Third year Series makes move to Open Competition Late Models

By Tom Lathen

(West Union, IA) The Dart Corn Belt Clash Late Model Series will have a somewhat different look for the 2011 racing season!

According to series founder and Director Cam Granger, the third-year Late Model Series will now afford fans in the upper Midwest the opportunity to experience the thrill and excitement of high energy, high horsepower Super Late Model competition.

“The Corn Belt Clash is no longer a Spec Late Model series that allows Open cars to race,” declared Granger. “This year, the series will be an Open series that makes provisions to allow Spec cars to race.”

According to Granger, the folding of the WORLD Dirt Racing League following the 2009 season left a void in the Late Model division in the upper Midwest, prompting him to begin serious consideration regarding the move.

“Over the past year or so, I have received numerous phone calls from not only drivers and car owners, but also from fans and potential sponsors suggesting that moving the series to open Late Models would be good for racing in Iowa and the surrounding states,” he noted.

“With the WDRL’s past success in reaching fans who wanted to see open competition Late Models, we felt the time was right to make the move.”

When the 2011 season opens in a few short weeks, the CBC will employ a rules package similar to that of other Super Late Model Series across the country, but with provisions that will allow WISSOTA and IMCA-type Late Models to compete favorably with their Open Competition counterparts.

Granger says Open Competition Late Models, which will have no motor or carburetion restrictions, will be required to weigh 2300 pounds, including the driver, following the completion of each race, while WISSOTA spec-engine Late Models can cross the scales somewhat lighter at 2250 pounds. In addition to the weight break, WISSOTA cars will also be allowed a one pound per lap “burn-off.”

According to Granger, IMCA-type Late Models, which face a significant horsepower deficit, will not have a weight limit, allowing them to get to a racing weight that should allow them to remain competitive.

“All in all, we feel we have put together a rules package that should allow all three types of Late Models, open cars, WISSOTA cars and IMCA cars, to run very competitively against each other every night of the season,” noted Granger.

Also new for the 2011 season will be an expanded purse structure for the series. This year’s minimum Dart Corn Belt Clash Late Model Series purse will pay the feature race winner $2,000, with a number of events on this year’s schedule paying significantly higher purses.

Said Granger, “I think the drivers will really like what we are trying to do with our purse structure. Our new minimum purse is better from third place to 20th place than most $5,000 to win and even some $10,000 to win shows in our area.”

“We’re not where we would like to be with the purse,” he added. “But with the help of our sponsors we have been able to increase our purse without putting an added burden on the race promoters, which is extremely important in this economy.”

This year’s Dart Corn Belt Clash season, which tentatively includes 21 events, will open on Friday and Saturday, April 15 and 16 at Elko Speedway in Elko, Minnesota. Last year’s CBC champion Chad Simpson is expected to defend the series crown he won a year ago against an extremely talented field of competitors.