Across motorsports, there is normally one premier series at the top of each singular form of the sport. In the European Forumla scene, it is Formula One, in America, the asphalt open-wheel ranks lead to IndyCar and all road course levels lead you to IMSA, which is the top option for sports car drivers, teams and crew members. On the stock car side of things, all competitors are working towards gaining experience, funding, and knowledge to make their way into the NASCAR Cup Series, with multiple developmental routes in between.
In Dirt Track Racing, there is a mix when it comes to what premier series drivers, teams and crew members are aiming to be a part of. On the open-wheel side, you could make a good living as a driver across USAC's multiple divisions, including National Non-Wing Sprint Cars, Midgets, and Silver Crown Champ Cars, while on the winged side of things, all drivers eventually want to be able to take on the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series or at least make their mark in the Ollie's Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1. Even with the many forms and options, drivers can choose from, the paths and ladders on the open-wheel side are clear and most are eventually going to make their way to USAC Sprint Cars or Midgets in the non-wing ranks, and World of Outlaws in the winged ranks.
Dirt late model racing across America is a bit different. Unlike the sprint car side of things, the ladder on the late model side can be very blurred at times. From the possibilities of making a strong living racing and winning on the UMP level, to multiple touring series options, the positives are that you have many chances of competing against quality cars, for big purses and in front of a solid crowd, night in and night out, across the country. If we narrow down the focus to strictly national touring series and eye the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, as well as the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series, being the top two touring options for drivers, teams and crew members, in the late model ranks.
Each series competes in events across the country, with a solid field of competitors following the tours race-to-race, for solid payouts, but for many reasons, the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series has become the head-and-shoulders leader in prestige and competition, between the two. Multiple drivers have pointed towards the higher number of big events and $20,000, or more, to-win races, along with a more forgiving points system that presents the opportunity to gain a high number of points in one race and the feel that any given driver, within reason, can get on a run and capture the series championship title. Along with that, some just want to have the chance to race against the best teams that dirt late model racing has to offer, and with organizations like Clint Bowyer Racing, Best Performance Motorsports and Scott Bloomquist Racing teams, along with Jonathan Davenport, Tim McCreadie, Jimmy Owens, Devin Moran, along with many others, make the choice pretty easy for any driver/team with the budget to compete.
With all of that being said, the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series has a lot to offer as well, with a number of the top drivers following the tour, including Brandon Sheppard and Rocket1 Racing, Darrell Lanigan, Chase Junghans Shane Clanton, Ricky Weiss, Dennis Erb, Jr., among others, which makes the choice between the too difficult at times.
The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series has risen to the top of the late model touring series popularity ranks, but some of the reason remains a mystery, why do you think that is the case?
(Racing News Photo)