O’Reilly Auto Parts 500


FORT WORTH, Texas (September 8, 2016) - This weekend marks the return of racing to the Texas Motor Speedway Dirt Track for the U.S. National Dirt Track Championship. The two-day event, set for Friday and Saturday, is a weekend circled on the calendar of racers across the region, especially for Rockwall’s Kevin Rowland.

Rowland went wire to wire in the 40-lap Limited Modified feature during May’s Texas World Dirt Track Championship for the win, but it was the final 10 feet that everyone remembers. Rowland held off a hard-charging Nick Clinkenbeard to win by 0.001 of a second for his first victory at the Texas Motor Speedway Dirt Track. The finish was clouded in controversy as race control determined Rowland’s transponder crossed the finish line first. However, photos appear to show Clinkenbeard ahead of Rowland at the line.

The photos circulated online and only fueled the controversy, providing fodder for those doubtful Rowland was the winner.

“Everyone in the racing world is all about social media the day after,” Rowland said. “It got to a point where everyone was bashing me that I wish I hadn’t won. It made it to a point where it was no fun.”

Rowland is now focused on returning to the Texas Motor Speedway Dirt Track looking to silence his doubters and prove May’s victory was no fluke.

“I want to go and say I did it two times in a row, which has never been done,” Rowland said of winning this weekend’s U.S. National Dirt Track Championship. “Everybody has a goal in racing and usually your goals are something that you feel like is impossible. That makes it sweeter. For me to go and win at the Texas Motor Speedway Dirt Track two times in a row would mean a lot.”

Rowland and the Limited Modified division are one of three series in action during the U.S. National Dirt Track Championship tripleheader. The Factory Stock division and American Sprint Car Series (ASCS) Red River Region join the Limited Modifieds.

No matter the division, all drivers will have one focus when they hit the track this weekend.

“Everybody wants that cowboy hat,” Rowland said with a chuckle. “The event was born as a big deal and people still want to win it. I think it will always be that way.”

The U.S. National Dirt Track Championship gets underway Friday with Factory Stock and Limited Modified heats, along with ASCS Red River Region practice. The weekend culminates Saturday with championship races for all three series.

U.S. National Dirt Track Championship grandstand tickets for Friday are $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under, and $20 for adults and $10 for children for Saturday’s championships. Fans can save $5 on adult tickets purchased at any participating O’Reilly Auto Parts store.

For tickets or more information on the U.S. National Dirt Track Championship, call the Texas Motor Speedway ticket office at (817) 215-8500 or visit www.texasmotorspeedway.com

About the author

The Texas Motor Speedway Media Relations Department is located on the 6th floor of The Speedway Club outside of Turn 1 of the speedway. 

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