laps with $2,000 going to the winner. Saturday’s finale will be a 51 lap feature that will pay the winner $3,000. The South of the Border Showdown will be nationally televised on an episode of Short Track America of MAVTV at a later date.
With a strong entry list set for the inaugural event, Reynolds is excited for this weekend’s action and how the race can grow in future years.
“I’m looking forward to it, Scott’s looking forward to it. We’re hoping it’s a yearly deal and we think it will be, hopefully it’s successful fanwise. I’d like to keep it going every year and I think we have a good foundation.”
The DIRTcar Sportsman Modifieds South of the Border Showdown will be live on Speed51.TV free for premium subscribers. One-time PPV passes will also be available for $19.99. Click here to watch this weekend’s event.
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51 National Correspondent – Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo Credit: Speed51 Photo