The nation's top dirt late model racers will kick off Bank of America 500 Week Wednesday night, Oct. 11, with the Jani-King Southern Showdown at The Dirt Track @ Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Presented by Ferris Commercial Mowers, the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series race features a unique format that could result in the winner taking home $28,000.

"Not that dirt late model racers need any additional incentive to stand on the gas, but this race rewards the winner for each position advanced during the main event," said H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler, president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway. "The format produces spectacular racing as witnessed last year when Jimmy Owens moved up 16 positions and claimed $26,000 for his victory."

Here's how it works: The top three finishers in each of the six heat races advance directly to the main event and they will draw for starting positions. If the driver who wins the 50-lap finale submits an official entry form prior to Sept. 15, he will receive the $10,000 first-place prize along with an amount equal to $1,000 multiplied by his starting position.

The Dirt Track's extremely popular Choose Rule, which allows competitors to select either the inside or outside groove for restarts, will add an additional element of intrigue.

Racing legend Scott Bloomquist won the most recent late model event at The Dirt Track, the $50,000-to-win Colossal 100 in April, and the Mooresburg, Tenn., resident is expected to return for the October event.

Defending Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series champion and current point leader Earl Pearson Jr. will also be on hand and has a strong shot at claiming the top prize.

"The Dirt Track @ Charlotte Motor Speedway is a really high-speed track, and I seem to adapt really well to the speeds because that's the type of track I grew up on," said Pearson Jr. who lives in Jacksonville, Fla. "Our motor combination is also very good for that type of race track."

Donnie Moran, Don O'Neal, Matt Miller, Chris Madden, Dennis "Rambo" Franklin, Freddy Smith and Mike Duvall are also among the nearly 50 drivers expected to participate in the Wednesday night spectacular.

Late model stock cars have followed the same basic evolution process as their NASCAR NEXTEL Cup counterparts. Once nothing more than stock production automobiles with roll cages and numbers painted on the doors, today's dirt late models are finely tuned, purpose-built race cars with tube-frame chassis and 800-horsepower racing engines.

The mud-slinging machines reach speeds approaching 120 mph on The Dirt Track's four-tenths-mile clay oval.

Built in 2000, The Dirt Track @ Charlotte Motor Speedway is one of the nation's most fan-friendly short tracks. Its spacious stadium-style grandstand offers outstanding viewing for more than 14,000 fans.

Competitors can download the Jani-King Southern Showdown entry form by visiting http://www.charlottemotorspeedway.com/documents/Oct06_Entry_form.pdf.

If purchased in advance, adult tickets for the Jani-King Southern Showdown presented by Ferris Commercial Mowers are $25 with children 12 and under admitted for just $10.

Tickets for this event can also be purchased as part of the four-race $99 SUPER Ticket which includes Bojangles' Pole Night on Thursday night, Oct. 12; the Dollar General 300 on Friday night, Oct. 13; and the Bank of America 500 on Saturday night, Oct. 14.

Tickets are available online here or by calling the Charlotte Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS.