The NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series announced on Friday at the Performance Racing Industry Show an eight-race Winter Shootout to begin the 2016 racing season. The Winter Shootout will be separate from the regular National Touring season and will payout its own point fund.
The new split series format will give more NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series drivers from different parts of the country a chance to compete for a Championship during different times of the 2016 racing season.
The NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series Winter Shootout will begin on January 7-10 with the 25th Annual Ice Bowl at Talladega Short Track in Eastaboga, AL. The main event will be 50 laps and pay $3,000-to-win. This will mark the return of the NeSmith Late Models to the Ice Bowl for the first time since 2009.
Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, FL will host three races on January 28-30. The January 28 race will be 40 laps and pay $2,000-to-win. The January 29 race will pay $2,500-to-win and will be 50 laps in length. The January 30 race will be an afternoon show with a 50-lap main event and pay $3,000-to-win.
The $10,000-to-win 100-lap 11th Annual Chevrolet Performance World Championship Race will be held on Saturday night, January 30 as a non-points race. This race was rained out on November 21 and rescheduled for January 30. The front half of the starting field is set through heat races held on November 20. The B-Main Races to fill the back half of the field will be contested on Saturday night, January 30.
The NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series will return to the Superbowl of Racing at Golden Isles Speedway in Brunswick, GA after a one-year absence for Rounds 5 and 6 of the Winter Shootout on February 5 and 6. The February 5 event will be a 40-lap race paying $2,000-to-win, and the February 6 race will pay $3,000-to-win and will be 50 laps in length.
The final two NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series Winter Shootout races will be held at Cochran Motor Speedway in Cochran, GA on February 26 and 27. The February 26 race will pay $2,000-to-win and will be 40 laps in length, and the February 27 event will be 50-laps and pay $2,500-to-win.
“In past seasons, we began our National Touring season in January and ran it through November,” NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series Founder and CEO Mike Vaughn said. “We had a lot of Northern drivers that ran with us early, and then returned home for the rest of the season. Then we had another group of drivers that couldn’t make the Florida trip, and could never catch up in the points by the time they were ready to race in March.”
Vaughn said that running a Winter Tour before starting the National Tour will give both groups of drivers a chance to run for a points championship without having to take a lot of time off work to do so.
“Most of our competitors work regular jobs during the week, and we were asking them to take a lot of vacation time and tow several hours away from home to run for the National Championship,” Vaughn said. “We also had a lot of Northern drivers and local Florida and South Georgia drivers that were high in the National points at the end of the Winter Tour, but couldn’t make the trips later in the year to our Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia races. We think having two separate Tours will work out well for everyone.”
The point fund will pay back ten spots and the amount will be announced in the coming days. The 2016 NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series National Touring schedule that will be contested from March through October consisting of 20 to 24 races over 10 to 12 weekends will be announced on February 1.
2016 NeSMITH CHEVROLET DIRT LATE MODEL SERIES WINTER SHOOTOUT SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:
DATE TRACK LAPS TO-WIN
January 7-10 Talladega Short Track, Eastaboga, AL 50 $3,000-To-Win
25th Annual Icebowl
January 28 Bubba Raceway Park, Ocala, FL 40 $2,000-To-Win
January 29 Bubba Raceway Park, Ocala, FL 50 $2,500-To-Win
January 30 Bubba Raceway Park, Ocala, FL (Afternoon Race) 50 $3,000-To-Win
January 30 Bubba Raceway Park, Ocala, FL (Evening Non-Points) 100 $10,000-To-Win
11th Annual Chevrolet Performance World Championship Race
February 5 Golden Isles Speedway, Brunswick, GA 40 $2,000-To-Win
February 6 Golden Isles Speedway, Brunswick, GA 50 $3,000-To-Win
Superbowl of Racing
February 26 Cochran Motor Speedway, Cochran, GA 40 $2,000-To-Win
February 27 Cochran Motor Speedway, Cochran, GA 50 $2,500-To-Win