Event Preview: ACLMS drivers gearing up for season opener

UPDATE: This event has been postponed to a date TBD. Too much rain in the forecast for Friday night!

KAUFMAN, Texas (April 24, 2024) — Even though the year is young, we’ve already seen the ground-pounding USMTS Modifieds at Hunt County and Rocket, the Comp Cams Super Dirt Series at Boothill, Sprint cars, and a host of support classes as they all kicked off a brand new season in style. 

This weekend, our network will Stream the season-opening Twinbill for the American Crate Late Model Series (ACLMS), set for Friday night at Hunt County Raceway and Saturday night at Rocket Raceway Park. The Jerry Shipp Tribute at Hunt County will pay $2,500 to win and $400 just to start. 

Jeffrey Abbey won the 2023 ACLMS points championship, yet will not return to defend his crown. It’s wide open for this year, and drivers are gearing up. 

“We had a strong year in 2023, and I think we’ll have a good field of cars to launch the new season this weekend,” series director Dustin Daniel said. “We had seven different winners in the first seven races last year. My brother Patrick was our first repeat winner, and that didn’t happen until June. 

Click here to stream the Hunt County race LIVE!

“Of course Jeffrey went on a hot streak late in the season, but we still had 12 different winners in 19 races overall. I think that speaks to just how close these cars are, and we try to maintain a level playing field with our rules package. I’ve had strong support since I took over, I hope that continues this year.”

One of the hardest tasks for any promoter is building a schedule, and Daniel says he may add dates. 

“I had a ton of doubleheader weekends on the schedule last year, and that was hard on our teams,” he explained. “I needed to take a step back this year, consider the demands on drivers and go a little easier on them. Right now, we only have nine races that are locked down, but I’m working to add a few more. 

“Last year, we had 24 dates on the schedule and completed 16 with all the washouts. This season will be geared to be easier on our teams, but I guarantee will still entertain the fans everywhere we run. I’m blessed with several class-act race teams on this series, and am excited to get started at Hunt County.” 

Patrik Daniel is right at home behind the wheel of a Late Model. The Wills Point racer won two races and finished second in ACLMS points last year, and says he’s ready for another competitive season.  

“We’re gearing up to go racing and get this seaon under way,” he said. “I drive for a car owner, and our plan this year is to run the first few races and see how we stack up. With Jeffrey and Dean (Abbey) not here full-time this year, it hurts a little overall, yet opens the door for a brand new points champion. 

“It always feels a little better when you win if the big guns were in the field, yet the ACLMS still has plenty of talent. No matter how many races we run, it won’t be easy to hit the podium. A lot of these guys have good cars now, and plenty of experience. That creates a pretty high level of competition.” 

Looking a little closer at the first few races of 2023, Tony Lindsey, of Keithville, Louisiana, won the season opener at Heart O’ Texas Speedway on March 31. Beau Begnaud won the North vs. South Shootout at Cotton Bowl on Apr. 1, while Patrik Daniel won on April 22 at Grayson County Speedway. 

Hot Laps for the American Crate Late Model Series season opener at Hunt County Raceway on Friday are set for 7:15, with racing to follow. If you can’t attend in person, you can catch every lap of the action with a Membership at RaceON.com

With over 450 Live races on tap in 2024, there’s tons of great content from several states. When you become a Member today, choose your favorite or home track and start enjoying great content while supporting the sport even when you can’t attend in person.