With two DIRTcar Sportsman Series championships and a 2020 DIRTcar Sportsman Modified weekly championship under his belt, Kevin Root has solidified himself as one of the top Sportsman Modified drivers in the Northeast. After 15 total wins in 2020, he is set to make his last stand in the Sportsman ranks this weekend at Lake View Motor Speedway.
The inaugural South of the Border Showdown will be his final Sportsman Modified start before he moves up to the Big Block Modified ranks and takes on the Super DIRTcar Series. He joins Vinny Salerno and Four Star Motorsports for the 2021 season.
“We’ve been fortunate the last five years to be really successful. I’ve got offered a Big Block ride for Vinny Salerno, who has a top-notch ride up here,” Root told Speed51’s “The Bullring.” “I took my car and I’ll put a driver in it for the rest of this year. Hopefully I can get the Big Block tuned in and they’ll keep me around for a while.”
This weekend’s South of the Border Showdown gives Root and his fellow Northeast Sportsman Modified drivers a bit of a vacation away from the cold and snow to race. It also gives them an opportunity to be the headliners of an event in a new area of the country.
“We’re going to Lake View because I can still run Sportsman races before we get to Big Block racing. Up here in January it’s about 15 degrees out, we can’t do any racing up here. DIRTcar and Dean Reynolds put together a really nice package for a bunch of us guys to go to South Carolina, which is really cool. We’ll be the headliners and there’ll be a pay-per-view and we’ll be on MAVTV.”
Root’s only other experience south of the Mason-Dixon has come at the Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway during the World Short Track Championship, where he has seen success. He has two runner-ups at Charlotte and hasn’t finished worse than seventh.
While tracks in the Northeast traditionally use dirt, clay is the more popular option for facilities in the south. Root talked about what may be different for drivers this weekend at Lake View with the different surfaces.
“I’ve raced Charlotte a few times, every time we’ve went there the dirt’s got a little bit abrasive, especially with the tires we run. They’ve been doing a lot of work to the track. It looks wide, I think there’s a couple grooves there. I hope it doesn’t get abrasive when the rubber gets laid down but I think we’ll need a harder tire than we usually run.”
He gave fans outside the Northeast a preview of what to expect when the DIRTcar Sportsman Modifieds take to Lake View Motor Speedway this weekend for the South of the Border Showdown.
“First and foremost, the Sportsman put on one of the better races up here. With the motor and cars being limited. I expect a lot of good, hard side-by-side racing. I think we’ll put on a show for TV. There’s a lot of good guys that I race with that are going down there, I feel like there’s probably going to be 10-15 guys who can win this race easily. Our Sportsman class has always been competitive.
With a strong car count expected to make the trip to South Carolina for the event, Root is expecting a competitive show. A win would make his final stand in the Sportsman Modified a successful one before he heads to Can Am Speedway and Bristol Motor Speedway for his first run in the Super DIRTcar Series.
“I think they’re expecting 40 cars to go down there, I think that’s phenomenal. For being 12 hours away from up here, to get that many cars is pretty good for DIRTcar. I’m just hoping for some good racing and to be able to pass, I’m hoping it’ll be fun and a good time.”
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