As part of their season ending banquet held on Saturday night in Knoxville, the Southern All Stars Dirt Racing Series released a tentative 17 race schedule for 2014 that includes eight events to be held in east Tennessee.
Most notably, four races on the tour are scheduled to take place at the Cleveland Speedway. That track’s future is clouded with uncertainty as it is currently part of a bankruptcy case in the U.S. Federal Bankruptcy Court in Chattanooga. After being postponed multiple times, the track’s fate is now set to be decided on January 9th.
Other east Tennessee races for the Southern All Stars are scheduled for the Volunteer Speedway in Bulls Gap and the Smoky Mountain Speedway in Maryville. Each of those tracks will host two events for the regional touring series.
Cleveland Speedway has been very much a centerpiece of the SAS schedule in recent years with as many as five races per season from that series being held on the historic third-mile oval. The situation was further clouded on Saturday night, at the same time as the SAS banquet, when it was announced that the Boyd’s Speedway in nearby Ringgold, Georgia had changed ownership and plans to race on Saturday nights rather than its usual Fridays.
New Boyd’s owner David Duplissey along with partner Dale McDowell released a statement that read as follows- “It was my intention and desire to purchase Cleveland Speedway and maintain a tradition that Joe Lee Johnson started many years ago, but it became apparent that the ability to do that just wasn’t going to happen. I love racing and with Dale’s knowledge of what racers and fans expect, hopefully we will bring many new ideas to the table at Boyd Speedway. It’s our desire to continue what the Harvey’s have built upon and will continue to use the current staff that Richard and Robert have counted on to provide the best show possible. One major change that the racetrack will make is that we will begin a new tradition of racing on Saturday nights beginning with the 2014 Cabin Fever. Being so close to the central time zone its very hard for some racers to get there on Friday’s due to the work schedules so by changing to Saturday this will allow more racers and fans alike to come and enjoy the racing program.”
Rumors have abounded that at least one potential buyer for the track intends to use the property for real estate purposes instead of racing. Duplissey and McDowell had been rumored to be potential suitors who did wish to keep the track operating as a racing facility.
That pending January 9, 2014 date may finally determine the fate of the Cleveland Speedway and the Southern All Stars dates set aside for that facility.
Here is that tentative Southern All Stars schedule:
March 22- Cleveland Speedway
March 29th- East Alabama Motor Speedway
April 26th- Smoky Mountain Speedway
May 3rd- Talladega Short Track
May 10th- Volunteer Speedway
June 14th- Volunteer Speedway
June 21st- Talladega Short Track
July 12th- Cleveland Speedway
July 19th- Magnolia Motor Speedway
July 26th- Talladega Short Track
August 2nd- Cleveland Speedway
August 16th- Cleveland Speedway
September 20th- Smoky Mountain Speedway
September 27th- East Alabama Motor Speedway
September 28th- East Alabama Motor Speedway
October 18th- Talladega Short Track
November 22nd- Cleveland Speedway