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Bruton Smith and Ray Evernham Team Up to Launch New Dirt Track Series for U.S. Legend Cars International
Two of racing's leaders took a bold step in preserving and protecting the future of racing for generations to come.
Bruton Smith, chairman and CEO of Speedway Motorsports, Inc., and Ray Evernham, CEO of Ray Evernham Enterprises, have partnered to launch a new dirt track racing series as part of U.S. Legend Cars International. The series will run an innovative dirt track version of the Legend Car, designed by Evernham.
“The local tracks around the country are where the stars of the sport get their start, and we need to create the opportunities that inspire young racers today and hone their talents for tomorrow,” said Smith. “Grassroots racing is a passion of mine and of Ray’s, and through this partnership we can give back to our roots and support the future of grassroots racing.”
The series will initially run at East Lincoln Speedway in Stanley, N.C. next year, which is owned by Evernham, and expand to other top dirt tracks around the country. A special unveiling of the new car will be held on October 13, 2010, at The Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway, followed by an on-track demonstration in early November.
“Through this partnership, we will offer a comprehensive program featuring great race cars, safe, sanctioned racing for the drivers and thrilling racing for the fans,” added Smith. “It will be an excellent development series for young drivers and a fun, affordable experience for adults who want to race.”
“It’s an honor to be working with a visionary like Bruton Smith on this program,” said Evernham. “He has done so much to move this sport forward and continually looks for new ways to inspire drivers and fans alike. This partnership will help keep dirt track racing alive for years to come.”
Car Designed for Dirt Track Power, Performance and Affordability
The new dirt track race car is being developed by Ray Evernham in conjunction with SMI and U.S. Legend Cars International. Evernham will oversee the design, fabrication and testing of the new chassis, engine and body style for the car. The cars will be manufactured at the U.S. Legend Cars International factory in Concord, N.C. and sold through the current dealer network.
“The challenge of designing a brand new race car is always an exciting one, because you basically start with a clean sheet of paper,” said Evernham, who led the design of the Dodge race car for return to NASCAR Sprint Cup competition in 2001. “You get to start with the elements that are performing well, then incorporate new materials and technology to build a race car to meet your goals.”
The new dirt race car will be built on the same common platform as the current Legend Car platform, but will offer a more powerful engine, improved handling and a bigger car body.
“Basically, we’re developing an entry level, open-wheel, dirt-style race car,” said Evernham. “We want to give drivers a car that is safe, powerful and easy to handle. We also want to give teams the ability for some customization, but still control the costs for excessive development and maintain a level playing field among competitors.”
In addition to designing the car, Evernham will consult with the series on rules and competition, and serve as consultant for marketing and promotion.
Competitors and track owners interested in participating in the new series can contact U.S. Legend Cars International for information.