Ask any racing fan what their favorite weekend of the year is, and you will hear some common responses. Memorial Day Weekend, Labor Day Weekend, 4th of July, maybe the weekend of the “Big Show” at their local track. Maybe its my racing fandom coming through, maybe I just like to be different, or maybe I just like it dirty.
Memorial Day weekend is always listed as a favorite of so many people just due to the sheer volume of racing. The Indy 500 is arguably the marquee event, the Coca Cola 600 gives you a full day of racing. If you’re really hard core you even might make an early morning viewing of the F1 race that morning. Labor Day used to have the Southern 500, but at least we now have the usually pretty exciting Atlanta night race. Along with Trucks on the road course (that was a highlight reel itself this year), Nationwide, NHRA, and your local tracks, Labor Day gives so many options for gearheads.
But for me, the best weekend of the racing year, shoot the entire year, is the weekend that directly follows Labor Day. In recent years, that weekend has inherited the final race before the Chase to the Sprint Cup Championship, which in and of itself is a drama filled event, but then throw in the great racing at Richmond, and it’s a nearly can’t miss event. But even that is not why this coming weekend is my favorite weekend. I have the great distinction of growing up in the state of Iowa, where there are more dirt tracks than any other state. If you like dirt racing, your eyes are focused on one of two places this weekend. Two small towns, of no other consequence, that you’d probably never hear of, both the proverbial one stop light towns are the centers of the dirt racing world this weekend. Those towns are Boone, Iowa and Rossburg, OH.
The IMCA Supernationals in Boone is a show like no other. It’s a weeklong marathon, 225 cars or more…in one division, car counts in total for the week nearing 1000, 20 Heat races PER NIGHT PER DIVISION, it is truly one of the largest events in the racing world that many folks have never heard of. Drivers come from thousands of miles to tiny Boone, IA to try and race for an IMCA Supernationals trophy. Make no mistake, the money is of very little consideration. For the most part, even drivers who win the main events Saturday night might barely break even depending on where they are traveling from. Boone is the heartbeat of grassroots, dirt track, racing for a trophy type of racing. The main event winner may live on your street, he might work on your car, or he might be your hero at your local track.
The World 100, “the GrandDaddy of em All” at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, OH is nirvana for dirt late model fans. In recent years, since its purchase by Tony Stewart, Eldora and dirt late models have come into fashion. But for hardcore fans, the pilgrimage to Rossburg for the World 100 is the highlight of the year. In days gone by, car counts in the 200’s were not uncommon. Obviously the economy and escalating costs have dampened that a bit, but fans and drivers alike still show up in droves. The World 100 is the most prestigious race on dirt all year. I have personally seen drivers in tears simply because the qualified for the feature. You meet people from all over the world, and make friends you may only see once a year, but are people you will never forget. The World 100 has moved on from a race to now being an event. A terrific dirt racing website dirtondirt.com has produced a video that shows a small piece of the importance of this race. The video simply titled Saturday 7pm currently has over 500,000 views on their website, and continues to give me goose bumps upon viewing.
Like you, I enjoy racing on a probably unhealthy level. It pains me that this year I will be at exactly ZERO of these events. When I say it is my favorite weekend of the year, it is absolutely true, and if you have be apart of any of these events you know exactly why.