Race fans certainly have racing on their mind, but not plans to head to the local speedway anytime soon.
Forget the snow, ice and cold weather though, Racing is just a couple weeks away – for the Impact Survivor Series and Dells Raceway Park.
Believe it or not, the March 16 Lucky Leprechaun 300 is the second race of the 2019 series for the series which runs Enduro races for four-cylinder front wheel drive vehicles. The first event attracted 85-cars to 141 Speedway in Manitowoc County on New Year’s Day for the Chill Chaser.
The series will be making its first appearance in the Dells, but it is far from new. Matt Rowe, a former track owner and promoter in Wisconsin has perfected his series from a decade of running and scoring Enduro events across the Midwest. His Impact Survivor Series is popular with drivers. It’s a unique event in many ways, says Rowe.
Rowe said his $5,000 two win purse is pro-rated based on an entry field of 100 cars. He was closed in on that magic number for several events.
“We finally got at our last event last year and we didn’t get there, we smashed it,” said Rowe, adding his counts were closing in all season – usually with a dozen or less of 100. “We had 120 cars in the field.” With the pro-rated purse, the race winner at the Creepy Classic at State Park Speedway got a check for more than $6,000.
One unique catch that prevents a ‘killer car’ from dominating the series is that part of winning the top prize money is the top two finishers at each event surrender their vehicles to Rowe who takes them out of commission for one event and then ultimately sells them on eBay later.
There is a points system in place for the series and Rowe estimates about 25-30 percent of the cars in the field will be at all the events.
Registrations are still coming in for the Lucky Leprechaun event, but Rowe said he believes there will be 90 or more cars in the field with drivers coming from five different states.
As a scorer, Rowe has his own transponder system which will make the job of keeping track of running order easier.
Another unique thing for the event is a live draw for the running order. That is one of the things that came from years of running the events.
“My series, when I took it on the road, we had about two-thirds of the cars pre-register,” said Rowe adding the starting order was determined by the order cars showed up at the tech line.
“They used to race to get to the tech line,” said Rowe. “Some were unloading cars from the trailer before he pit gates opened and they would drive their vehicles straight to the tech line.”
Drivers are still rewarded for pre-registering, but now the running order is done in a random draw and the draw is done live on Facebook to create a bit of pre-race excitement. Rowe expects the draw will take place about a week before the March 16 race.
The series advertises no cautions, but if there is an incident, a driver will be given two laps to get running. If they can’t there will instead be a brief red flag – not to remove the car – just to rescue the driver. The car will stay where it is until race end.
One other red flag will come out at the end of lap 200 allowing pit crews a chance to race onto the track for refueling and fixing any chance they can in a stoppage of about 10-minutes. Then it’s back to racing on to the checkers.
Wausau’s George Seliger took the win at the Chill Chaser event finishing a lap ahead of the field.
The great thing about endure racing is it attracts every level of racer. A $5000 purse is enough to make a Late Model racer climb into a 4-cylinder car while the $100 entry fee and a chance to get a ‘junker’ onto the track is attractive to anyone who may want to try their hand at the sport.
The Dells event will be the second of eight events, all but one run in Wisconsin. Another interesting thing about the series is it is run on both asphalt and clay tracks and all but one of them will be in Wisconsin.
For more information on the series, visit http://www.iraceiss.com.