By Bert Lehman
The stars and cars of the Lucas Oil Dirt Late Model Series, featuring some of the best Late Model drivers in the country, will converge on Luxemburg Speedway Friday, May 19.
The show is being promoted by Tony Izzo Jr., the promoter of LaSalle Speedway in LaSalle, Illinois. The last two years Izzo has promoted a Lucas Oil Series race at Oshkosh Speedzone, but with the Speedzone’s uncertain contract situation with Winnebago County during the offseason, Izzo was forced to look for a new venue if he wanted to promote a Lucas Oil race in northeast Wisconsin in 2017.
For Izzo not promoting a Lucas Oil race in Wisconsin was not an option.
“All I have to do is drive through my parking lot (at LaSalle Speedway) for one of my bigger races and see the Wisconsin (license) plates in the parking lot to know I’m getting the support of the northerners,” Izzo said. “They’ve always been passionate race fans. The history of racing in Wisconsin is that the fans are die-hard, loyal fans that don’t get a treat like this as often as they should.”
Izzo said when it came time to find a new venue in Wisconsin, Luxemburg Speedway was at the top of his list, based on input from people he knows in the racing industry.
That’s when Izzo called Eric Mahlik, promoter of Luxemburg Speedway, to see if he was interested in bringing the Lucas Oil Dirt Late Model Series to Luxemburg.
“As excited as he was about it and the interest he showed and was absolutely on board from the very first second I called him, made me feel good about teaming up with him and bringing this show to Luxemburg,” Izzo said.
Mahlik added, “For me, Lucas Oil Late Models are the pinnacle of dirt track racing. It has the best dirt drivers in the country. It’s not every day we get to have something like that in our area.”
Izzo is pulling out all the stops to help ensure it is the best show possible. He has attended the races at Luxemburg Speedway the last two Friday nights, staying overnight last week so he could meet with the Luxemburg Speedway track prep crew and give them some pointers.
“We got on the same page and discussed our attack for the week,” Izzo said.
Mahlik said he and the track prep crew received some great advice from Izzo.
“We’re going to go the extra mile with track prep,” Izzo said. “If we can get the track right, this thing has the potential to be amazing.”
Pit gates will open at 1 p.m. Advance grandstand seating is available at 3 p.m. for those who purchased tickets ahead of time. General admission seating begins at 4 p.m. Hot laps are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m.
Admission to the grandstand is $30, while pit passes are $40.
Support classes include IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Stock Cars, and IMCA SportMods.
Izzo said the support classes will be racing for a higher payout than normal, as almost $3,000 has been added to the purse of the support classes.
“Without the support classes you couldn’t have these races,” Izzo said.