More than $100,000 will be awarded to the best dirt track drivers in the Midwest at the 42nd annual Yankee Dirt Track Classic, running Wednesday through Friday at 300 Speedway in Farley.
“It should be a big show,” said Jeff Aikey, who has held points leads at various times this season at Vinton and Independence raceways.
“I’ve got a pretty good year going with 15 modified wins and 10 in late model action,” Aikey said, “but, here at the end of the year there are so many big money shows and it doesn’t pay much to win your local track points championship.
“I go where the money is at and Farley this weekend is one of the biggest payouts in the state for the whole year.”
More than $100,000 will be distributed throughout the three days.
Aikey, 56, knows the region and its racing, having won more than 600 times since he started in 1980.
Aikey won’t be able to make the “King of the Hill,” a one-lap, bracket-style race that doubles as practice Wednesday night. Admission is free and the grandstands will open at 6 p.m. with all four classes running. Along with the sport mods and stock cars that will perform all three nights, Aikey will be driving his late model and modified race cars Thursday and Friday with the grandstands opening at 5 p.m. and hot laps beginning at 6:30 with racing to follow.
Admission for Thursday will be $15 for adults, $12 for students and military. Twelve-and-under and 70-plus are free.
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Friday night, the gates open at 4 p.m. for championship night with admission $25 for adults and $18 for students and military. All four classes will compete, highlighted by a 50-lap late model feature that will pay $12,000 to the winner and a 50-lap modified final paying $5,000 for first.
With the massive purse provided by track owner Roger Simon, top drivers are expected to flock from Nebraska, Missouri and Minnesota.
“I want things to go well for them,” Aikey said. “They have such a beautiful facility. It’s big and holds a lot of people and it’s clean as a whistle.”
For those looking to make a weekend of it, camping spots and back stretch parking are available by calling (563) 744-3304 with the Palace Ballroom on the 300 Raceway grounds hosting live music all three nights following on-track action.
As for Aikey, he just takes things day-to-day and has no intention of living one of the most famous racing quotes of all time, “Rubbing is racing.”
“No, no, no,” Aikey said. “You don’t want to rub, that costs you money. My plan is to be in front so there’s no one to rub.”