By admin | February 28, 2008
Local Tracks Plan Plenty of Racing Excitement in 2008
By Richard Allen
The NASCAR Sprint Cup series is now under way. However, there is more racing going on than just the high profile glitz and glamour circuit. Several area tracks have plenty of thrills in store for local fans of dirt track racing. Here is a rundown of three speedways within easy driving distance of Sevier County.
The 411 Speedway in Seymour plans to have racing on Saturday afternoons this year starting on March 8th. Gates will open at 11:30am with racing set to begin at 1:30pm. The track does not have any special events planned as of now but a full schedule of weekly competition awaits.
Several classes will run this year. Among these will be the 411 Late Model Class which will feature V-8 cars with numerous modifications. The Classic Car Class will be contested between 305 cubic inch V-8 machines with bodies molded to look like racers of the 1950’s era. Also, a Super Car/Truck Series, formerly known as Modified Street, will offer V-8 racing with stock bodies and the Street Stock Class will also feature V-8 engines with stock bodies. For fans of smaller cars, the Mini Stock division will feature 4 cylinder rear wheel drive cars and the Pure Mini division will have 4 cylinder front wheel drive vehicles.More information can be found at 411motorspeedway.net.
The historic Mountain Raceway in Maryville, Tennessee has ambitious plans for 2008. Owner Kevin Coffey says that facility improvements are continuing and he hopes to turn the track into a world class facility.
Weekly shows will begin at The Mountain in March and will run through October. Gates will open at 5pm. Aside from its weekly racing program a variety of special events will take place at the track. The Advance Auto Parts Thunder series will compete on multiple occasions as well as the Southern All Star series.
AMA Motorcycles will be in for a two day event in June. Also Monster trucks and a local Tough Truck competition will be held.
More information can be found at mountainraceway.net.
Volunteer Speedway in Bulls Gap, Tennessee will kick off its season with an Advance Auto Parts Thunder series race on the weekend of February 29-March 1. Also, the world of Outlaws Sprint Car series will invade the East Tennessee track on the weekend of March 16, the same weekend as the Sprint Cup race in Bristol. Last year, the Outlaws show played to a standing room only crowd.
Information regarding weekly shows and other special events can be found at volunteerspeedway.com.
Watching NASCAR racing can be very exciting, but often times, the action at local tracks can provide much more ‘bang for the buck’. Local drivers who race for pride and just for the love of the sport will serve to remind fans just what racing is all about, the thrill of competition without all the drama provided by television networks who are often trying to create artificial heroes.
So, when you have a chance this season go out and support these racers and track promoters.
*Note: The race scheduled for the weekend of February 29 at Volunteer Speedway has been rescheduled for March 21-22 due to weather concerns.
Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press association. His weekly appears in The Mountain Press every Wednesday.
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