By Robert Walden
Volunteer Speedway – Media/Public Relations
BULLS GAP, Tenn. (March 2, 2015 — With the East Tennessee region having experienced harsh wintertime weather conditions over the past three weeks, with frigid cold temperatures that dropped into single digits and below zero, plus several inches of accumulating snow – the 2015 Volunteer Speedway season-opening Homecoming at The Gap scheduled Friday and Saturday, March 6-7, has been postponed. Track officials are looking into a suitable reschedule date that won’t conflict with any other East Tennessee tracks and special events they have scheduled.
“It’s like we basically didn’t have any bad winter weather until the past few weeks,” said track owner Joe Loven. “We were really looking forward to having this ‘Homecoming at The Gap’ to recognize Scott (Bloomquist) and Jimmy (Owens) for all they’ve accomplished in their careers on the national level with several touring championships, and also big race wins around the country. Plus, we also were going to have some of the oldtime racers from years-past around East Tennessee present to be recognized for their racing accomplishments during their time behind the wheel. I know me personally, I was looking forward to the first weekend in March and during the offseason I had several (fans) talk with me saying they were looking forward to this event.”
Volunteer Speedway co-event promoter Vic Hill is also disappointed that weather has factored into having to pull the plug on Homecoming at The Gap.
“Hey, the bottom line is – nobody can control the weather,” said event co-promoter Vic Hill today at noon after stopping by the track to look things over. “Everybody living in East Tennessee knows how bad the winter weather has been these past few weeks with the cold and snow. We’ve basically not been able to do any work on the track itself in right at one month. You can’t work on a dirt track when it’s mud from rain, which we were experiencing before the weather turned off so cold and switched to a few weeks of snow and freezing temperatures. Finally, the snow has melted but the National Weather Service forecast is showing a good bit of rain on Tuesday and Wednesday and come Thursday it’s showing chance of snow once again, along with temperatures in the low-teens.
“I’ve been at the track today and also over this past weekend (took photos on Saturday) and there’s just no way to be able and have this Homecoming at The Gap event. You’ve got to be able and prepare the track before you can race, and unfortunately we’ve just not had cooperation from the weather. We’ll just look into finding a suitable date where we can reschedule. I also want to say, back before weather turned off so bad, we (myself and Gerald “Peg Leg” Laws) had been working on the track’s racing surface. Peg’s good on the grader and he’s spent considerable time moving dirt all around the track. But, he wasn’t finished with all the earth moving before bad weather took over and therefore the track’s just not ready for racing. And the ground is sure not going to dry out enough this week to allow any heavy equipment to be on the track.”
The track looks to kick off its 42nd year of racing on Saturday, April 4 with the Carolina Clash Super Late Model Series in action for the first of four scheduled series events in 2015 at The Gap.
“With winter weather conditions of late, it just wasn’t meant for us to be able race this first weekend in March. But now that we’re into the month of March and the official arrival of spring in a couple of weeks, weather conditions should start improving and it will allow us to get work completed on the track and in general, to just be able do some projects around the track that we weren’t able to during winter.”