By T.J. Buffenbarger
(February 26, 2020) — The Michigan sprint car scene took a seismic shift on Wednesday when TJSlideways.com confirmed that Crystal Motor Speedway and Hartford Motor Speedway were dropping their Sprints on Dirt programs for the 2020 season. In addition, sources confirmed that Dave Muzzillo is no longer associated with the SOD series and the Ohio based National Racing Alliance which Muzzillo confirmed later in a text message.
While the future for the National Racing Alliance seems to be clear with a set schedule for the 2020 season and a meeting for race teams expected to be announced for mid-March, the future for SOD is cloudy.
The loss of Crystal and Hartford race dates in addition to races that were taken off the original release of the SOD schedule for Butler Motor Speedway leaves the series future in doubt for 2020. Sources within the SOD series indicate an announcement will be forthcoming about the future of the series for 2020 and beyond but were unavailable for further comment at the time of this story.
After ending the 2019 season with a cancellation at Crystal Motor Speedway due to a small car count and weather-related issues during the season finale at Plymouth Speedway SOD experienced a rocky off season with Butler Motor Speedway along with Crystal and Hartford being released on the series initially with Butler’s races being removed later.
Hartford promoter Tim Dibble indicated that the FAST 410 Sprint Car Series, the recently formed Great Lakes Create Sprint Car Series, and the Great Lakes Lightning sprints will fill gaps in the Hartford schedule for 2020. Dibble indicated with a decision being made to drop the SOD dates from the 2020 season Hartford’s schedule for this season should be released within the next week.
Sources at Crystal Motor Speedway confirmed the Great Lakes Super Sprints will be added to the traditional April 25th date, while the Great Lakes Traditional Sprints and Great Lakes Lightning sprints will fill other gaps in Crystal’s schedule.
The Sprints on Dirt grew from humble beginnings in 1980 to become one of the most recognizable brands for sprint car racing in Michigan. SOD announced in August of 2018 that Muzzillo would take control of the series from series founder John Naida. Muzzillo indicated he would spend time assisting his son who is recovering from a traffic accident that took place in August of last year.
TJSlideways.com will have more on this story as it develops.