The Hawkeye Dirt Tour opens its 2017 racing season this Memorial Day Weekend at Benton County Speedway in Vinton.

The Benton County Speedway has a long standing tradition with the open-wheel modified as it was the home track and birth place of IMCA's Modified. The first-ever IMCA Modified event was held at the Vinton speed plant in 1979, so it makes the perfect backdrop for the opening race each year.

On Monday (May 29), pit gates will open at 4:00 PM with the racing slated for 6:00 PM. Grandstand admission is $15 for adults, $5 for kids ages 6-12 and free for five and under. Pit passes are $25.

Also running are IMCA Stock Cars, Northern SportMods and IMCA Hobby Stocks. IMCA Speedway Motors Weekly Racing National, regional and State, but no track points will be awarded in the sanctioned divisions. Micro Mods will also be on the racing card.

IMCA Modifieds battle for a $1,000 payday. Drivers who qualify for the A-Main will earn a minimum $150 to start their Monday. This is a Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot qualifier.

The HDT is sporting a new sponsor as Arnold Motor Supply has signed on as the title sponsor for the next three years. The 2017 point fund features a $5,650 point fund, and the champion will receive $1,000 along with Traeger Lil’ Tex Elite Pellet Grill, valued at $700, courtesy of the Spencer-based auto parts supplier.

Top 10 point fund amounts will be paid in their entirety to drivers with perfect tour attendance and also include $900 for second, $800 for third, $700 for fourth, $600 for fifth, $500 for sixth, $400 for seventh, $300 for eighth, $250 for ninth and $200 for 10th. The tour champion must also attend the national banquet in November to receive their full point fund share and grill.

Nine HDT dates, all paying a minimum of $1,000 to win, are on this year’s Hawkeye Dirt Tour schedule and are qualifying events for 2017 or 2018 Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballots.

On Memorial Day at Benton County Speedway, the Stock Cars A-Main pays $1000 to win *($25 entry fee), the Sport Mods A-Main pays $1000 to win. *($25 entry fee), and the Hobby Stocks features pays $500 to win *($20 entry fee). Entry Fee will be waived for Stock Cars, SportMods, and Hobby Stocks on Monday if the driver races on Sunday (May 28).

Joel Rust of Grundy Center was the opening night feature winner last year. Other winners at Vinton include Vern Jackson of Waterloo, Jeff Waterman of Quincy, Ill., Cay­den Carter of Oskaloosa, Richie Gustin of Gilman and Jason Wolla of Ray, N.D.

The Sunday, May 28 Prelude special at Benton County boasts a $2,000 top prize and Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational berth for the Modifieds. Track points will be awarded in all divisions and racing gets underway at 6 p.m.

More information is available from promoter Mick Trier at 515 201-5526 or the IMCA home office at 319 472-2201.