VINTON, Iowa (Feb. 8) – IMCA’s Hawkeye Dirt Tour will have a new title sponsor when the series opens on Memorial Day at Benton County Speedway.
Arnold Motor Supply has signed on as sponsor of the eighth annual Modified tour and will provide a portion of $5,650 point funds to be paid each of the next three seasons. The champion takes home $1,000 along with a Traeger Lil’ Tex Elite Pellet Grill, valued at $700, courtesy of Arnold Motor Supply, the Spencer-based auto parts supplier.
Nine dates, all paying a minimum of $1,000 to win and $150 to start, are on the 2017 schedule and are qualifying events for the Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot.
The Monday, May 29 event marks the sixth occasion the tour has opened at Vinton, where the first-ever IMCA Modified event was held in 1979.
The Miller Lite 30 date June 6 at Marshalltown Speedway and the June 13 show at West Liberty Raceway are part of midweek doubleheaders with the Deery Brothers Summer Series for IMCA Late Models.
Hancock County Speedway at Britt hosts the June 27 Salute to Veterans program. The tour is at Southern Iowa Speedway in Oskaloosa on July 19 and then at Knoxville Raceway along with Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMods for the July 20 Dirt Duel.
Next up is the county fair show at Dubuque Speedway on July 25. Concluding the series are dates Aug. 7 at Clay County Fair Speedway in Spencer and Aug. 9 at Buena Vista Raceway in Alta.
Joel Rust, Justin Kay, Corey Dripps and Hunter Marriott were all double winners over the course of the 2016 Hawkeye Dirt Tour but it was Chris Abelson who saw the long tows from his home in Sioux City pay off with the series championship.
Abelson became the seventh different HDT champion in as many seasons.
There will be no change in procedures for the upcoming tour and entry fee at all events remains $50.
“We have never experienced a repeat champion and went quite a few races without a repeat winner before last season,” IMCA President Brett Root said. “The quality and competitiveness of the Modified division in the State of Iowa is obvious in the number of different Hawkeye Dirt Tour champions and feature winners.”
“Having Arnold Motor Supply, which has a store or machine shop in nearly every town on the schedule, as title sponsor will help market the tour to racers and race fans,” he added.
Top 10 point fund amounts will be paid in their entirety to drivers with perfect tour attendance and also include $900 for second, $800 for third, $700 for fourth, $600 for fifth, $500 for sixth, $400 for seventh, $300 for eighth, $250 for ninth and $200 for 10th. The tour champion must also attend the national banquet in November to receive their full point fund share and grill.
2017 Arnold Motor Supply IMCA Hawkeye Dirt Tour schedule – Monday, May 29 at Benton County Speedway, Vinton; Tuesday, June 6 at Marshalltown Speedway; Tuesday, June 13 at West Liberty Raceway; Tuesday, June 27 at Hancock County Speedway, Britt; Wednesday, July 19 at Southern Iowa Speedway, Oskaloosa; Thursday, July 20 at Knoxville Raceway; Tuesday, July 25 at Dubuque Speedway; Monday, Aug. 7 at Clay County Fair Speedway, Spencer; Wednesday, Aug. 9 at Buena Vista Raceway, Alta.