ABBOTTSTOWN, PA : All the twists and turns, along with the mud-slinging roads have brought the U.S. Legend Cars dirt drivers to Lincoln Speedway in South Central Pennsylvania for the 2020 INEX International Dirt Nationals presented by Wix Filters. Close to 100 of the countries best dirt racers have made the trip to battle it out to prove they are the best among the best.
Thursday night saw close to 100 drivers registered for the three hour practice and a near capacity pit area of Legend Cars. 2019 INEX Dirt Nationals Semi-Pro race winner Billy Workman, Jr. led the way overall in practice with a time of 19.616 seconds. The top 20 were only separated by 0.356-seconds at the end of the night among those that registered a time.
The last time the Gene Latta Ford Central PA Legends visited Lincoln Speedway on September 5th, Jaiden Reyna out-dueled his Joe Ryan Osborne Race Cars teammate Workman, Jr. for the win in a field of nearly 50 entries for his first career win on dirt in a Legend Car. Reyna is one of a fleet of JR Race Cars drivers that have made the trip to Pennsylvania to try and take the A-Feature wins from the hometown racers.
Unlike in a normal season, the National Championship races are not being counted in the 2020 INEX National Points as the format has been changed for the year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There has been a divide of six regions, each will crown its own champion with the Nationals feature race being used as a tie-breaker if needed. Many of the top drivers in points nationally have made the journey to Lincoln Speedway this weekend to try and capture the Nationals glory.
In the Legends Pro Dirt Division, the top three overall have not made the trip, but they are in the Midwest Region for 2020. The Northeast Region is still up for grabs as two Central PA Legends regulars enter this weekend tied for the top spot in the region, fourth nationally. Travis McClelland and Bill Diehl both carry 1437 points as they enter this weekend with McClelland holding a 6-3 edge in 100 point feature wins on the shortened season.
Waupun, Wisconsin’s Michael Mueller enters this weekend’s INEX Dirt Nationals with 1491 points on the strength of 12 wins in 2020. Mueller carried those wins to a championship at Beaver Dam Speedway (WI) with his young teammate Ryan Sullivan in second. Shippensburg, Pennsylvania’s Travis Perry has 11 wins on the Central PA Legends season and is a solid lock to win the Northeast Region, but he sits 3 points behind Mueller in the overall championship. With the INEX point season coming to a close after the first weekend in October, Mueller will hold onto the overall number one position, which has put the focus for Perry to defend his home turf and leave with the trophy on Saturday night.
Baker, Montana’s Tommie Quenzer leads the Legends Young Lions National points in his first full season of Legend Car racing. Quenzer has picked up two feature wins at Southwest Speedway (ND) and one at Dacotah Speedway (ND) in 2020. With the Midwest Region season already wrapped up, Quenzer’s goal this weekend is to try and leave Pennsylvania after the three day trip to get here with the A-Feature win. It will not be easy as drivers such as Jaiden Reyna, Nikita Johnson and local drivers Lincoln Kearchner and Jonathan Robinson will make it a very competitive race on Saturday night.
The largest class of entries is the Semi-Pro Division with well over 30 drivers entered for this weekend. With a field starting cap size, still to be determined, there will be some action to avoid a B-Main for drivers just to make the A-Main on Saturday night. Wisconsin’s Ryan Sullivan, fourth nationally, is the highest ranked driver here this weekend. However, there is a whole field of Pennsylvania regulars that will be looking to keep the National Race trophy in PA after this weekend. This will be a very interesting class to watch all weekend long as anyone can find their way to the top step of the podium.
This weekend’s INEX International Dirt Nationals has more than bragging rights on the line for the drivers. There is over $10,000 in prize money up for grabs with the feature winners of the Pro and Master A-Mains leaving with $1,000, while the Semi-Pro winner will pocket $500.
Unfortunately, due to the pandemic the usual International flavor from our Australian racers is missing in 2020. The Speedway Legend Cars Australia season was abruptly ended in March due to COVID-19 and with the current restrictions in Australia they have yet to begin their 2020-21 season. Along with the travel restrictions and change in the INEX point structure for this year, no Australians have been able to make the trip to the States this year for Nationals. INEX also made the decision to not calculate points on an International level with the travel restrictions throughout the year. We look forward to hopefully a more normal 2021 and a return of our friends from “Down Under”.
As with every major INEX National event, the entire weekend of International Dirt Nationals will be broadcasted live with multiple camera angles, replays, interview segments, social interaction and more through LegendsNation TV. For more information on times and how to watch this weekend visit www.legendsnation.tv.
Remember you can interact with us all weekend long through our social channels; @legendsnation using the hashtag #DirtNats!
Below is the fastest lap recorded for all the drivers that took to the track on Thursday night with a transponder. There are several more drivers on the property, but they did not have their transponder installed on the car for times.
|POSITION||CAR #||CLASS||DRIVER||BEST TIME|
|1.||64||SP||Billy Workman, Jr.||19.616|
|11.||13J||P||Joe Ryan Osborne||19.884|
*All times are unofficial and there were several drivers who were on track without a transponder during practice night. More cars are expected to be added tomorrow as they opted to skip the Thursday evening optional practice session.