Five Race Challenge Series Highlights ‘21 Schedule
Lake Odessa, MI (Wednesday, January 6, 2021) - I-96 Speedway promoter, Jeff Dice is heading into his fourth season as the promoter of the wide and fast oval just off Interstate 96 in Lake Odessa, Michigan. As schedule teasers were released throughout the past several weeks, it became evident that Dice was making an investment in sprint car racing for 2021. Then, when his full season schedule was announced on Christmas Day, fans got a surprise - a non-wing sprint car challenge series.
The five-race Non-Wing Challenge Series begins on just the second week of the 2021 season, on Friday, April 23rd. The series will be back in action the following week on Friday, April 30th. A break in the month of May splits up the challenge series races ensuring they don’t compete with the Great Lakes Traditional Sprints (GLTS). In June, the series races on the final Friday of the month, the 23rd. The penultimate series event will take place on Friday, July 16th, with the Series season finale on Friday, August 27th.
The unique aspect for fans of I-96 Speedway is that these races will be an addition to the regular show; which means race fans will see sprint cars and late models on the same night at least five times in 2021. That doesn’t count the Allstar Circuit of Champions shows that include late models, or Roll the Dice II in October.
When asked about why he invested in sprint cars for 2021, Dice says it’s all about getting fans in the stands after two-seasons struggling to pull a full field of late models.
“There is not enough late models to go around the state of Michigan,” Dice said. “I’m not going to not run late models, there’s just not enough of them. I’ve got to bring the fans in, so consequently, I’m going to bring the non-wing [sprints].”
Dice says I-96 is well known for putting on exciting sprint car racing, and he hopes that remains true in 2021. Dice also took into consideration the success non-wing cars have just a few hours south of the Michigan state line.
“Down south, the non-wing cars are popular,” Dice observed. “I want them to be popular up here.”
Popularity for the ‘original sprint car’ seems to be increasing after a successful inaugural season for GLTS. The series was to sanction 12 events in 2020, with six races scheduled at I-96 alone.
The I-96 Speedway Non-Wing Challenge Series will run GLTS rules and race for $1,200 to win per event while offering $200 to start. They’ll also run on their own separate points system, crowning a champion at the end of the season.
More information on I-96 Speedway can be found on their website at www.i96speedway.com.
For more stories from around the region, be sure to log onto www.horsepowerhappenings.com. Listen to on-demand episodes of the Horsepower Happenings Podcast, with new episodes every Monday night at 9:00 pm.
Story - Zach Hiser, Horsepower Happenings
Photo - Jim DenHamer