Watch the 2024 New Year's Bash on Racing America
Dec 31, 2023
Entering its 14th year, the New Year's Bash at Dillon Motor Speedway gets bigger and bigger with each running.
The New Year’s Bash at Dillon Motor Speedway has become one of the signature Street Stock events in the country each year. Entering its 14th year, the New Year’s Bash has developed a strong history of exciting racing to kick off the year and gets bigger and bigger each season.
The New Year’s Bash can be considered the spiritual successor to another major wintertime Street Stock race, the Polar Bear 150. The Polar Bear 150 took place at Rockingham Speedway, but eventually moved to a November date before the venue closed again following the 2013 season.
The first New Year’s Bash took place, appropriately, on January 1, 2011. Kevin Benton took the checkered flag on that day against a field of 15 cars. From those humble beginnings grew an event that frequently draws more than 50 Street Stocks each year, not including competitors from other divisions.
The 2012 edition of the event saw Gary Ledbetter, Jr. take the victory ahead of Jason Garver and Kevin Benton. This proved to be a theme in the coming years, as Ledbetter won five of the first 10 runnings of the New Year’s Bash. Ledbetter won again in 2013 and later rattled off three wins in four years (2017, 2019 and 2020).
Only Jeff Melton (2015 and 2018) sits alongside Ledbetter, Jr. as a multi-time winner of the New Year’s Bash. Other past winners include James Swan, Jeff Melton, Ricky Locklair, Jr., Bobbie Tumbleston, III, Kyle Lynch and Tommy O’Sullivan.
Tommy O’Sullivan broke a trend of local racers winning the New Year’s Bash when he won last year’s event that had dated back to Swan’s 2015 win. O’Sullivan, hailing from Massachusetts, rallied from a B-Main appearance to take the win from row 11 in the 2023 New Year’s Bash.
Another staple of the New Year's Bash is the throwback schemes that frequently appear on cars at the event. The retro schemes, especially on some of the older-style bodied Street Stocks, stand out on the track and have become fan favorites at the event.
If you can't make it to Dillon Motor Speedway this weekend for the New Year's Bash, be sure to watch live on Racing America. Click here to learn more about how you can watch live on Saturday and Sunday, January 6-7.
-Photo credit: Will Bellamy/Racing America