‘Did You Know?‘ File: 40th DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH Feb. 8-19 At Volusia Speedway Park
By Kevin Kovac, WoO LMS P.R. Director
BARBERVILLE, FL – Feb. 3, 2011 – To set the stage for the 40th DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH at Volusia Speedway Park, consider these interesting ‘Did You Know?’ items about the mid-winter racing extravaganza that features the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series (Feb. 11-13), the World of Outlaws Late Model Series (Feb. 17 and 19), the O’Reilly All-Star Sprint Car Series (Feb. 9-10), DIRTcar UMP Late Models (Feb. 14, 15, 16 and 18), the Super DIRTcar Series for Big-Block Modifieds (Feb. 16-19) and UMP Modifieds (Feb. 8-15).
* It is estimated that the thousands of fans and competitors who invade the half-mile oval located 30 minutes outside Daytona Beach will have an economic impact of over $6 million on Volusia County and surrounding areas during the 12-day motorsports meet.
* Over a half-million dollars in purses is earmarked for distribution to race teams over the course of the DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH, including nearly $115,000 in first-place payoffs alone.
* According to weather.com, the average daily high temperature for Barberberville, Fla., in mid-February is 71 degrees.
* More than 240 drivers from over 25 states, several Canadian provinces and Australia are expected to participate in the racing activities.
* With two divisions competing each night, fans will see in the neighborhood of 500 laps of qualifying and feature race action per show. Over 12 nights of racing, it’s possible that the Volusia surface will showcase some 5,000-6,000 total circuits of action.
* Three dozen eagle-shaped trophies have been ordered for presentation to winners and champions during the DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH.
* On any given night of the DCN by UNOH, perhaps 500 or more people are camping on the expansive VSP grounds. That includes those in the more than 100 track-permitted campers and RVs situated in a designated area of the speedway’s parking lot and dozens of race teams who sleep in the haulers in the pit area.
* Upwards of 50 people are on staff each night of the DCN by UNOH, including race operations and technical officials, ticket sellers, gate workers and concession personnel. Most put in more than 10 hours of work per day.
* No one puts in more hard labor during the DCN by UNOH than the track-prep crew, which is led by Chad Alchier and Larry Fink. Alchier, who works fulltime at Lernerville Speedway in Sarver, Pa., and Fink, the son of veteran central New York promoter Harvey Fink, oversee a team that typically spends as many as 10 hours a day massaging and watering the Volusia clay, including an hour or two digging up the surface under the lights immediately after each evening’s action is complete.
* Over the course of the DCN by UNOH, Volusia Speedway Park officials estimate that the concession stands will go through at least 3,000 quarter-pound burgers, 2,000 hot dogs, 500 pounds of French fries, 500 cases of Coca-Cola soda products, 200 cases of Budweiser beer, 500 pots of coffee, 40 gallons of ketchup, 30 gallons of mustard, 4,000 packets of mayonnaise and 2,000 packets of relish. In addition, more than 50,000 napkins will be used by patrons.
* Three 30-yard-long dumpsters and two smaller dumpsters will be on-site to handle all the garbage produced during the 12 days of racing. The dumpsters will be emptied by a local disposal firm at least five times.
* The speedway’s electric bill for the month of February is roughly three to four times higher than a normal month – not surprising, of course, since keeping the lights burning for 12 straight nights of competition represents more than three months’ worth of racing programs compacted into a short span. As one VSP official says, “Clay Electric (the track’s power provider) loves us in February.”
* The track’s own food concessions are accented by a number of outside food preparers that set up stands offering a variety of edible items in the midway area behind the grandstand and in the pit area. The food vendors come from far-and-wide; for instance, the popular ‘Steak on a Stick’ trailer comes all the way from central Pennsylvania.
* T-shirt and collectible vendors from across the country – as far away as the Midwest and Northeast – converge on Volusia to sell their wares to fans throughout the DCN by UNOH.
* The overflow pit area for the week surrounds the ‘Gator Pond,’ which is located down the hill behind the track’s backstretch. And yes, there’s a three-foot-long gator that has been calling the pond home.
* Every grandstand ticket purchased for the DCN by UNOH also includes a FREE pit pass, allowing fans the opportunity to sign in and visit the competition area to see the drivers and cars close up.
* NASCAR personalities regularly drop by Volusia Speedway Park to take in DCN by UNOH action after their commitments at Daytona International Speedway are complete. Just some who have been seen in the pit area in recent years include Tony Stewart, Kasey Kahne, Clint Bowyer, David Reutimann, Bobby Labonte, Dave Blaney, Richard Childress, Ray Evernham and Bobby Dillner.
* Austin and Ty Dillon – the grandsons of famed NASCAR team owner Richard Childress – will both compete in the UMP Modified events during the DCN by UNOH. Austin, a 20-year-old who finished second in last year’s DCN by UNOH UMP Modified points standings, will also be behind the wheel of an Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Camping World Series Truck at Daytona during Speedweeks, while Ty, who turns 19 later this month, is slated for ARCA Racing Series competition at the big track.
* NASCAR Nationwide Series regular and popular SPEED television commentator Kenny Wallace will spend his evenings from Feb. 8-15 racing his UMP Modified at Volusia. He captured a UMP Modified feature on the Volusia half-mile in 2007 – and he also won a NASCAR Nationwide Series (then Busch Series) event on March 24, 1991, when the track was paved.
* The World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series has been part of the DCN by UNOH since 2005 – but before that, the tour had been absent from Volusia since 1981.
* The World of Outlaws Late Model Series has been a featured full-fender attraction during the DCN by UNOH every year since 2004, the season that the World Racing Group re-launched the tour at Volusia after it had been idle for 15 years.
* Pit gates open at 1 p.m., grandstand gates are unlocked at 5 p.m. and racing is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. each day of the DCN by UNOH.
For more information on the DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH – including special pricing on advance-sale tickets and a full schedule of events – visit www.DIRTcarNationals.com or call 704-795-7223 or 386-985-4402.