The X-Treme Drag Racing League (X-DRL) announced that its upcoming Thunder at the Heartland event scheduled for September 20–21 at the Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis and the Southern Slam slated for October 4–5 at Alabama’s Montgomery Motorsports Park have been cancelled due to financial difficulties that have strained the upstart doorslammer series in its debut season.
The series made the announcement on their Facebook page, issuing the following statement regarding their current status:
We would like to thank all of the racers, fans, sponsors and track partners who have continued to support us as we work through these un-forseen financial difficulties. We continue to work on completing our financial restructuring through our financial partners and sponsorship partners that will allow us to pay all past obligations, inclusive of all racer payouts and vendor payments, and move forward in a positive manner. In the meantime, regrettably, we are canceling Thunder at the Heartland scheduled for September 20-21 at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis and Southern Slam scheduled for October 4-5 at Montgomery Motorsports Park. We are hopeful that we will work through these issues and be able to finish the season with the World Finals in October at Charlotte.
In a previous statement, the X-DRL said that the organization is still in operation, and officials are working with marketing partners to secure funding to both move forward and settle payout debts from previous events. The series, which was formed last winter and was said to have funding in place from the outset to cover the expenses of the inaugural season, has consistently struggled to attract fans and racers and has come under fire and intense scrutiny from the racing community for falling behind on payments for much of the season, even after issuing a new post-race payment policy at the most recent event in Maryland, intended to rectify the issue.
While the series is hopeful that it can continue, it’s most difficult challenge may not be in securing capital funding in a down economy, but in restoring its image with the racing community.