Ross Bailes has enjoyed plenty of success at Cherokee Speedway over the years. He hopes to add to that success this weekend during the traditional March Madness event at “The Place Your Momma Warned You About.”
The Super Late Model showcase paying $10,000 to win on March 6-7 brings together some of the biggest names in Dirt Late Model racing. Bailes won the event in 2017 and currently holds the track record at Cherokee Speedway, set in January 2020.
Coming off a runner-up finish at Cherokee with the Drydene Xtreme DIRTcar Series, Bailes is confident entering March Madness.
“I feel pretty good about it,” Bailes told Speed51. “We ran there last weekend and got a second-place finish. We usually run pretty well at Cherokee, so I’m looking forward to it.”
Events like March Madness give Bailes a chance to compete for big paydays close to home. Bailes’ hometown of Clover, South Carolina is less than an hour east of Gaffney, South Carolina.
“Cherokee pays a lot of money out at several races throughout the year. I enjoy being close to home and running there.”
As is often the case in premier Dirt Late Model events, Bailes believes qualifying will be key to success this weekend.
“The main thing is qualifying good and starting up front. It’s a day race, so at the end it’s about tire management. Getting out front, setting your own pace on tires, and making sure you have something at the end.”
Tire management will also be crucial over the course of the race, held Sunday afternoon.
“At Gaffney, most of the night races, you don’t have to worry about tires that much. You’ll usually have something at the end. For the day races, you have to make sure there is tire at the end, because the track can be rough on tires.”
As a former winner of March Madness, Bailes knows how valuable a big win early in the season can be.
“It would be a big deal. It’s ten grand, so that’s a good way to start the season off and get things rolling.”
Race fans will be able to watch March Madness live on Speed51.TV with a monthly or yearly subscription. Click here to watch live on Sunday, March 7.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51 Content Supervisor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51 Photo