The 2017 Iowa dirt track racing season is loaded with several specials. Here is a large list of those special races in the Hawkeye State, but I wonder. Have we reached the breaking point?

UPDATE: The list below now includes 99 events. At the time of the video recording and the original post time there were 97.

Below I have a list of specials that I have found, but before you skip right to that, I hope you take the time to read my random thoughts. If not, I hope the list is helpful to you.

BACK IN THE DAY:
The Iowa dirt track racing landscape is decorated with several specials for 2017. I love special races as much as the next fan, but I'm a little concerned. The list I compiled does not contain all of them for 2017, but it does contain a mass majority of them. In total, my list consists of 97 events across 197 days. Have we reached the breaking point?

My youth was spent every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night at a race track. My dad's car made tons of laps on the weekly bullrings. A half dozen, or so, county fair races, and a handful of bigger dollar paydays were added each year. They felt like specials, because we didn't have the option to race more of them. Now it seems every weekend you can.

SPECIAL OR NOT:
Can we really consider it a special anymore if we average one every two days (2.03 days)? Granted several of these shows are scheduled on the same date as other events, but that is still all lot.

IT CAN SURVIVE, BUT...:
Honestly, I think it can survive, but there is a caveat to my answer, and it is something that dirt track racing fans have been telling NASCAR they failed at over the last decade. "Don't forget you roots."

The number one reason I hear dirt track fans dissing on the direction that NASCAR has gone is because, "they forgot where they came from." NASCAR started out with good intentions, but it has grown into a major American corporation. A conglomerate, if you ask me, is trying to position itself as a global racing entity.

WHAT CAN NASCAR TEACH US:
So what does that have to do with 97 dirt track racing specials in Iowa. Just like NASCAR, our roots could get left in the dust. Our love for this sport was born thanks to weekly racing, and I am seeing that change. It's no longer about the weekly show.

As NASCAR grow, so did their expectations, both as business owners and fans of the sport. That monster got hungrier and hungrier until it had to bite into a large piece of the pie. It once was a southern thing. Then it became and east coast thing. Now this monster travels the country. Still the beast needs fed, so the next logical step, the world.

All the while the beast excreted places like Rockingham, North Wilksboro, Bowman Green, Hickory, and the list goes on and on. Why? The monster was and still is hungry. The beast has sampled the racing diet in Japan, Canada, and Mexico. There is even a NSACAR Euro Series (Europe).

THE FRANKENSTEIN IS STIRRING:
We are starting to lose touch with weekly racing, and this isn't just here in Iowa. I see this as a growing concern across the country. More and more race teams have decided to only race those specials. The fans are starting to follow suit. Before it's over, that's all that we will get to choose from. This is what is being taught to the younger generation of fans and aspiring drivers.

But if the bigger racing events continue to grow, eventually weekly racing will succumb to the same fate as the dodo bird, and so will local dirt track racing. The feeder series to these big time events is weekly racing. Without it, the whole thing will slowly fade away and die. Our next wave of drivers and fans to replace our dirt track heroes comes from weekly racing.

Yes, there is an argument to be made about money spent versus money awarded on the weekly level, but chasing the money shows only feeds the beast. It doesn't suppress the appetite. However, that is a conversation for another day.

 

SUPPORT LIFE:
If those special race events are you life, then go and enjoy, but make sure you still do you part to support the weekend program before the life support plug is pulled.

#EndRant

2017 DIRT TRACK RACING SPECIALS
This is only a partal list of what we found

04-01, SATMarshalltown Speedway11th Annual World Nationals (Night 2)

DATETRACKEVENT
03-24, FRIBoone Speedway50th Anniversary Celebration (Night 1)
03-24, FRILee County Speedway5th Annual Spring Extravaganza (Night 1)
03-25, SATBoone Speedway50th Anniversary Celebration (Night 2)
03-25, SATLee County Speedway5th Annual Spring Extravaganza (Night 2)
03-31, FRICedar County RacewayDarkside Spring Fling Night #1, $3k to win Mods. $2222.22 to win Sport Mods.
04-01, SAT34 RacewaySprint Invaders & Deery Brothers Summer Series
04-01, SATCedar County RacewayDarkside Spring Fling Night #2, $3k to win Mods. $2222.22 to win Sport Mods.
04-05, WEDLee County SpeedwayFrostbuster (Night 1)
04-06, THUBenton County SpeedwayFrostbuster (Night 2)
04-07, FRIDavenport SpeedwayRebel 5K
04-07, FRIMarshalltown SpeedwayFrostbuster (Night 3)
04-08, SAT34 RacewayIRA 410 Outlaw Spring Showdown
04-08, SATBoone SpeedwayFrostbuster (Night 4)
04-08, SATWest Liberty RacewayDeery Brothers Summer Series
04-14, FRIDavenport SpeedwayCornbelt Clash/Mars Late Models
04-14, FRIFarley SpeedwayDeery Brothers Summer Series
04-15, SAT34 Raceway9th Annual Slocum 50
04-15, SATIndependence Motor SpeedwayDeery Brothers Summer Series
04-15, SATWest Liberty RacewayModified Extravaganza ($1,200 to win)
04-23, SUNDubuque SpeedwayDeery Brothers Summer Series
05-04, THULee County SpeedwayLucas Oil MLRA
05-05, FRIDavenport SpeedwayLucas Oil MLRA
05-06, SATIndependence Motor SpeedwayLucas Oil MLRA
05-12, FRIFarley SpeedwayModified Super Weekend (Night 1)
05-13, SATFarley SpeedwayModified Super Weekend (Night 2)
05-19, FRIDavenport SpeedwayModified Madness ($2k to win)
05-20, SATWest Liberty RacewayTri Track Challenge for IMCA Late Models
05-26, FRILee County SpeedwaySprint Invaders
05-28, SUN34 RacewaySprint Invaders
05-28, SUNBenton County SpeedwayPrelude to the Hawkeye Dirt Tour Opener
05-28, SUNDubuque SpeedwayTri Track Challenge for IMCA Late Models
05-28, SUNUpper Iowa SpeedwayUSMTS Modifieds
05-29, MONBenton County SpeedwayHawkeye Dirt Tour
05-29, THUFarley SpeedwayAftermarket Nationals (Night 1)
05-31, FRIMarshalltown Speedway11th Annual World Nationals (Night 1)
06-02, FRILee County SpeedwayLucas Oil MLRA
06-03, SATKnoxville RacewayUSAC Non-Wing National Sprint Cars
06-05, TUEMarshalltown SpeedwayHDT Modifieds & Deery Brothers Summer Series
06-09, FRIDavenport SpeedwaySportMod Challenge ($2k to win)
06-10, SATAdams County SpeedwayUSMTS Modifieds
06-10, SATKnoxville RacewayWorld of Outlaws Sprint Cars
06-11, SUN34 RacewayAll Star Curcuit of Champions 410 Sprint Series
06-11, SUNBenton County SpeedwayUrbana 5 Night ($1,500 to win SportMod)
06-11, SUNMason City Motor SpeedwayUSMTS Modifieds
06-13, TUEWest Liberty RacewayHDT Modifieds & Deery Brothers Summer Series
06-21, WEDFarley SpeedwayDIRTcar Summer Nationals
06-23, FRIWest Liberty RacewayWorld of Outlaws Sprint Cars
06-24, SATAdams County SpeedwayLucas Oil MLRA
06-24, SATMaquoketa SpeedwayMaquoketa Motor Madness
06-27, TUEHancock County SpeedwayHawkeye Dirt Tour
06-30, FRIFarley SpeedwayAftermarket Nationals (Night 2)
06-30, FRIHancock County SpeedwayUpper Midwest Sprint Car Series
07-02, SUNBenton County SpeedwayHogan Memorial for IMCA Modifieds
07-15, SATIndependence Motor SpeedwayDale Miller Memorial & Hall of Fame Night
07-15, SATWest Liberty RacewayTri Track Challenge for IMCA Late Models
07-16, SUNDubuque SpeedwayTri Track Challenge for IMCA Late Models
07-19, WEDSouthern Iowa SpeedwayHawkeye Dirt Tour
07-20, THUKnoxville RacewayHawkeye Dirt Tour
07-25, TUEDubuque SpeedwaySprint Invaders & Hawkeye Dirt Tour
08-03 thru 08-05Knoxville Raceway27th Annual 360 Knoxville Nationals
08-07, MONClay County SpeedwayHawkeye Dirt Tour
08-07, MONFarley SpeedwayOpen Late Model Shootout ($10k to win)
08-08, TUEWest Liberty RacewayCornbelt Clash/Mars Late Models
08-09 thru 08-12Knoxville Raceway57th Annual Knoxville Nationals
08-09, WEDBuena Vista RacewayHawkeye Dirt Tour
08-11, FRIDavenport SpeedwayStreet Stock Clash ($2k to win)
08-13, SUNMason City Motor SpeedwayUSMTS Hunt Race
08-23, WEDHamilton County SpeedwayUSMTS Hunt Race
08-25, FRIRapid SpeedwayUSMTS Hunt Race
08-30, WEDFarley Speedway40th Annual Yankee Dirt Track Classic (Night 1)
08-30, WEDKossuth County SpeedwayUSMTS Hunt Race
08-31, THUFarley Speedway40th Annual Yankee Dirt Track Classic (Night 2)
09-01, FRIFarley Speedway40th Annual Yankee Dirt Track Classic (Night 3)
09-01, FRIFayette County SpeedwayUSMTS Hunt Race
09-02, SATFarley Speedway40th Annual Yankee Dirt Track Classic (Night 4)
09-02, SATMarshalltown SpeedwayShowdown at Motown ($1k to win IMCA Mods)
09-03, SUNCresco SpeedwayUSMTS Hunt Race
09-04 thru 09-09Boone SpeedwayIMCA Super Nationals
09-06, SATIndependence Motor SpeedwaySeptember Spectacular
09-14 thru 09-16Knoxville Raceway14th Annual Late Model Knoxville Nationals
09-15, FRIRapid SpeedwayRapid Speedway Nationals (Night 1)
09-16, SATRapid SpeedwayRapid Speedway Nationals (Night 2)
09-22, FRIWest Liberty RacewayLiberty 100 (Night 1)
09-23, SAT34 RacewaySprint Invaders (Season Championship)
09-23, SATDavenport SpeedwayGovernor's Cup Iowa State Championship
09-23, SATWest Liberty RacewayLiberty 100 (Night 2)
09-29, FRIDubuque SpeedwayRumble on the River (Night 1)
09-30, SATDubuque SpeedwayRumble on the River (Night 2)
10-06, FRILee County Speedway6th Annual Fallfest (Night 1)
10-07, SATLee County Speedway6th Annual Fallfest (Night 2)