Fayetteville Set to Host Largest Dirt Nationals in USLCI History
Two words used to describe Fayetteville Motor Speedway are “competitive” and “exciting.” When gates open Thursday for the 26th annual Dirt Nationals, haulers will unload over 120 Legend Cars. The competition on the 4/10-mile dirt oval will be high, producing thrilling racing across four Legend Car divisions. But this year’s Dirt Nationals, November 10-12, will be extra special because it will be the largest field of cars to ever participate in event history!
“U.S. Legend Cars International has had a strong dirt racing presence in Pennsylvania and Ohio, the Dakotas and Upper Midwest, as well as western Texas and New Mexico for many years,” said G.E. Chapman, Vice President of Racing Operations & Manufacturing USLCI and INEX.
“It’s a growing share of our business and we’re seeing renewed interest in the Carolinas and Georgia. That interest is solidified with this year’s Dirt Nationals at Fayetteville Motor Speedway attracting the largest entry list in event history as drivers from across the country are coming to race in an emerging dirt market for USLCI and INEX.”
2022 will be the first time Fayetteville hosts the Dirt Nationals as for many years, Legend Car racing at Fayetteville and the surrounding area wasn’t INEX sanctioned. Hard work from competitors and crews have brought Fayetteville under the INEX list of sanctioned tracks a few years ago. Since then the racing has improved and the competition has been fierce and the group of racers look to get more tracks in the area sanctioned by INEX.
“David Mitchell (FMS manager), Shay Martin and the entire Fayetteville crew have put in countless hours of hard work to make this track one of the best dirt tracks on the East Coast,” said Will Ridenhour, owner of Three Sixteen Motorsports. “Without their efforts this would not be possible and I am glad to see their hard work paying off.”
With so many cars from across the country flocking to Fayetteville, qualifying will be essential to victory. Masters division driver Chad Groves is a regular at Fayetteville, where there are often 30 cars per night and the competition is always high.
“Qualifying is key with such a large car count and staying out of trouble so you have a chance to battle for the win,” said Groves.
Two-time track champion Josh Sanoske, who races in the Pro division, affirms qualifying will be important, because it is crucial every week even with a quarter of the cars that will be there for Nationals.
“There are so many good racers in our area that track position means everything from winning to losing each night, being able to be a good qualifier is the skill set that I believe is most important,” said Sanoske. “Is qualifying a skill set some would ask, yes, because a lot of people can follow in a race and be fast but judging corner speed on entry and lines to run on your own makes that a skill set.”
With Dirt Nationals being in the southeast, Semi-Pro driver Chad Garner hopes the out of town talent walks away from Fayetteville wanting to return for more and is looking forward to the new challenge drivers from across the country will bring.
“I hope they leave Fayetteville impressed with the local talent and competition that runs there against each other all season,” said Garner. “For me as a competitor the tougher the competition the more drive there is to win. Which in turn makes you feel like you actually accomplished something when you get that win or podium finish and makes you want to return.”
The 2022 Dirt Nationals concludes this year’s run of national events and INEX General Manager and Technical Director Scott Reinhardt expects Fayetteville to be a great bookend to the season.
“Dave Mitchell has been great to work with getting this race put together for our dirt series drivers. This race is gearing up to be the highest car count for this event since the start of Legend Car racing. INEX & the staff at Fayetteville Motor Speedway are looking forward to seeing all the competitors at the track & enjoying a weekend full of great racing & fellowship with the racers & families.”
Friday’s mains will have a $250 to win purse, except the Young Lions which will be $150. The Race of Champions will also be a $250 to win race Friday night. Saturday’s non-qualifier race will be a $250 to win, Young Lions $500, Semi-Pro $1000, Masters $1250, and Pro $1500.
Action begins Thursday with practice at 4pm. Friday begins at 5pm with hot laps followed by qualifying before heat races, main events and the Race of Champions. Championship Saturday will begin at 5:30pm with more heat races, B-mains, and feature races.
Spectators are welcome to attend the 2022 Dirt Nationals. On Thursday, only pit passes will be available for $20. On Friday and Saturday, grandstands open at 4pm with pit passes available for $30 for all ages and grandstand tickets will be $20 for Adults (15 and older), $5 for kids aged 11-14 and kids 10 and under will be admitted for FREE!