Smoky Mountain Speedway has released its 2018 schedule. There are some notable changes for the Maryville, Tennessee track.
One big change is the reduced number of events on the schedule. Over the past several seasons, SMS had 10-14 races on its schedule. For 2018, the number has been reduced to 8, though an additional race or two could be added to the schedule. The 4/10-mile speedway will focus on more bigger paying events.
“Our focus for the 2018 season is not to flood the market, said SMS promoter Casey Moses. “The amount of super late model events have grown quite a bit in our area. We are racers too, and nowadays it’s almost impossible not to find a race in your backyard. We are trying to support local tracks around us as well as offer a scaled back schedule manageable for any race fan or race team.”
A major change is the annual Tennessee Tip-Off weekend is now sanctioned by the Craftsman World of Outlaws Late Model Series. Over the past couple of seasons, the weekend was sanctioned by Ray Cook’s Spring Nationals. The 2018 edition will see a pair of $10,000 to win races on March 10 and 11. The rain date is April 26-28.
Nearly all the 2018 events are accompanied by sanctioned support classes. The NeSmith series, UCRA, Kajun Mini Stock Association, and others are apart of the 2018 SMS schedule.
“Since we don’t race every week, it’s hard to draw cars from other tracks that are loyal to those tracks,” said Roger Sellers, one of the Smoky Mountain Speedway owners. “We feel like we’ll have a better chance of drawings cars for sanctioned events. It’s not a good look to only have 8-10 cars when trying to draw fans.”
The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series returns for the annual Mountain Moonshine Classic on Saturday, July 7. The LOLMDS race at Smoky Mountain is typically their highest attended event of the season.
The Southern All-Stars will make four visits to Smoky Mountain in 2018. The first date is on June 16 for the Big Daddy 500. The series returns on August 25 for the Rockin’ With the Stars race. A doubleheader on October 5th and 6th caps off the SAS appearances at SMS.
The Schaeffer’s Southern Nationals series is scheduled to visit on Friday, July 27. This race has been rained out the last two years.
One noticeable change is no races for the Southern Nationals Bonus Series, Iron-Man Late Models, or other similar series. Dates for those series could still be added.
“We wanted a Spring Nationals date,” Moses said. “When we moved it from March, the remaining dates just didn’t work out.”
“As far as the bonus series or the Iron Man series, we may possibly add those events during the season. We just wanted to allow for more adequate spacing between our events.”
SMS is also partnering with Smoky Mountain Harley-Davidson to be a part of their Road Hog Rally and hosting a hooligan race. Announcements will be coming on those events.