Curl Strikes Deal to Purchase MARS Late Model Series from Izzo Jr; Forms New MARS Modified Championship Tour Coming in 2023. Tabs Clayton as Series Director

Curl Strikes Deal to Purchase MARS Late Model Series from Izzo Jr; Forms New MARS Modified Championship Tour Coming in 2023. Tabs Clayton as Series Director

Fairbury, IL (December 5, 2022) — Matt Curl, owner and promoter of the Fairbury Speedway, announced today that he has reached a deal to acquire the MARS Dirt Late Model Series from Tony Izzo Jr. effective immediately.  Curl, a past Series Director of the World of Outlaws Late Model Series, will take over the reigns of the MARS Late Model Series and rebrand the series to go along with the newly formed MARS Modified Championship in 2023.  

“I am truly excited about this opportunity to acquire the MARS Series from Tony.  It’s been a passion of mine to build and develop a racing series and now I have that opportunity with the MARS Championship Tours.  The combination of the Late Models and Modifieds racing throughout the Midwest speaks for itself.  The regional talent we have in both divisions will no doubt be highlighted throughout the year”, says Curl.

Tony Izzo Jr, owner of Sixteen Race Promotions, and promoter of some of the Midwest biggest events including the Thaw Brawl and a past UMP National Championship Driver, will continue his event promotions at a variety of venues moving forward.  

“It’s a bittersweet day for me;” says Izzo Jr.  “I am sad I will no longer be at the helm of the MARS Series but also very excited that Matt sees the value we built with the series over the last 3 years.  I plan to work with him on the transition and wish him nothing but the best for him to help make the MARS series great and keep moving forward.  I would like to thank every single fan, racer, and track for all their support the past three years.  To all the sponsors, it wouldn’t of been possible to do this without you so Thank You!”

In addition to the purchase and design of the new MARS Championship Tour’s (Late Model and Modified Series); Curl has hired Jonathan Clayton as the new full time Series Director for both divisions.  Clayton, a past event coordinator with DIRTcar Midwest, series official and marketing coordinator with the World of Outlaw Late Model Series, comes in highly respected in the industry and will take care of all the day to day operations of both series.   

“I am also extremely excited to have the opportunity to hire Jonathan Clayton as my Series Director for both of the tours;” Curl conveyed.  “Jonathan and I go back to our World of Outlaw days, and he is going to do great things with the series.”

Clayton 29, who resides in Tolono, Illinois, comments: “Having the opportunity to build and grow the MARS brand is an honor. When Matt and I originally started talking about the chance to team up and do this, I knew it was too good of an opportunity to turn down. Over the past 23 years of the Late Model series, a lot of things have been tried, which gives us a good baseline of what works and what doesn’t.”

“The Modified portion is just as exciting though, because drivers in this area are hungry for a series to follow throughout the season. I am looking forward to working with the promoters, drivers, teams, sponsors, and fans this upcoming season to make this one of the most exciting in recent memory. I truly believe we have the best in all of those categories right here in the Midwest and we can’t wait to showcase that.”

“I can’t go without thanking Brian Carter, Sam Driggers, and the entire team at WRG for giving me the knowledge and tools over the past 9 years to take this next step in my career;” says Clayton.

Business will heat up fast for Curl and Clayton, as they will be working on all aspects of both series leading into the PRI Industry Trade Show in Indianapolis December 8-10.  Exciting schedule announcements, series sponsors, rules, and much more will be announced coming in January 2023.  

The Midwest Auto Racing Series (MARS) Championship tours will feature some of the best grass roots dirt track racing in the country as it will visit some of the “hidden gems” throughout the Midwest including Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Kentucky, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Michigan.  Designed for the regional racer and promoter, the MARS Championship Tours will work hand in hand to integrate a long-lasting partnership to promote exciting racing in the late model and modified divisions.

“One thing that I feel is extremely important in any series is communication and trust.  Trust that we as a series, will work alongside tracks and race teams to give them the best opportunity and resources to be successful.  It was the number one goal I set out to do in 2018 with the World of Outlaws and will continue our mission with the new midwestern MARS Tours,” conveyed Curl.

New social media and website development are currently underway to bring the MARS Championship to your fingertips in the near future highlighting local drivers and tracks.  Any promoters, sponsors, or drivers wishing to inquire about the new MARS Championship Tours can send an email to , or Contact Matt Curl at 309-532-7862 or Jonathan Clayton at 731-467-1316.