More than 30 of the best modified drivers in the region are expected to be on hand tonight at the Legendary Hilltop Speedway for the opening race of the weekend long Ohio River Shootout with $1500 on the line for the winner.
Gates open at the Legendary Hilltop Speedway at 4:30 p.m. with racing getting underway at 7:15 p.m.
Also competing will be the AMRA Modifieds, Super Late Models, EDGE Hotmods, FWD 4Cylinders and Mini-Wedges. Hilltop will run both the AMRA and Renegade shows, thus drivers can earn points for the event.
The race will the mark the first ever appearance for the Renegades Of Dirt Modified Touring Series at the quarter mile, clipped shaped dirt track with drivers from New York, Kentucky and North Carolina expected to be in the field.
Friday night's 30-lap feature will open the weekend for the Renegades who will also race at Ohio Valley Speedway in Lubeck, W.Va. on Saturday night before closing out the weekend at Tyler County Speedway in Middlebourne on Sunday night, with both tracks paying $2000 to win.
If the same driver could pull off all three feature wins he could drive off with a cool $5,500 in prize money.
Mooresville, North Carolina native Kyle Stricker is the Renegades current points leader followed closely by Ischua New York's Rich Michael Jr. and third generation racer Travis Dickson of Gallipolis.
A pair of youngsters round out the top five in Tyler Nicely from Owensboro Kentucky and 15-year old phenom Tyler Evans from Mineral Wells.
Marietta High graduate Mark Dickson comes into the weekend in seventh place in the standings and would like nothing more than to put his number zero car into victory lane on the track that he cut his teeth on in the middle 1970s.
While the Renegades will claim top billing, "The Top" will still run the usual 25-lap feature for the late model class as well as a 15-lap Hot Mod feature event.
In hopes of allowing as many local modified racers to participate in the Shootout as possible, the AMRA modified class will run an abbreviated 12-lap feature early in the evening with those drivers being allotted plenty of time to get their cars ready for the main event.
Two provisional starting spots will be made available to the top two local modified drivers who fail to qualify for the main event.
Kenny Johnson is the current modified division point leader as he holds a slim 10-point lead over Jeremy Blake.
Among other local drivers to keep an eye on are Robbie Evans, Roy Roush Jr., and last weeks feature winner K.C. Burdette.
Gates are scheduled to open at 3 p.m with racing scheduled to begin at 6:20 p.m.
The 29th annual DIRT Jim Dunn Memorial will be Sunday at the Midway Speedway in Crooksville, Ohio.
The AMRA Late Models will be competing for a $5,000 winner's prize with a $200 entry fee. The evening's total purse tallies $14,000.
The Octane AMRA Modifieds will race for $1,000 to win and Steel Block Late Models will feature a top prize of $800 going to the winner. Midway also will be running MOVE Mods for $500 to win and a $350 to win Enduro Plus Mini-Wedge event.
The Earl Hill Memorial is set to run Saturday, Aug. 23 at Tyler County Speedway. This year's event will not be sanctioned by an association. Super late model drivers will be competing for a $10,000 first prize with $500 awaiting those who start the 80-lap Earl Hill Memorial race.
Eddie Thomas contributed to this story.