The final weekend in July boasts one of the most highly-anticipated events on the World of Outlaws CASE Construction Equipment Late Models schedule—the 32nd Prairie Dirt Classic at Fairbury Speedway on July 29-30.
The 2022 edition of the event is even bigger as there’s more incentive to get to the front in the 100-lap, $50,000-to-win race. Each lap will pay the leader $500, meaning if someone leads all 100 laps, they’ll cash in on a $100,000 payday.
“It’s humbling to see just how big a growth we’ve been able to make this event over the last few years,” said Matt Curl, Fairbury Speedway track promoter and owner. “We’re kind of bulging at the gates. We really have the layout to make it a different atmosphere than some of the bigger crown jewels because it is land locked a little bit with as many Late Models as we’re expecting.
“Of course, we have the DIRTcar [Summit Racing Equipment] Modifieds, and we’ll touch 8,000 people here at the end of July. We’re just looking forward to that hospitality that Fairbury is known for and looking forward to a fantastic weekend of World of Outlaw racing at Fairbury.”
Last season, defending NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Larson led the final 70 laps en route to a $50,000 payday and his first World of Outlaws CASE Late Model Feature win.
32nd Prairie Dirt Classic at Fairbury Speedway– Friday-Saturday, July 29-30
Track: Fairbury Speedway
To Win: $50,000 (plus $500 per lap led)
Location: Fairbury, IL
Track Record: 12.143 sec. set by Kyle Strickler on 9/15/20
2021 Winner: Kyle Larson
Notables: While Kyle Larson won last year’s event, some of the top names in dirt Late Model racing have found Victory Lane since it became a World of Outlaws CASE Late Models event in 2013. They include New Berlin, IL driver and two-time Classic winner Brandon Sheppard, four-time Series champion Josh Richards, 2022 Eldora Million winner Jonathan Davenport, 2006 Series champion Tim McCreadie, Devin Moran, and Moweaqua, IL campaigner Shannon Babb.
However, one driver on the cusp of a victory at the Prairie Dirt Classic is Oakwood, IL driver and current DIRTcar Summer Nationals point leader Bobby Pierce. The “Smooth Operator” narrowly missed a win in 2019, losing out to Sheppard on the final lap. The Prairie Dirt Classic is an event that means a lot to Pierce, who is hoping to join his dad Bob, who’s won the race five times, on the list of drivers reaching Victory Lane.
So far this season, the two drivers to beat on 1/4-mile tracks in Series competition are from Illinois. Four-time and reigning Series champion Brandon Sheppard and current point leader Dennis Erb Jr., of Carpentersville, IL, each have a win on that type of track, with Sheppard’s win coming at Jacksonville Speedway last weekend.
If you can’t make it to the track, you can watch all the action live on DIRTVision – either online or by downloading the DIRTVision App.