The nation's top dirt late model racers will remove their tops to kick off Bank of America 500 Week Wednesday night, Oct. 8, during the Armour Vienna Sausage Southern Showdown at The Dirt Track @ Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Presented by Ferris Commercial Mowers, the first topless event in World of Outlaws Late Model Series history features a unique format that could result in the winner taking home $30,000. The term "topless" refers to the fact that each dirt late model must compete without its fiberglass top, giving fans a better view of the drivers as they navigate the lightning-fast four-tenths-mile oval.

Here's how the format works: The top five finishers in each of the four heat races advance directly to the main event and a unique draw will determine starting positions. If the driver who wins the 50-lap finale submits an official entry form prior to Sept. 13, he will receive the $10,000 first-place prize along with an amount equal to $1,000 multiplied by his starting position.

Mike Balzano started seventh in 2004 and earned $17,000 for his victory while Jimmy Owens passed 15 cars en route to victory in 2005, collecting $26,000 for his evening's work. Last year's winner, Shannon Babb romped to an $18,000 victory after starting eighth in the 50-lap feature.

More than 50 of the biggest names in dirt late model racing are expected to be on hand for the Armour Vienna Sausage Southern Showdown, including World of Outlaws points leader Darrell Lanigan along with series regulars Chub Frank, Steve Francis, Josh Richards, Shane Clanton, Babb, Rick Eckert and Clint Smith.

Late model stock cars have followed the same basic evolution process as their NASCAR Sprint 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 Armour Vienna Sausage Southern Showdown entry form by visiting www.charlottemotorspeedway.com/showdown.

If purchased in advance, adult tickets for the Armour Vienna Sausage Showdown presented by Ferris Commercial Mowers are $25 with children 12 and under admitted for just $5.

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. 9; the Dollar General 300 on Friday night, Oct. 10; and the Bank of America 500 on Saturday night, Oct. 11.

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