Dueling agendas at work in SAS opener at Cherokee


With the Southern All Star Dirt Racing Series opener originally slated for February 5th at Georgia’s Screven Motor Speedway having been cancelled due to weather, the scene now shifts to Gaffney, SC where the historic regional tour will put its season in motion on Sunday at the Cherokee Speedway. The March Madness event is one of the southeastern region’s most noted early season races and it comes with a handsome $10,000 pay check for the winner.

With this being such a high paying race and also serving as the kickoff to what is now scheduled to be a 29-race campaign that will take competitors across the southeast into eight states, there will be two different agendas playing out when the racing action begins.

Some drivers and teams will pull through the pit gates simply seeking the highly valued cash prize to be handed out at the end of the 50-lap feature race. Their agenda will be easy to access throughout the day as they look to unload, go fast, and cash the winner’s check.

Dale McDowell is expected to be among those seeking the $10,000 first prize payout at Cherokee

Drivers such as Jonathan Davenport, Josh Richards, Hudson O’Neal, Dale McDowell, Tim McCreadie, and Brandon Overton are among those expected to enter the March Madness field with this intention.

Furthermore, national touring series stars can use this race as somewhat of a test session for the big World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series and Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series events scheduled for this track later in the season.

But at the same time, there will be some who will pull onto the Cherokee Speedway grounds for the purpose of running the entire Southern All Stars schedule with the hope of earning a season-long championship when the campaign has concluded. Their agenda will also include the desire to win the top prize but also to get off on the right foot in terms of scoring points that could ultimately lead to the coveted series title.

Sometimes, drivers and teams may enter the first couple of events sanctioned by a particular series unsure of whether they will stick with it throughout the full length of the schedule. After some early good runs, however, they may decide to pursue the championship after all. A number of eventual champions on regional tours such as this one have no doubt begun their seasons in this way.

Billy Franklin is the defending Southern All Stars champion

Past Southern All Stars champions include Billy Franklin, Jay Scott, David Breazeale, Riley Hickman, and Austin Horton. Some other top regional stars such as Zack Mitchell, Chris Madden, Chris Ferguson, and Dennis ‘Rambo’ Franklin are likely to enter this race and could find themselves off to such a good start with the tour that they decide to stick with it for a while longer.

These dueling agendas that will be in play on Sunday at Cherokee Speedway will no doubt produce an exceptional field of drivers who will do battle for the lucrative purse.

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