FONDA, NY – They say to stand out in a crowd something must be unique. King Of Dirt Racing promoter Rob Hazer has no problem thinking outside the box and when competitors chase the tour in 2019 they’ll find themselves locked into a do or die title format that literally changes the game.
The ‘Contender’ program will offer a very different and unique championship format for King Of Dirt Racing competitors in 2019, where points will only get a driver so close to being king. It all started with a brief look back at dirt track racing history and a fusion of old and new school ideals.
“We weren’t looking to re-invent the wheel per say,” said KOD promoter Rob Hazer. “But we were looking to put a new and improved Hoosier Racing Tire on it if you follow what I mean,” he continued.
During the 2019 King Of Dirt Racing tour each race will offer a Contender ‘lock in’ position along with traditional point standings, which will determine positioning for the season finale where the top six ‘Contender’ drivers will race heads up with no points involved for the championship.
“I know folks will think NASCAR right away, but this isn’t that. In the 70’s when Glenn Donnelly started DIRT Motorsports there were no points kept for the first few seasons. They had qualifiers at local tracks and gave away guaranteed spots for Super Dirt Week at the Mile. If you won Dirt Week you were the champ. It’s similar to that,” said Rob Hazer enthusiastically.
With a way to fuse old school with new school points were still crucial in driver positioning to determine the top six. Another crucial component of the Contender program is maintaining tour regular status. Without being a regular on tour a driver cannot compete for the title.
“Drivers must maintain a tour regular status, which means they can only have one absentee. There is no drop or sub so even with an absentee it will affect their Contender positioning via the points, but they won’t loose their tour regular status. If they miss two races, they are not considered a tour regular per say and their ‘lock in’ spot goes to the next guy in the feature finish from which they earned their ‘lock in’ status. Pretty simple and straight forward,” continued the KOD promoter.
One of the biggest rewards of being a Contender is going into the tour finale the top six ‘locked in’ drivers will be title eligible. They’ll race heads up in a field of hungry racers looking to be Nationals Champion, no points involved, and best finish earns the crown.
“The idea is simple really. To me racing has become a bit mundane to a degree. I love the simplicity of the sport where guys show up to compete each week, but that age old grind of point racing puts a dull on things. Almost every single year people want close point battles and a championship night where it’s anyone’s title to win. We’re simply giving drivers and fans that ideal without the grind,” continued Rob Hazer.
Had the Contender program been in place last season the top six starting positions in the season finale would’ve went to Connor Cleveland, Chad Edwards, Robert Bublak Jr., Rob Maxon, Michael Sabia, and David Schilling.
While Brian Calabrese won the Northeast Crate Nationals title, it would have been Robert Bublak Jr. who wore the crown as King Of Dirt Racing Crate Modified king by virtue of his second place finish after he passed Connor Cleveland in the closing stages of the event.
“It’s a whole new way of challenging drivers. When we set this up I very specifically said I’m not here to give participation trophies out. I want to challenge drivers, entertain fans, and stand out from other series out there. We’re in the business of entertainment and we as a sport often forget that. We’re going to put the entertainment value back and at the same time challenge our tour drivers to push their chips all in and go for it,” said King Of Dirt Promoter Rob Hazer.
The specifics of the Contender program regarding positioning points, tour regular status, and details on the season finale championship will be posted in the King Of Dirt Racing rules to be released later this week.
“We’re taking steps to increase the value of our tour. To make it entertaining, challenging, and unique from others that are offered. We’re a leader in doing that and we have been. We’re not new to working with tracks so we may offer good paying purses and big races, we’ve been doing it for five years now,” concluded Rob Hazer.
With the contender program in place one thing is certain; there will be a new sense of urgency for drivers following the limited schedule series to perform, position, and win. Bigger purses, challenging races, and an all-in title format highlight the most creative year to date for King Of Dirt Racing Crate Modifieds.
To learn more about King Of Dirt Racing visit www.kingofdirtracing.com and stay up to date. Also you can find KOD on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
2018 King Of Dirt Racing Small Block Modified Feature Winners – 09/15/18: Ricky Davis III (Lebanon Valley), 09/14/18: Ronnie Johnson (Albany Saratoga), 07/29/18: Demetrios Drellos (Devil’s Bowl), 07/01/18: Billy Dunn (Utica Rome), 06/06/18: Bobby Varin (Devil’s Bowl).
2018 King Of Dirt Racing Sportsman Modified Feature Winners – 09/07/18: Brian Calabrese (Albany Saratoga), 09/01/18: Rob Maxon (Lebanon Valley), 07/14/18: Dave Constantino (Fonda), 07/06/18: Tim Hartman Jr. (Albany Saratoga), 07/01/18: Dave Marcuccilli (Utica Rome), 05/27/18: Josh Sunn (Devil’s Bowl).
2018 King Of Dirt Racing Pro Stock Feature Winners – 09/16/18: Nick Stone (Devil’s Bowl), 08/25/18: Jason Casey (Lebanon Valley), 08/10/18: Jason Casey (Albany Saratoga), 07/22/18: Rich Crane (Utica Rome).
King Of Dirt Racing is brought to you in part by sponsors and partners that include: Albany-Saratoga Speedway, Airborne Speedway, Devil’s Bowl Speedway, Lebanon Valley Speedway, Utica Rome Speedway, Andy’s Speed Shop, Beyea Custom Headers & Exhaust, Bicknell Racing Products, Bill McGaffin Photography, DIG Racing Products, Elmo’s Speed Supply, Extreme Speed & Performance, Fast Axle, Fastline Performance, Flach Performance Products, Fox Racing Shocks, G-Fab Screen Printing, Hoosier Racing Tire, JL Designs, Mayhem Motorsports, PAC Racing Springs, Race Pro Weekly, and Saratoga Masonry.