Updated: Oct 7, 2019
There are many high paying purses and winning-shares, across the country, in Dirt Track Racing. From the recently raised winners-share $175,000-To-Win Kings Royal at Eldora Speedway, Dirt Million at Mansfield Motorsports Park, where the winner could take home a maximum payday of $500,000-To-Win, with a minimum of $100,000 to win and $2,000 to start. Other events including the $150,000-To-Win NOS Energy Drink Knoxville Nationals presented by Casey's General Store, $125,000-To-Win Eldora Speedway Dirt Late Model Dream and many $100,000-To-Win paydays across various dirt track racing divisions, give drivers and teams an opportunity to cash-in over the course of a given year.
With Eldora Speedway paying the only $1M-To-Win event, in recent memory, which took place in June of 2001 and was won by late model star, Donnie Moran, the question has started to pop up, if we will ever see a $1,000,000-To-Win event in any form of dirt track racing, again, what that event may look like, where it would be held and who would sanction it? There is a lot to unpack, but the most interesting part of this discussion for many fans, is who will sanction the event and where could it be held, so let's start there.
The obvious choice would be the World Racing Group, with either the UMP DIRTcar Late Models, which sanction a number of the biggest late model paydays of the year, at Eldora Speedway, with the Dirt Late Model Dream and World 100 or the NOS Energy Drink World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series, arguably the biggest single series in all of dirt track racing, has a long history of hosting big events. Eldora Speedway, Knoxville Raceway, and Williams Grove Speedway would all be obvious choices to host a major paying event, as they would be able to fill the needs of a huge car count, crowd and a high number of vendors, as well as have a long history of producing successful races.
Other up-and-coming venues, like Fairbury American Legion Speedway (#FALS), Mansfield Motor Speedway, Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway, and The Dirt Track at Charlotte have shown the ability to play host to marquee events across many different disciplines of the sport and make those races a success. Bristol Motor Speedway hasn't been covered in dirt in over fifteen years, but if the right promoting team got together, that could definitely host any and every need of a high paying event.
This race would have to guarantee over a hundred cars in attendance, a sell-out crowd, streaming partner and a very long laundry list of promotional and sponsorship partners, to come up with the purse and winners-share money. A title sponsor and presenting sponsorship program, as well as lap sponsors and a possible Dirt Million-type format would be needed to get to the number need to complete the purse. Sponsors like Lucas Oil, NOS Energy Drink, Hoosier Tire, Casey's General Store, Toyota, as well as many other companies that have shown and investing interest in our sport, as some of the brand's promoters would be sure to contact, if they were even thinking about paying $1,000,000 to win a dirt event.
A $1,000,000-To-Win race may take years of planning and could be decades away from ever happening again, but just imagine the impact it would have and the excitement something of that magnitude would create.
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