The Dirt Kings Tour is set to embark on their third season of competition this weekend. The Dirt Super Late Model tour based in Wisconsin has brought some of the Badger State’s best to put on a show for the fans at the track, as well as on Speed51.com for select events.
Thus far, the series has been dominated by Navarino, Wisconsin’s Nick Anvelink. The 40-year-old driver of the No. 15 Dirt Late Model has won championships in both seasons and has won nine races on the tour, nearly triple the amount of any other driver. In 19 races, he has finished outside the top five once, a sixth-place effort at Plymouth Dirt Track last September.
After a long, harsh winter in Wisconsin, Dirt Kings Tour owner Jason Shultz is ready to get the new season started. The tour attempted to host the season opener twice in April at Shawano Speedway, but Mother Nature unleashed her fury and they were forced to cancel. Their season opener will now be at Mississippi Thunder Speedway in Fountain City, WI on Friday night for the Rumble by the River.
“We couldn’t be more ready,” Shultz told Speed51.com. “After a snow out and a rain out, Friday couldn’t get here fast enough.”
From there, the tour will head to Outagamie Speedway in Seymour for the first of three Triple Crown races at the 3/8-mile on Friday, May 24. The other two Triple Crown races will be held on July 19 and on August 16. Anvelink won in the tour’s first appearance at Outagamie last year.
They will return to 141 Speedway in Francis Creek for their crown Jewel show on Tuesday, June 18 for the Diamond 41. Jared Seifert won what was the Diamond 40 last year in front of a national audience on Speed51’s Summer Thunder TV series before jumping into the fountain located in the infield of the race track.
The Dirt Kings Tour will make another attempt at racing at Shawano Speedway just a week-and-a-half later on June 29 after a rainout and a snowout cancelled the tour’s season opener last month. A.J. Diemel won the season opener at Shawano one year ago.
The Independence Day Bash is up next for the Dirt Kings Tour at Eagle Valley Speedway in Jim Falls on Sunday, July 7, followed by the second race of the Triple Crown at Outagamie Speedway on July 19. Jake Redetzke won at Eagle Valley one year ago.
The tour will return to Luxemburg Speedway near Green Bay on August 9 for the Battle by the Bay, a race won by series champion Nick Anvelink. The final race of the Triple Crown at Outagamie will follow on the August 16.
September brings four races for the Dirt Kings Tour drivers, starting with the Labor Day Shootout at TNT Speedway in Three Lakes on September 1 for the first time since 2017. They will then head to Wilmot Speedway for the second annual Jim “Wildman” Watson Classic on September 7. Last year’s edition was a co-sanctioned event with the American Ethanol Late Model Tour based in Michigan, won by former Dirt Late Model Dream winner Dennis Erb, Jr. Mitch McGrath was victorious at Wilmot in a second tour appearance one year ago.
The penultimate race of the 2019 Dirt Kings Tour will be held at Plymouth Dirt Track on the September 14, where McGrath won the first of three straight races to end last season. For the second straight year, the Crowning of the King Dirt Kings Tour championship will be held at 141 Speedway on Thursday, September 26. McGrath won his third straight race in last year’s season finale, while Nick Anvelink claimed his second tour championship in as many years.
Now in their third season, Shultz is encouraged with the growth of the series. After averaging 26 cars during the first two seasons, he’s excited as the tour embarks on another season in the state of Wisconsin.
“We’re really encouraged with how the Dirt Kings name has become more recognized within the motor racing industry,” he said. “Also, we’re encouraged by growing car counts and the fan following that we’ve seen, both online and at the race track.”
Part of the tour’s growth has also been noticeable away from the racing surface, with an increased focus being put on the fan experience.
“We’ve added a kids club and an enhanced fan zone to build the experience for the fans,” Shultz explained. “It’s really cool to be out at another race track and see somebody wearing a Dirt Kings Tour t-shirt. It tells us we’re giving the fans a product they’re excited about to come see and support.”
Those who are unable to make it out to the season opener this weekend at Mississippi Thunder speedway will be able to watch a live video stream on the Speed51 Network. All that is needed to watch this event, as well as other select live races, is a monthly or yearly subscription.
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51.com State Editor (IN & MI)
-Photo credit: Speed51.com