YORK, PA – Rick Eckert is usually putting the finishing touches on his immaculate racecars this time of year in preparation to head south to Georgia and Florida to take part in “Speedweeks.” Unfortunately, that will not be the case for the Dirt Late Model Hall of Famer in 2019, as he officially announced today that he will not be following the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series tour on a full-time basis this year. After car owner Paul Crowl sold most of the equipment following last year’s season finale at the Dirt Track at Charlotte and revealed that he would not return as team owner, Rick set out this off-season to secure either a high-profile ride or enough funding to operate his own race team on a national level.
Several options popped up and disappeared through the winter months, but nothing has materialized that will allow Rick to be a regular on the WOOLMS tour, of which he has been a part of and has not missed a race since its reincarnation in 2004. The York, Pennsylvania ace will be racing in 2019; however, as he plans to operate Rick Eckert Racing at a mostly regional level. Rick is currently seeking primary and associate marketing partners for his self-owned ride, which will either be #0 or #24 – harkening back to old car numbers that he has raced in the past. Anyone interested in supporting the newly-formed team can email Rick directly at Rae024@aol.com.
“It’s going to be a change of pace for me this year, that is for sure,” quoted Eckert today. “I know a lot of people and fans have been wondering what I am going to do this year and I’ve been pretty quiet, but that’s because I really haven’t had any news to announce. I thought we had some different things worked out to run the Outlaws deal, but things fell through for one reason or another. So, I guess my best option at this point is to get some equipment together and try to be able to get going sometime in March if the weather cooperates. I’ll look at some schedules at some point, but we will probably stay around five or six hours from the shop and try to hit all of the larger paying shows in the area. If funding were to come through and would allow it, maybe we would travel more extensively, but that is our plan as of now.”
Not only will Rick miss his first World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series show since its rebirth in 2004, but he will not be a part of “Speedweeks” in Georgia/Florida for the first time since the early 1990s. Rick has been a stalwart on the national Dirt Late Model scene since the 1993 campaign when he finished in the top five of the now defunct Short Track Auto Racing Stars (STARS) series. After stints with the STARS and Hav-A-Tampa (Xtreme) DirtCar Series through the 2003 season, which included capturing both the 2001 and 2002 Xtreme DirtCar Series National Championship titles with legendary car owner Raye Vest, Rick found a new home with the World of Outlaws tour as part of the “Dirty Dozen” in 2004. Since then, the popular driver known as “Scrub” has amassed 37 career wins on the national touring series – good for fifth most – and collected the $100,000 paycheck in 2011 for besting Josh Richards in a heated point battle for the coveted World of Outlaws crown!
More information concerning Rick Eckert Racing can be located online at www.RickEckertRacing.com or you can follow Rick on Twitter at @eckert24.