Fledgling National Dirt Racing League ceases operations midway through first full season

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It was nice while it lasted, but the National Dirt Racing League – also known as the Dirt Late Model Tour – is no longer.

The Phoenix-based league, in the middle of its second season of operation, issued a brief press release saying that it was “ceasing operations effectively immediately,” according to series founder John Kennedy.

“My vision for the series was to provide something that was special, unique and fresh — special events that catered to the fans, tracks and race teams,” Kennedy said. “Unfortunately, I lost sight of that vision resulting in NDRL’s 2014 schedule and plan resembling what Late Model racing has been for the last several years.”

The league was launched last season with five races and moved forward with a full schedule of several dozen events planned nationally in 2014. It had been somewhat of an alternative to the World Of Outlaws and USAC racing.

“Without (fans, tracks, promoters and teams), none of what was accomplished would have been possible,” Kennedy said. “We are extremely grateful for the support from all of the NDRL family and staff and our great sponsors as well.”

Kennedy also said, “My focus needs to be redirected towards family first. There will be plenty of time for racing as a family in the future.”

Kennedy also didn’t rule out the possibility of other race promotions.

“I may just decide to put together some unique and exciting events based on everything we have learned in the last few seasons,” he said.

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Formula One: Recapping the past week’s news

Photo: Getty Images
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While the FIA Formula 1 World Championship is still two months away from beginning its 2018 season, this past week did bring about news items that filled out the 2018 grid and shed some light on individual team and car launches as the season-opening Australian Grand Prix draws closer.

Below is a recap of F1 news from this past week:

Williams Signs Sirotkin for 2018 Drive, Names Kubica as Reserve Driver

The saga of the second seat at Williams Martini Racing was finally resolved early on in the week, with former Renault Sport F1 Team test driver Sergey Sirotkin officially confirmed as a teammate to the incumbent Lance Stroll in 2018.

The announcement concluded months of speculation that saw multiple drivers test for the team in an auditioning capacity. Most notably, Robert Kubica looked to be a main contender for the seat before Sirotkin emerged as the favorite.

However, Kubica, who has not raced in Formula 1 since a devastating rally accident in 2011 left him with brutal injuries to his right arm, was named as a reserve and development driver for the team.

This announcement also completes the 2018 Formula 1 driver lineup, with all 11 teams having their seats now filled. Among those who were left without F1 drives are Paul Di Resta, who drove for Williams at the Hungarian Grand Prix in relief of Felipe Massa and even tested with them during the Winter months, and Antonio Giovinazzi, who filled in for Pascal Wehrlein at the Australian and Chinese Grands Prix.

Former Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat is also without a race seat for 2018, but did sign on with Scuderia Ferrari as a development driver.

Mercedes, McLaren Reveal Dates for Their 2018 Car Launches

While most teams have not yet released dates for when their 2018 cars will be publicly launched, three notables have.

Mercedes AMG Petronas will introduce its 2018 challenger on February 22nd, the same day Ferrari is doing so, while McLaren will unveil its car one day later on the 23rd.

Testing will commence on February 26th at Circuit de Catalunya.

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