Late Models, UMP Modifieds, Pro Late Models, Pro Modifieds, Stock Cars set for action on premier Illinois bullring
Five divisions. Three nights. DIRTcar Midwest’s year-end marquee event is here.
The 28th annual DIRTcar Fall Nationals closes the 2023 regular season this Thursday-Saturday, Sept. 28-30, at Lincoln Speedway in Lincoln, IL.
Five DIRTcar divisions will take to the 1/4-mile bullring, starting with a group of practice sessions for all divisions Thursday night. Friday night features a full racing program for the DIRTcar Late Models, Stock Cars, UMP Modifieds and Pro Modifieds.
The DIRTcar Pro Late Models will join the Super Late Models, UMP Modifieds and Pro Modifieds on the docket for Saturday night in the second full night of racing.
Tickets will be available at the gate on race day, and plenty of camping space is available. Follow along on DIRTcar’s social media channels for updates throughout the event – Facebook @DIRTcar, X (formerly known as Twitter) @DIRTcarRacing, and Instagram @dirtcar_official.
Here are the drivers to watch and storylines to follow this weekend:
LATE MODELS – For the first time since 2009, Jason Feger has clinched the DIRTcar Late Model national points championship and is projected to cap off a 14-win regular season at Fall Nationals.
Feger, of Bloomington, IL, reigned supreme in Midwest regional competition this year, clinching his first career Midwest Auto Racing Series (MARS) championship with eight Feature wins in 19 starts. In June, Feger won with the DIRTcar Summer Nationals at Lincoln, leading all but one lap en route to the $7,500 grand prize.
Among other notable projected entrants is fellow Midwest Late Model competitor Ryan Unzicker. The 2011 DIRTcar national champion from El Paso, IL, won the 2021 Fall Nationals Late Model Feature and has been strong in the national standings this year with seven Feature wins in 41 starts.
UMP MODIFIEDS – Recently crowned with his third Lincoln track championship in the last six years, veteran racer Brian Lynn, of Mason City, IL, leads the charge for Lincoln’s weekly UMP Modified racers into the doubleheader weekend alongside son Austin, both still on the hunt for their first wins of the season.
The current runner-up in UMP Modified national points – Mike McKinney, of Plainfield, IL – is also scheduled to compete on both nights. The former DIRTcar Stock Car national champion has won 18 times in 47 recorded starts this year but has yet to go to Victory Lane at Lincoln. In Fall Nationals’ first year at Lincoln in 2020, McKinney won the opening UMP Modified Feature on Friday night.
Allen Weisser – veteran UMP Modified racer from Peoria, IL – took the checkered flag in the DIRTcar Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals Feature event at Lincoln in June and has won three times in four starts at the 1/4-mile this year, making him another favorite for his first career Fall Nationals trophy should he attend.
PRO LATE MODELS – With 19 wins in 21 starts, Jose Parga has cemented his 2023 season in DIRTcar history as one of the most dominant displays of weekly racing ever recorded.
From April to October, Parga – the 26-year-old Pro Late Model racer from New Berlin, IL – strung together 19 Feature wins across five different tracks. That streak came to an end after posting back-to-back third-place runs three weekends ago. He seeks his 20th Feature win of the season Saturday night, also clinching his fourth career national championship in the division.
Projected to head to Lincoln and spoil his celebration are several of his division rivals including 2023 track champion Braden Johnson, Dakota Ewing (the only other Feature winner in the division at Lincoln this year) and Devin McClean – winner of 12 Features in DIRTcar competition this year.
PRO MODIFIEDS – For the second-straight year, Deece Schwartz has clinched the DIRTcar Pro Modified national championship and will end his regular season with a victory lap at Fall Nationals.
Schwartz – the 20-year-old, third-generation racer from Ashmore, IL – won half of the races he started this year, going 20-for-40 and capturing both the Kankakee County Speedway and Charleston Speedway track championships for the second year in-a-row. This weekend, he’s set to pull double duty, entered in both the Pro Modified and UMP Modified divisions.
A slew of other Pro Modified competition has pre-entered for the event, including Brayden Doyle (national championship runner-up and the only driver to win a Pro Modified Feature at Lincoln this year), 2020 Pro Modified national champion Billy Knebel Jr. and his son – Highland Speedway track champion Cole Knebel.
STOCK CARS – The only national points title left to be decided in 2023 will be partly settled at Lincoln this weekend. Twenty-five points is all that separates Jerrad Krick and Bobby Beiler in the standings with only two races remaining.
Krick, of Earl Park, IN, is the points leader with 12 wins and the Kankakee County Speedway track championship. Beiler, of Blue Mound, IL, also has 12 wins this year and was recently crowned track champion at Macon Speedway.
Both drivers will battle for their first Fall Nationals Feature win Friday at Lincoln.
Full information including times, pricing, divisions, driver registration, and more can be found at www.lincolnspeedwayil.com.
*Josh James Photo