Sterling Heights, MI - Even after a delayed start, the 2020 DIRTcar UMP Summer Nationals Hell Tour has seen their fair share of schedule changes due to local COVID-19 policies for race tracks on the Tour. As the final week of racing approaches, the schedule continues to adjust, down to the final event on the schedule. After an announcement from Oakshade Raceway stating they couldn't host the event, Merritt Speedway followed closely behind with a statement that they would host the event.
Recently, the state of Ohio announced increased regulations in gathering sizes and limitations in response to COVID-19. Because of that, many race tracks across the state were forced to close their doors, operate without fans, or make additional modifications to their operating plan. Oakshade Raceway in Wauseon, OH was no exception to the rule; they announced on Monday afternoon that their annual Birthday Race had been cancelled, an event that coincided with the Hell Tour finale.
By Monday night, Lake City, Michigan's Merritt Speedway made the following statement announcing the addition of a Summer Nationals Hell Tour date:
Merritt Speedway is pleased to announce the DIRTcar Summer Nationals Hell Tour will come to Lake City, Michigan, on August 22! The Late Model Summer Nationals champion will be crowned at Merritt for the first time in tour and track history, featuring a $10,000-to-win spectacular. In addition to the 50-lap Late Model feature event, the UMP Summit Modifieds will also compete at Merritt, racing for $1,500-to-win. The previously scheduled event at Oakshade has been cancelled and moved to Merritt.
The DIRTcar Racing Summer Nationals #HellTour, including both the UMP Late Models, as well as the UMP Summit Modifieds, will race at Tri City Motor Speedway on Friday, August 21. The Late Models will compete for $10,000-to-win on Friday night, with the UMP Summit Modified's battling for $1,500. Teams will then take the short cruise over to Michigan's Premier Dirt Track, Merritt Speedway, for the massive Saturday night showdown. The addition of the Summer Nationals date at Merritt Speedway gives local teams and drivers yet another opportunity to race for big bucks and a national audience on DIRTvision.
Chatham, Illinois driver Brian Shirley currently leads Late Model Summer National points, over Frank Heckenast Jr., Jason Feger, Bob Gardner, and Bobby Pierce. You won't want to miss the Summer Nationals regulars competing head-to-head, against the best late model racers in the state of Michigan, as championship night comes to Merritt on Saturday, August 22.
The addition of Merritt Speedway to the Hell Tour schedule now gives the Mitten State four huge shows in four days, including the first-ever trip to Butler Motor Speedway in Quincy, MI on Wednesday, then onto Thunderbird Raceway in Muskegon, MI Thursday, Auburn, Michigan's Tri City Motor Speedway Friday, before the Tour closes at Merritt.
For more information on the DIRTcar UMP Summer Nationals Hell Tour, log onto dirtcarsummernationals.com.
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Story - Zach Hiser, Motor City Racing Promotions
Photo - Jim DenHamer