LONDON, ON – The No. 07 Ryan Litt Racing team is ready to take a shot at winning some big bucks in Las Vegas next month, but they won’t be at a poker table or spinning a roulette wheel; the highest-paying asphalt Sprint Car event in the world is set for The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on December 1 and 2.
Race promoter Davey Hamilton Jr. hopes to make the Open Wheel Showdown a modern version of the fabled Copper World Classic, and the $50,000 USD winner’s share of the winged Sprint Car purse has drawn plenty of attention. More than 60 Sprint Cars from all over North America are pre-entered, while both the Supermodified and Midget divisions each have entry lists exceeding 20. Currently the lone Sprint Car driver entered from Ontario, Ryan Litt is looking forward to the unique opportunity.
“I’m excited to not only compete for a shot at 50K, but also test myself against the best pavement Sprint Car drivers in the world,” said Litt. “That’s what’s cool about this event – it’s bringing everyone together from both coasts in one spot to see who’s the best. Just qualifying for this race is going to be tough, and we’ll need to be dialed in every time we’re on the track. It’s going to be fun and I’m up for the challenge.”
The Bullring will be a new track for Litt. The 36-year-old open wheel veteran and his family team are based in Southwestern Ontario and have competed primarily in Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio in recent years. The semi-banked 3/8 mile track in Nevada is almost 3,500 kilometres (more than 2,000 miles) southwest of the team’s home base, and will be the westernmost facility that they have ventured to. It opened in 1985 as the Las Vegas Speedrome and was also called Las Vegas Raceway Park prior to Speedway Motorsports purchasing the facility.
“From looking at photos and videos, the track looks pretty similar to Birch Run or Owosso and those are tracks we run well at,” Litt said, referencing two Michigan tracks where he has claimed wins in the past. “Obviously the facility is first class and it’s a privilege to be able to race there. I’m hoping we can get a good baseline setup on the practice day and then make some fine tweaks from there.”
Several other wrinkles will make the event unique for Litt and his team, who have competed almost exclusively in the Must See Racing series over the past few seasons with their Leitch-powered Diablo chassis. The MSR rules permit 410 cubic inch engines and mandate American Racer tires, whereas winged asphalt Sprint Cars in other parts of the continent are often powered by 360 cubic inch engines with Hoosier tires. Restrictors are mandated on the injector stacks of the 410’s (and some 360’s) to balance the playing field, and Hoosiers will be the spec tire for the event in Vegas.
“We were going to run them once before in Florida, but had to cancel the trip last minute,” said Litt of the restrictors. “I’ve been told that you can’t really feel the difference too much – just maybe less top-end horsepower and torque pulling you into the corner. We haven’t run Hoosiers for a few years, so it will be fun to get back on those and have a little more bite.”
The team is very grateful for the support they’re receiving from BS&B Radiator, Xtreme Metal Worx, Cancore Industries, Glenn Styres Racing, Jim & Deb Seaton, Leaf Racewear, Shell Shock Custom Paint, and Benson Auto Parts for next month’s event. They’re also equally grateful for the extra logistical support that they’re receiving behind the scenes.
“I would really like to thank everyone who is helping us make this event,” Litt exclaimed. “It’s no small task. There are a lot of moving parts behind the scenes, especially coming from Ontario, and it truly takes a team of people to make this all happen. I’m grateful to have a lot of great people and businesses in my corner.
“We also have to give a shoutout to Steve Barr from Barr Motorsports who is driving our rig out there for us, and to Gary Leitch of Leitch Performance Engines for turning our engine around on short notice for this event.”
New team apparel will be available starting in December, something which Ryan has had in the works for a while and is excited to share.
“We have some new t-shirts that are debuting at Vegas,” he said. “They will be for sale afterwards on my website – www.ryanlitt.com – and at the track next summer. They’re a retro 90’s theme and they look wicked.”
One of the highlights of the trip for Ryan will be the opportunity to meet and race with other Canadian drivers. There could be as many as 10 Canadians competing in the Sprint Car portion of the event, and possibly a few in the Midgets and Supermodifieds as well. Many of the other Canadian entries are from British Columbia, another region of the country with a long and proud open wheel racing history.
“I believe I’m the only Sprint Car driver entered from Ontario,” said Ryan. “It’s pretty cool that we will all get to race together there, and I’m hoping to get a picture of all of us.”
About: The No. 07 Ryan Litt Racing team is based in London, Ontario, Canada and currently competes in the winged asphalt Sprint Car division at oval tracks across the midwestern United States. Ryan has driven a variety of race cars on both dirt and asphalt over his 30-year racing career, and competed in events as far away as South Africa. The team would like to thank all of their sponsors for their support, including BS&B Radiator, Xtreme Metal Worx, Cancore Industries, Glenn Styres Racing, Jim & Deb Seaton, Leaf Racewear, Shell Shock Custom Paint, and Benson Auto Parts. Visit www.ryanlitt.com for more information, and follow Ryan and the team on Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), Instagram, and YouTube by searching for Ryan Litt Racing.