The Ray Cook-promoted Schaeffer’s Oil Southern Nationals are set to kick off this weekend with a pair of $10,000-to-win events first out of the gate for the 11-race mini series that will be contested over a fifteen day time span. The 15th annual version of this midsummer happening will take drivers and teams on a tour that will ultimately venture into five states covering numerous highway miles during the heat of the summer. As always, it will truly serve as a test for those who dare to take on the challenge.
Part of the intrigue surrounding the Southern Nationals concerns what drivers will participate in the entire series and what drivers will drop in for a race here and there. Obviously, those who set off with the intention of running all eleven races hope to earn the $5,053 prize that will be handed out to the series champion at the end of the two week time period. Those who pop in here and there will hope to add a race trophies to their collections and money to their bank accounts from the individual events.
Something to consider is that those who only run a few select events will play a role in determining who the champion of the series will be in that they will earn finishing positions that can serve to separate the points contenders from each other and thus create gaps in the number of points earned in each individual race. For example, if a driver running for the championship wins a feature then is followed to the finish line by three non regulars with the next highest finishing contender placing fifth, there is a spread in the number of points between the two title contenders.
Based on posts made to driver websites and/or social media pages, several competitors have indicated that they will participate in all of the upcoming races on the Southern Nationals schedule. So far, Donald McIntosh, Cla Knight, Vic Hill, Brandon Overton, Aaron Ridley, Tanner English and Tyler Clem are among those set to run the full series. No doubt there are others with those same intentions who have not updated social media or website pages to indicate such.
Some have also revealed that they will be racing in the first two events at Virginia’s Wythe Raceway and South Carolina’s Cherokee Speedway but have not listed any other races yet. It has to be considered that if these drivers get off to a good start in the early races they might remain on the series for the duration or at least for the next couple of nights.
Chris Ferguson, Ross Bailes, Kyle Strickler, Michael Page and Jake Knowles have posted on one form of media or another that they will hit the first two races, which will each pay $10,000 to the eventual winner. It should be noted here that five of the 11 features will dole out $10,000 to its victor.
Dale McDowell, who won last year’s Southern Nationals opener at Wythe, and his Shane McDowell Racing affiliate Brandon Kinzer have stated their intentions to race at Wythe on Saturday evening.
The Southern Nationals are always one of this writer’s favorite times of the racing season each year. This, as all of the others, promises to provide plenty of racing action over a short period of time.
2019 Southern Nationals Schedule:
July 13- Wythe Raceway – Rural Retreat, VA – $10,000 to win
July 14- Cherokee Speedway- Gaffney, SC- $10,000 to win
July 16- Smoky Mountain Speedway – Maryville, TN- $3,500 to win
July 18- Toccoa Raceway – Toccoa, GA- $3,500 to win
July 19- Senoia Raceway – Senoia, GA – $4,025 to win
July 20- Screven Motor Speedway – Sylvania, GA- $10,000 to win
July 21- Rome Speedway- Rome, GA – $5,300 to win
July 23- Tri-County Race Track- Brasstown, NC- $3,500 to win
July 25- Crossville Speedway – Crossville, TN- $3,500 to win
July 26- 411 Motor Speeday- Seymour, TN- $10,000 to win
July 27- Tazewell Speedway- Tazewell, TN- $10,053 to win
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