T.J.’s Notebook: It’s Classic Week

Matthew Dumesny with his father Max (far left) and crew members after winning January 1st at Premier Speedway. (Image courtesy of Premier Speedway)

(January 17, 2022) — With the 36th Chili Bowl Nationals in the books it is far from time to rest in the sprint car world. As one major event wraps up another is to begin as the 49th South West Conveyancing Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic takes place Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at Premier Speedway at Warrnambool, Victoria.

The event known as, “the Classic” is the Australian equivalent of the Knoxville Nationals centered around the Australia Day holiday weekend. After a one-year hiatus due to the pandemic the Classic has 81 entries filed for the three-night affair. The Classic is just one part of a full week of sprint car racing that includes the President’s Cup on Wednesday and the Kings Challenge on Thursday leading into the Classic Friday through Sunday.

An added twist to the 2022 edition of the Classic is a new racing surface at Premier Speedway. The past several seasons saw an increase in races where the track took rubber. During the off season over 3,000 meters of new clay were added to the racing surface.

Several of the competitors will be familiar to American sprint car fans. James McFadden is the defending champion of the Classic and is entered in the 2022 edition driving for the powerful Monte Motorsports entry. Carson Macedo made the trip down under several weeks ago competing for Dyson Motorsports. Macedo recently won a midget car event Saturday at Archerfield Speedway in Brisbane.

That group will take on Australian sprint car stars that have won the Classic such as Robbie Farr, Corey McCullagh, and Jamie Veal. Australian sprint car stars looking for their first classic include Ian Madsen, Marcus Dumesny, Jock Goodyer, and Matt Egel.

For 2022, American sprint car fans can view the Grand Annual Classic on DIRTvision starting at approximately 1:00 A.M. EST time Friday thought Sunday. In past years getting up around 4:00 a.m. will allow you to catch the main event live.


• During the Chili Bowl Nationals I had some downtime and joined in a Twitter space run by World Racing Group’s Director of Video Content Ross Wece. While in there Knoxville Raceway Marketing Director Kendra Jacobs mentioned that ticket sales for the Knoxville Nationals were ahead of pace from a year ago. With Saturday night being sold out the past two Nationals it might be worth getting your tickets sooner than later.

• While most of us were catching up on sleep after a busy week with the Chili Bowl Nationals, officials that put on the event were busy tearing down the racetrack. As of Monday afternoon, they were down to the last few truckloads of clay to be removed from the facility. (https://twitter.com/cbnationals/status/1483217324706566144)

• The Great Lakes Super Sprints released their schedule on Monday (https://twitter.com/GLSprints/status/1483185474738872320). The seventh season for GLSS sees winged sprint cars return to Owendale Speedway on August 6th, Winston Speedway on July 8th, and first visit to the Dirt Track at Route 66 in Joliet, Illinois on May 14th. Ohio fans get to see GLSS on three occasions with two stops at Fremont Speedway June 25th and July 30th along with a stop at Wayne County Speedway April 30th.

The biggest change of the 2022 schedule is the lack of dates at Merritt Speedway, Thunderbird Raceway, and Tri-City Motor Speedway. Tri-City could be the biggest surprise in this list being a mainstay on the GLSS schedule from the beginnings of the series. Also noteworthy are all three tracks have the same owner/promoter in Mike Blackmer. The absence of these facilities also put an end to a potential Michiagn Speedweek that was in the works for this season.

The GLSS campaign kicks off April 22-24 at I-96 Speedway in Lake Odessa, Michigan and Crystal Motor Speedway in Crystal, Michigan.

• Things are looking good after a few weeks of frigid weather for the Sprint Cars on Ice to have their first Michigan event of the 2022 season Saturday, February 26 on Houghton Lake.

• The Interstate Racing Association also released their schedule recently. While a return to Michigan is no longer in the cards, the series will be making a first visit in over 30 years to Sycamore Speedway in Maple Park Illinois on May 7th. Sycamore has been a mainstay for the Badger Midget Auto Racing Association since changing over to a D2 midget car formula.

The accompanying Wisconsin WingLESS Sprint Cars are slated to make their first appearance at Sycamore on September 9th.