Dirt late model veteran Shannon Babb, known to race fans across the country as the "Moweaqua Missile," will take aim at the $50,000 first-place prize during the Circle K Colossal 100 April 18-19 at The Dirt Track @ Lowe's Motor Speedway.

Babb, 34, of Moweaqua, Ill., earned his unique nickname as the result of being the fastest thing in his small hometown. He finished 10th in the World of Outlaws Late Model Series standings last year and hopes to continue a strong early season run when the nomadic tour returns to The Dirt Track for the third annual Circle K Colossal 100.

"We've run in the Colossal 100 twice and it's been really good to us," said Babb, who finished fifth in last year's 100-lap feature and took home sixth-place money during the inaugural event in 2006. "Of course, it was great to win the Jani-King Southern Showdown at The Dirt Track in October and we ran well in the World Finals too."

However, a lot has changed since Babb earned a guaranteed Colossal starting spot by winning here in October. During the off-season, he parted with his longtime team owner and is now driving the No. 18 Chevrolet/Traeger Grills late model owned by NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Clint Bowyer.

The team, guided by crew chief Tommy Grecco, is based in the Richard Childress Racing complex in Welcome, N.C., just down the street from where Bowyer's Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series cars are prepared.

By joining forces with Bowyer, Babb hopes to capitalize on the young NASCAR star's resources and passion for dirt-track racing. Despite a tough decision to part with former car owner Billy Moyer Sr. after seven years, Babb believes he made the right decision.

"I had a great team when I was with the Moyers," Babb said. "But I figured this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity with Clint. He is young, has some great ideas and a lot of enthusiasm, and it is really exciting for us."

Babb says racing at The Dirt Track @ Lowe's Motor Speedway is always exciting and he thinks race fans agree.

"It's definitely a neat race track," he said. "It's a great atmosphere for one and the racing surface itself is just wide open. It takes a lot of power to get around the place and that makes it a lot of fun."

Heading into the Circle K Colossal 100, Babb has one eye on the $50,000 first-place prize and the other on the event's signature trophies-a ceremonial version of a Medieval knight's helmet and a 50-inch Macleod Medieval sword.

"It's really neat when you can go to these races and you have a cool promoter that goes the extra mile to entertain the fans and racers alike," Babb said of Roger Slack, Lowe's Motor Speedway's vice president of events. "Giving the guys a little more incentive to win makes these races more fun for everybody, it really does."

The Friday-night portion of the Circle K Colossal 100 features group time trials and heat races. The top-two finishers in each heat will secure a spot in the 100-lap finale and a draw will determine the starting lineup.

Saturday night's program begins with a driver autograph session and the on-track action includes at least four additional qualifying races prior to the main event. The race is part of the World of Outlaws Late Model Series, but The Dirt Track's traditional format, including the extremely popular Delaware-style restarts, will be utilized.

If purchased in advance, reserved tickets for both Friday and Saturday nights are just $39 for adults and $10 for children ages 12 and under. Two-day pit passes are $60 in advance. Tickets and pit passes for the April 18-19 Circle K Colossal 100 can be purchased online or by calling 1-800-455-FANS.

The Fleetwood RV Camping Resort is located adjacent to The Dirt Track and full-service camping spots can be reserved by calling (704) 455-4445.