The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series began operation in its current form in 2005. Since the time of its inception, the tour has made annual stops at Tazewell Speedway but those visits have come to an unexpected end. The Gary Hall-owned facility located in upper east Tennessee is known for its tight layout and extremely steep banking which sometimes leads to lap times that can drop under the 11-second mark on the third-mile clay oval.
The news was officially released on Thursday night when TazewellSpeedway.net published a story explaining the track’s disappointment with the decision by the national tour.
Jimmy Owens from nearby Newport, Tennessee won the first Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series event held in Tazewell, Tennessee on September 4, 2005. In recent years, the track has hosted series events in the spring with the most recent event scheduled for May 3rd but eventually contested on June 28th due to rain in early May. That race was won by Morristown, Tennessee driver Shanon Buckingham.
Based on the website post, the decision for the LOLMDS not to return to Tazewell was that of the series and not the track. The announcement points out that this track is one of only three remaining on the 2019 schedule that had hosted a series event since the beginning of the national tour.
“On Wednesday October 16, Tazewell Speedway was informed by Lucas Oil Series management that it would no longer have an opportunity to host a series event starting with 2020,” the release stated. “Our relationship with the Lucas Series has been well established over the past 15 years and the working relationship between the officials, race teams, and drivers has always been positive. Tazewell Speedway wanted to continue working with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series and planned to schedule the annual event next year and beyond.”
The statement from the track ownership also declares that a significant reason for the decision was not provided by series officials.