A legacy of family and racing lives on with Dillow Memorial

Published 11:00 pm Friday, August 10, 2018

By Tony Hammett
National Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame Inductee

For the 24th time since its inception, the Fred Dillow Memorial is scheduled to be held on Saturday, Aug. 18.
The Dillow family cordially invites everyone to enjoy an evening of exciting racing, friendly fellowship and tribute to their beloved husband and father at Portsmouth Raceway Park, the venue that has played gracious host to the event since 2000.
A happening that has become a perennial favorite for all in the Mid-Ohio Valley region, will once again see a four-division program with extra purse, cash bonuses, special awards and fan and driver giveaways that have become a trademark of the summer spectacular.
Fred Dillow was a late model competitor for over twenty years at several tracks in Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. He enjoyed success while maintaining his priority of family first and earned the respect of fellow competitors, track promoters and fans.
Sadly, Dillow fell victim to leukemia in 1989 and subsequently passed in 1990. The respect and friendship he earned both on and off the track spurred fellow racer Delmas Conley and former Southern Ohio Raceway promoter Gary Cheek to initiate a memorial race in his honor in 1995 and it was contested at Southern Ohio for the first five years before moving to its current home, PRP.
As a testament to his popularity and admiration, Dillow was inducted into the Southern Ohio Raceway Hall of Fame in 2013.
Dillow could possibly best be described as a “Champion of the Little Guy.”
One of his basic premises was that it takes ALL the competitors to put on a show and not just the front-runners. To that end, he sought to make purses more evenly-distributed to ensure that even the last-place runner would know he was appreciated.
Fred’s surviving family, led by his widow Ms. Edna and his children Sherri, Susan and Steve, have taken that basic belief and expanded it and have crafted an event like no other.
Through tireless efforts to recruit sponsors and prize donors, the Dillow family has presented racers and fans alike the rare opportunity to run and be spectators at an event for more money and enjoy cash bonuses, some announced and some remaining a mystery until the payout on the evening, while not raising admission prices for the race. That is no typo.
All who attend will be able to see a $5000-to-win Super Late Model feature; a $1500-to-win Modified feature, an $830-to-win Limited Late Model feature and a $583-to-win Sport Mod feature, along with qualifying, heat races and last chance races for the same weekly ticket prices.
And each driver participating in the night’s action will receive a token of appreciation for attending courtesy of Valvoline.
Every feature carries title sponsorship, and this year’s $5000-to-win 40-lapper for Super Late Models welcomes a new sponsor as the event is presented by Jason Tolliver for Lawrence County Auditor.
Returning is the popular and lucrative Bozo’s Just Give Me One Lap Late Model Fast Time award offering a whopping $1077 in honor of Bozo Bragdon.
Also, the Sgt. Tim Moore Dash award sponsored by Graphic Impressions once again offers $233 to the winner.
The Ryan “Pfunk” Potter Half-way leader award, in honor of a fallen friend of the Dillow family, is once again being offered with the amount to be announced later.
And DirtonDirt.com has once again come on-board to sponsor the heat winners’ paychecks of $83 in honor of Fred Dillow’s number he campaigned.
The winner will also receive a beautiful custom mirror crafted by Shain Custom Decals, Motorsports Graphics & Design.
The $1500-to-win 25-lap Modified feature is presented this year by Slicker Graphics.
Dickess Christmas Trees has generously offered the fast time award of $200 to the quick-qualifier.
There is also a Ryan “Pfunk” Potter Half-way award for the modifieds with once again the amount yet to be determined.
Heat race winners receive $83 in Memory of Pappy Harshbarger.
The $830-to-win Limited Late Model 15-lap feature is sponsored by Giovanni’s Wholesale. Staker Machine & Fabrication is offering an $83 Half-way leader award and heat winners will collect $50 courtesy of Ideal Wheels.
The $583-to-win Sport Mods 15-lap feature is presented by B & B Recycling and is also sponsoring the heat winners to the tune of $83 each. DRM Motorsports has posted a $100 Half-way leader award.
It would be impossible to list each and every prize and bonus up for grabs as the Dillow family proudly related that they have set a new record surpassing the 100 mark for corporate and individual sponsors this year.
That is an amazing achievement and represents a tremendous amount of diligence and work that ultimately benefits all who attend this unique event.
Not even mentioned in the information above are best appearing, hard-charger, tough luck and long-haul awards. There are simply too many to enumerate.
For a comprehensive listing of all bonuses, awards and special gifts, please visit www.freddilowmemrial.com or visit the informative Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Fred-Dillow-Memorial-Race-198065996905168/
Make your plans now to attend a night you will not forget. And competitors take note: Some promotional awards are based on the order of sign-in, so get there early and let the competition begin even before it fires up on the speedway! Gates are slated to open at 4:00 PM with the drivers’ meeting scheduled for 6:00 PM. Hot laps will commence at 6:30 PM with racing action set to begin at 7:30 PM.
As previously mentioned, enjoy a special event at regular prices:
Ages 13 & Up is $12; ages 7-12 is $5; ages 6 & under are free.

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