The ownership team at the Smoky Mountain Speedway in Maryville, Tenn. has been very aggressive in their efforts to bring major dirt late model events to that track. Likewise, the National Dirt Racing League under the leadership of owner John Kennedy and series director Kelley Carlton have aggressively worked to sanction major events for that national touring series. These two entities working together are set to make the weekend of March 8th & 9th one of the biggest ever in the history of east Tennessee dirt racing.
“One of the many purposes of going to this year’s PRI show was to spend some time getting to know John Kennedy who owns NDRL,” said Roger Sellers, who owns Smoky Mountain Speedway along with Larry Garner, Stanley Best and Kevin Coffey. “Having met him and his entire group, including Kelley Carlton who we have know for years, we have made a few significant changes to our opening NDRL event. I really want to make this into what will probably be one of the largest dirt racing events to ever hit East Tennessee.”
Originally scheduled as a one night race that would pay $10,000 to the winner, the event has now been changed to a full weekend that will offer a total of $20,000 to the winners of two separate NDRL feature races.
Thursday, March 6th will be an open practice session for all divisions in competition on that weekend. Friday, March 7th will be made up of a stand alone NDRL Late Models event that will pay $7,500 to the victor. And in the weekend finale on Saturday, the winner’s share of the prize money for that night’s feature will be $12,500.
“This is easily the biggest event that has ever been promoted at Smoky Mountain. There is a tremendous amount of money being put up for these racers to come after. We will also have great purses for our support classes as well. This event could go down as one of the biggest events to ever happen in East Tennessee. Our fans want the best and they deserve it. So we are stepping up to the plate for them in 2014. We have worked hard to put together a great schedule and we are excited about this being how we get started. We want to invite everyone to come out to Smoky Mountain and make a weekend of it. We have space for camping and we are conveniently located to several motels and hotels in the area.” Sellers declared in the press release announcing the event.
Carlton added that the NDRL is pleased with the announcement as well. “Smoky Mountain Speedway has such a great location. It’s just a short drive to so many of the area’s numerous attractions. A family could make a vacation out of the weekend. Hit all of the attractions during the day and then head back to the track at night for the racing action. And Smoky Mountain offers some of the most exciting racing you will find anywhere. We are very privileged to be able to work with Casey, Dustin and the ownership group there at Smoky Mountain. We are really looking forward to a great weekend of racing and fun there in the Maryville area,” he said.