By admin | September 20, 2011
By Richard Allen
This Saturday night the Southern All Stars will make their third appearance at the Smoky Mountain Speedway. And if the action from the previous two trips to the Maryville, Tennessee track by the dirt late model touring series are any indication, the racing should be outstanding.
In April, popular dirt racing superstar Jimmy Owens collected $5,000 by winning a lightning fast event after first establishing a new track record of 15.187 seconds around the 4/10 mile clay oval in qualifying.
In June the series returned to reopen the track that had been temporarily closed about six weeks earlier. Brian Reese motored his way to a $5,000 victory but the real story came just behind the front running driver.
Just after the halfway point in the 50 lap race, Randy Weaver and Billy Ogle, Jr. came together in turn one. Ogle’s car slammed the outside wall and teetered on the edge of actually leaving the facility. Then, as the cars slowed for the caution, Ogle’s Blount Motorsports teammate, Tommy Kerr, got into a late model shoving match with Weaver which ended with both cars nosed into the inside wall and both drivers standing atop their machines vigorously pointing and shouting at each other.
Southern All Stars series director Brad Byrd looks forward to coming back to the track at which his races have played out in front of near capacity crowds. “We’re very excited about going back up there,” Byrd declared in a recent interview. “It’s a great place with great people.
“It’s an open date for the Tennessee football so we’re very happy about the date,” he added. “When you get into fall in the South you have to start looking at open dates and away games of the teams in a particular area although (track promoter)Chris Corum doesn’t feel as though it’s a major deterrent being that the fans of each are so different.”
Coming into Saturday’s race, Alabama’s William Thomas holds a slim lead in the series standings over Knoxville’s Billy Ogle, Jr. and Maryville’s Tommy Kerr.
The main event will be a 50 lap, $5,000 to win affair. The SAS locks in the top-10 through qualifying and sets the rest of the field with heat races. Also on Saturday’s agenda will be a $1,000 to win Crate Late Model race along with Modified Street and Pure Mini classes.
Gates open at 5:00pm with racing set to begin at 7:00pm.