By Robert Walden
Volunteer Speedway Media/Public Relations
BULLS GAP, Tenn. (Oct. 3, 2017) — The 44th season of racing at Volunteer Speedway is winding down with only three races remaining. The inaugural Fall Classic is scheduled Saturday, Oct. 7, with increased payouts in each division.
The Fall Classic features a five division racing program showcasing Steel Head Late Model ($1,500-to-win … 40 laps), Crate Late Model ($1,500-to-win … 40 laps), Sportsman Late Model ($1,000-to-win … 25 laps), Modified Street ($1,000-to-win … 25 laps), and Classic ($400-to-win … 25 laps) in action on the high banks.
Adult grandstand admission $15, kids age 12-and-under admitted free in the grandstands (when accompanied by an adult). Adult pit/tier-parking admission $35, kids age 12-and-under $15 (with an adult signed release).
Grandstand and pit gates open Saturday, Oct. 7 at 3 p.m. … Drivers’ meeting is scheduled at 6:30 p.m., immediately followed by hot laps, qualifying and green flag racing tentatively starting around 8:30 p.m.
Not only are increased purses up for grabs, but more importantly for racers – valuable points are available for positions in the divisional standings.
In motorsports the competitors’ get up on the wheel and race to the best of their abilities in trying to bring home the best possible finish in each event. Points are awarded for each finishing position, from first to last-place in the field. Only two points-awarding events remain on the schedule at Volunteer Speedway – Oct. 7 and Oct. 21. So rest assured no driver wants a bad finish, or even worse a DNF (Did Not Finish) in the final two points races in 2017.
Jason Cardwell of Knoxville holds a slim three-point lead over Chase King of Seymour in the Steel Head Late Model point standings. Cardwell has 281 points, while King has 278. Josh Henry of Newport sits with 262 points in third place, with Bobby Mays of Jonesborough fourth at 254, and Michael Smith of Rogersville in fifth with 192.
Ross White of Knoxville sits atop the Crate Late Model points leaderboard with 305, followed in the standings by Tim Byrd (2013, ’15 and ’16 champion) of Jonesborough at 268, Gary Crittenden of Mohawk with 253, Tim Maupin of Johnson City at 239, with Josh Henry of Newport in fifth with 225.
Heath Alvey of Dandridge holds a commanding advantage in the Sportsman Late Model point standings with 356 points, while Tyler Smith of Kingsport has 282, Chris Coffey of Morristown with 268, Rex Coffey of Morristown at 238, followed in fifth by veteran Warren McMahan of Dandridge with 215.
Chris Rickett of Morristown has dominated in Modified Street over the past couple of seasons, winning six races in 2016 while en route to capturing the track championship. Rickett, with 346 points, currently sits atop the points leaderboard over Austin Atkins of Morristown with 324. Wayne Rader of Parrottsville is third at 292, with Tracy Wolfe of Bean Station fourth at 265, and Michael Woods of Morristown at 201.
In the Classic division Eli Keck of Corryton holds a narrow four-point lead over Tony Trent of Bean Station. Keck sits with 278 points, while Trent has 274. Rounding out the top five in the standings are Richie Overholser of Corryton with 261, Lee Merritt of Knoxville at 240, and Chris Nix of Knoxville with 206.
To say the 2017 racing season at Volunteer Speedway, under promotion of Mitch McCarter and his family, has been a tremendous success would be an understatement. Arguably, no other racetrack in the state of Tennessee (the entire Southeast for that matter) has seen the overall number of drivers compete in at least one race this season (292 through the most recent racing program Saturday, Sept. 16) to equal “The Gap.”. … The totals are as follows: Steel Head Late Model (61), Crate Late Model (76), Sportsman Late Model (68), Modified Street (56), and Classic (31).
Heading into this weekend’s running of the Fall Classic, Chase King leads the way in Steel Head Late Model with four feature wins on the season, while Ryan King has two victories. Jason Cardwell, Bobby Mays, Trevor Sise, John Tweed, Jason Trammell, and Dakotah Knuckles each have one win.
Ross White has captured the most Crate Late Model feature wins with four. Tim Byrd, Gary Crittenden, Cory Hedgecock, Jason Trammell, Mack McCarter, Greg Martin, Matt Henderson, and Jensen Ford each have made it into victory lane once.
Heath Alvey has recorded three Sportsman Late Model victories, while Rex Coffey, Zach Sise, Travis Fultz and Jordon Horton each have two wins. Andy Ogle, Matt Tharp and Zach Shannon all have one victory.
Chris Rickett leads the way in Modified Street with seven feature wins. Austin Atkins has two victories, while Brad Davis and Brett Miller each have one win.
Richie Overholser has captured a division-leading four Classic victories, while John Stevens has three wins. Eli Keck has recorded two wins, with Will Carey and Lee Merritt each winning one race.