National Tour Returns to Batesville for One Night Only

By Spence Smithback
LOCUST GROVE, AR (June 20, 2024) –

The one-night show will feature a standard $4,000-to-win/$400-to-start purse. The Sprint Cars will be joined in the itinerary by IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Stock Cars, Hobby Stocks, Midwest Modifieds and Factory Stocks.

Tickets will be available at the gate on race day, with live coverage available on DIRTVision for those unable to make it to the track.

Here are the top storylines entering the weekend:

BACK TO BATESVILLE: The National Tour is making its return trip to the Arkansas 3/8-mile for the first time since 2022 after last season’s date was lost to rain.

Batesville was a regular stop for the Series in the late 1990s and early 2000s, but it was off the calendar from 2004 until 2021. Since its return to the schedule, Dale Howard and Tim Crawley won the two races held in 2021 and 2022, respectively.

The only two current full-timers to finish top 10 in both recent Batesville events are Jordon Mallett and Matt Covington, and both will look to use that experience at the track to collect their first Series win of the season.

BERGMAN’S RISE: Seth Bergman has been back in his family-owned No. 23 car for less than a month and has already collected impressive stats.

The Washington native was already the points leader when he switched back, and he turned up the performance even further during Speedweek. Two wins and four podiums in four races was enough for the miniseries title. It also led to him extending his points lead to 172 points over Covington.

This week’s venue could present a challenge as Saturday’s race will serve as Bergman’s Batesville debut. However, this year’s events at Rush County Speedway and Tri-State Speedway also marked Bergman’s first visit to both tracks, and he ended the night in Victory Lane on both occasions.

WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN: Sam Hafertepe Jr. began Speedweek with back-to-back wins at Texarkana 67 Speedway and Creek County Speedway and was in contention for another triumph at Arrowhead Speedway until he jumped the cushion and pounded the wall in Turn 4 coming to the white flag.

Early in the night at Tri-State, Hafertepe appeared to be back on track when he went to the top of the board in his Qualifying group, but engine trouble in his Heat Race brought an early end to his race for the second-straight night.

Midway through Speedweek, it looked like Hafertepe would be heading to Batesville as Seth Bergman’s biggest rival in the championship chase. Instead, he sits fourth in the standings, 180 points behind Bergman entering a track he last raced at 18 years ago.

MARTIN’S MISHAPS: Reigning National Tour champion Jason Martin arrived at Texarkana for the Speedweek opener second in points but fell to fifth before the week was over. Whether it was a rear-end lockup at Texarkana or getting swept up in accidents at Arrowhead and Tri-State, a myriad of issues out of Martin’s control kept him from finishing towards the front.

Martin’s two National Tour Feature starts at Batesville may have been separated by 19 years, but he finished 13th in 2003 and 2022. However, to close his 231-point gap to Bergman, he may need to score a career-best run at the track.

Saturday, June 22, at Batesville Motor Speedway in Locust Grove, AR

The American Sprint Car Series National Tour will head to Tulsa Speedway for the inaugural Dirt Down in T-Town on Friday-Saturday, June 28-29.

1. Seth Bergman (1148 points)
2. Matt Covington (-172)
3. Andrew Deal (-179)
4. Sam Hafertepe Jr. (-201)
5. Jason Martin (-231)
6. Kyler Johnson (-274)
7. Landon Britt (-292)
8. Terry Easum (-308)
9. Zach Blurton (-322)
10. Jordon Mallett (-325)