The first of March is less than a week away and that kicks off the unofficial start to racing season in east Tennessee (if the weather will cooperate). Though a few events have already been held, all area tracks will be underway over the next several weeks.
411 Motor Speedway – The Seymour track has already kicked off 2015 with a very successful “Hangover” event on January 1. The annual Sweetheart race was held last weekend. But the weekly schedule will start in late March. Limited late models replace crate late models as the highlighted division this season. 411 has teamed several other tracks to form their own mini-series for crates. 411 also hosts several super late model events throughout the season.
Boyd’s Speedway – Not many changes to the program are expected at Boyd’s for 2015. The track will still run on Saturday nights with the same weekly divisions as 2014. A handful of super late model events are sprinkled into the schedule for the upcoming season.
Cleveland Speedway – After sitting idle for most of 2014, the track was brought back to life late in the year to much success. For 2015, the 1/3-mile track will return to Friday night racing. The track will host several super late model specials, but none will be sanctioned by the Southern All-Stars as has been the case for many years.
Crossville Raceway – Crossville continues to do its own thing in 2015. A weekly schedule is the order of business on the plateau. One positive is the track looks to have cut back on the number of classes for this season. That should help with attendance.
I-40 Raceway – The 1/4-mile bullring will be back open in May under the new ownership of Chris Corum. The first season was a disaster with classes, purses, and format switching every week the few weeks the track was open. Corum will bring needed stability to the new track that will be highlighted by street stocks, mini stocks, mod lites, and other similar classes.
I-75 Speedway – The track located near Sweetwater got off to a great start when it opened in September. Tim and Angie Kyle hope to continue that success as they enter their first full season at the newly configured 3/8-mile track. Some big purse limited late model and crate late model races have been added to their schedule for 2015.
Spring City Raceway – As of the time of this posting, there has been no official news on the future of the track. Recent rumors have indicated someone may be attempting to open the track. Inside Dirt Racing will continue to follow any developments.
Smoky Mountain Speedway – The 4/10-mile track south of Maryville is back with another ambitious schedule for 2015. The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series and the World of Outlaws Late Model Series are back on this year’s schedule. So are Ray Cook’s Southern Nationals and Spring Nationals that will kick off the season. The Southern All-Stars and Ultimate Super Late Model Series return along with the addition of the Carolina Clash series.
Tazewell Speedway – The ultra-high banked track will be celebrating their 50th anniversary season with a beefed up schedule. In addition to Lucas and WoO dates, the series-ending Southern Nationals race will pay $10,000 to this year’s winner. A couple of other super late model races have also been added to this year’s schedule.
Volunteer Speedway – The Bulls Gap track will see a variety of special events in 2015. The annual Scorcher sanctioned by the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series is always the highlight of the track’s schedule. An unsanctioned super late model show kicks off racing on March 6 and 7. The Carolina Clash and Southern All-Stars will have a number of races at “The Gap”. The Spring Thaw is still on Bristol weekend, but that has been pushed back to mid April. The ASCS sprint cars will be the highlight of this year’s Spring Thaw.
Wartburg Speedway – Things were a bit calmer in 2014 at the bullring in Morgan County. Weekly races are the primary focus of the track with some special events for the weekly classes sprinkled in throughout the season.
Overall, 2014 was a successful season for most of the area’s tracks. With several high profile events early in the schedule, we should soon find out if 2015 is more of the same.