BULLS GAP, Tenn. — Race fans from all 50 states and also from several foreign countries visit the East Tennessee region two times a year for NASCAR racing at nearby Bristol Motor Speedway, and many make the short drive down Interstate 81 to take in a night of exciting dirt racing on the high banks at Volunteer Speedway.
The “15th annual Spring Thaw,” sanctioned by Ray Cook’s Old Man’s Garage Southern Nationals Series is scheduled Friday and Saturday, April 15-16 at Volunteer Speedway.
The Spring Nationals Series Super Late Models will race for $4,000-to-win (40 laps) on Friday night, along with Sportsman Late Model (30 laps … $1,000-to-win) action on the high banks. … Headlining the racing program on Saturday night will be running of the $10,000-to-win Spring Thaw (60 laps) for the Spring Nationals Series Super Late Models, along with Modified Street (25 laps … $700-to-win) racing.
Each night’s Old Man’s Garage Spring Nationals Series Super Late Model racing program will consist of qualifying, heat races, last chance qualifiers, and feature. Also, the highest finishing driver using a CT525 engine package will receive a $200 bonus and the highest finishing driver using a Steel Head/SPEC engine package will receive a $200 bonus courtesy of the series.
Through the first two Spring Nationals Series events this season, the top five in points are Donald McIntosh of Dawsonville, Ga.; David Payne of Murphy, N.C.; Shanon Buckingham of Morristown, Tenn.; Stacey Boles of Clinton, Tenn.; and Robby Moses of Maryville, Tenn.
Dale McDowell of Chickamauga, Ga., and Chris Madden of Gray Court, S.C., both two-time Spring Thaw winners, will be competing on the high banks at “The Gap,” along with World of Outlaws Late Model Series regulars Rick Eckert of York, Pa., and Eric Wells of Hazard, Ky., plus Cody Mahoney of Madison, Ind.; Jason Covert of York Haven, Pa.; Gregg Satterlee of Indiana, Pa.; Josh Putnam of Florence, Ala.; Cody King of McDonough, Ga.; Zack Olger of St. John’s, Mich.; Kenny Collins of Colbert, Ga., and others.
Also from around East Tennessee expect to see five-time Volunteer Speedway Super Late Model champion Vic Hill of Mosheim in action, along with two-time track champion Mark Douglas of Knoxville, Billy Ogle Jr. of Knoxville, Mack McCarter of Gatlinburg, Steve Smith of Powell, Bobby Mays of Jonesborough, and others.
The pit gate opens each day at 4 p.m. and grandstand gate at 5 p.m. Drivers’ meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Hot laps are tentatively scheduled to start each evening at 7:30 p.m., followed by qualifying at 8 p.m. with green flag racing action around 8:45 p.m.
Friday (April 15) adult grandstand admission is $18, youth (ages 9-14) $10, with kids 8-and-under admitted free in the grandstands. Pit passes and backside tier-parking $30, regardless of age.
Saturday (April 16) adult grandstand admission is $25, youth (ages 9-14) $15, with kids 8-and-under admitted free in the grandstands. Pit passes and backside tier-parking $35, regardless of age.
Volunteer Speedway is located just off I-81 at Exit 23.
-Volunteer Speedway Press Release
-Photo Credit: Volunteer Speedway