Now introducing Sprint Car Night in America!
That’s effectively what Kyle Larson and Brad Sweet intend to deliver through the newly revealed High Limit Sprint Car Series when it debuts next year on FloRacing. Inspired by the hugely successful mid-week Dirt Late Model Night in America on Flo, the High Limit Sprint Car Series will be a series of 12 midweek Sprint Car races headlined by Larson and many of the largest names in the discipline.
While the schedule has not yet been finalized, two of the events will feature $50,000-to-win races and $140,000 in overall prize money. The other 10 will feature $23,000-to-win and an $80,000 overall purse. There will also be an end of the year championship fund totaling $120,000.
The brothers-in-law also co-promote Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico, California with Colby Copeland. The High Limit Sprint Car Series is essentially an extension of that vision to grow dirt racing and 410 Sprint Car competition in the same way Larson has seen Late Model racing take a leap over the past several years.
"For me, having competed in those races, and promoting Bulls Gap, I saw how those races fired up the Late Model community and I told Rigsby (Michael, FloRacing general manager) that Sprint Car racing needed these kinds of races too.
"So, with Brad's business savvy and with my kind of spotlight, I thought we could do it. I'm excited, racers are excited, and I hope fans will be excited too."
The events will be scheduled so they do not conflict with any World of Outlaws or All Star Circuit of Champions event, but Outlaw full-timers would not currently be allowed to participate under the current Platinum Agreement that championship eligible drivers must adhere to in order to receive purse and contingency money.
Sweet, the three-time and defending World of Outlaws champion with Kasey Kahne Racing, intends to race in the series next year and hopes to work out an agreement with World Racing Group to allow all the biggest names in the discipline to participate.
"The way the platinum agreement is structured now, we couldn’t race but I plan to race," Sweet said. "We’re not going to race against the Outlaws, and I think this is going to be a huge positive for all racers but we’ll have to see how everyone reacts to the announcement."
Larson is the most important element to making the High Limit Sprint Car Series reach the broadest audience possible. The 2021 Cup Series champion is a high-profile driver with ties to both dirt diehards and NASCAR enthusiasts.
"Sprint Car racing is really at a peak right now and there is a lot of interest and Kyle is been a big part of that," Sweet said. "Fans come to watch him race and tracks want to be a part of that experience.
"It's not just about Kyle, of course, but he's such an influencer that he makes a show bigger just by showing up, and I think that spreads to other racers. The pay-per-view element is a big part of this, not having support classes and getting fans home early and making sure they have a good time. We're going to be a front gate supported promotion."
Larson says he owes so much of his current quality of life and popularity to dirt racing and has always aimed to give back. It’s why he co-promotes Silver Dollar, continues to race at such a high frequency and why he’s partnering with Sweet on the High Limit Sprint Car Series.
"It's really rewarding," Larson said. "I love seeing the grandstands packed at all these tracks I went to as a kid and seeing the long lines at my trailer every night. The pictures and selfies. It makes me feel like I'm really making a difference in growing Sprint Car racing.
"I see fans with NASCAR shirts, even if they're not my NASCAR shirt and knowing that we've made a lot of new fans the last couple of years. I do feel like that's part of my legacy and it's something that I want to build up while I'm doing this."
Eldora Speedway recently hosted the Eldora Million, a race won by Jonathan Davenport with a top prize of $1,002,022 while setting online viewership records and enthusiasm for Dirt Late Models. It also posited the question of when Sprint Car racing could have a similar event.
Sweet isn’t promising they’ll be the ones to deliver a million-dollar 410 race, but the goal of the High Limit Sprint Car Series is elevate the discipline to that level, because he already feels like it’s there.
"I don't think we're that far," Sweet said. "There are some uphill challenges in that there are only two tracks that have the infrastructure to host it -- Eldora and Knoxville. You need fans and the capacity to facilitate that kind of purse.
"But really, I don't believe Late Models have way more fans. I think it's pretty equal all things considered. We think we're sitting in a really good place in year one of this series. Our goal is to make Sprint Car racing bigger. Kyle is a big part of that and that's really going to help all of us grow."