With March Madness just around the corner at Cherokee Speedway, Chris Ferguson joined “The Morning Bullring” with Bob Dillner and Casey LaJoie to discuss the big season-opening event at “The Place Your Momma Warned You About.”
Ferguson will be one of many big names in Sunday’s Super Late Model feature, sanctioned by the Southern All Star Dirt Car Series and paying $12,000 to the winner.
“We look forward to this race every year,” Ferguson said. “It’s one of the most enjoyable tracks to race around here. You guys saw at the Blue Gray 100 [last November], in a long race that track changes so much. You’re always elbows-up and have to be ready to move around which, to me, makes the racing awesome there.”
Ferguson, from Mount Holly, North Carolina, always cherishes the chance to race at the Gaffney, South Carolina facility. However, this year’s March Madness will hold special meaning after the passing of Ginger Owens, a beloved scorer in the community.
“It would be pretty big,” said Ferguson. “You guys know, Ginger Owens passed away last week. We were good friends with her and her family. In the dirt track and short track racing world, everybody knows everybody. There’s going to be a lot of drivers out there. Chris Madden, Ben Watkins, we were all friends with Ginger. This weekend, everyone’s going to do their best to put on a show. If we could win with her kids there and Jason [Ginger’s husband] being there, it would be a big one to win for us.”
This weekend, Speed51 will broadcast March Madness to a worldwide audience with a pay-per-view broadcast for $24.99. Ferguson noted that exposure thanks to broadcasts such as this one bring more fans to the sport, and are also great for drivers to watch afterwards.
“The fans in this sport love this stuff so much,” said Ferguson. “It’s actually amazing how many fans come to these races. It’s nice to be able to follow something like Speed51 and be able to know who won what, who won where, see recaps, go back and watch the video when I threw a dirty slide job and ran over somebody’s nose. It’s cool to be able to do that.
“Personally, for the longest time, there was a lot of big races that were broadcasted, and you would go back and watch video,” Ferguson added. “But there were a lot of really good races at Dublin or Fayetteville where I won races or had a great race with somebody else and there was no coverage on it. The fans need to see that. Everybody else, also. The more everybody out there that’s not a racing fan gets to see great racing, the more we bring to our sport. Everybody benefits from that.”
Chris Madden has announced plans to compete in this year’s edition of March Madness, while Scott Bloomquist has not decided for certain but has floated the idea. Ferguson spoke highly of both drivers, as well as others expected to compete at March Madness.
“It doesn’t matter who shows up. That 44 car [of Madden] and the 0 car [of Bloomquist] are two of the best to ever race at Gaffney,” said Ferguson. “Competition-wise, this race is just as hard to win as any Lucas Oil race or World of Outlaws race. We’ve got to be there, hitting on all eight cylinders, as prepared as ever. Not only are those two guys really exceptional there, the regional guys, Rambo [Dennis Franklin], Ross [Bailes], Michael Brown, those guys can win any time they unload there too. It’s going to be a good mix of field.
“You never know who’s going to show up,” Ferguson added. “Mike Marlar showed up before. Some guys I never thought would be there, would. It’ll be fun, and not just that, it’ll be tough. Tire wear and the tire game for that race track, during the day you’ve got to be planning ahead and know what to do. Blue-Gray last year was won on a tire change. You never know, it might be like that again.”
Ferguson has been working with Bloomquist more since a switch to a Sweet-Bloomquist chassis. Ferguson said on The Morning Bullring that the partnership has led to some cool experiences, on and off the track.
“It’s been pretty cool,” said Ferguson. “We really worked a lot hand-in-hand. There’s been times where his hauler broke down on the way to the track and him and his crew chief have crewed for me. There’s been times where me and my brother drove down to Georgia, and my brother flew out to Arizona and crewed for them.
“Just like what happened at Brunswick, at Golden Isles, we blew up the only car we had ready and he let me drive his car a few laps down there,” Ferguson continued. “It’s been really cool. As far as sharing information, it’s pretty cool because our cars are almost exactly the same. Naturally, when he talks, I shut my mouth and I listen. There’s not many people that know as much as he does about how to make a race car go fast.
“There’s fun things that go on, too, like Scott trying to get me to go up in an airplane with him in one of those personal airplanes,” Ferguson concluded. “I ain’t ever going to do that, but it’s cool that he asked me to.”
Race fans who want to see Ferguson in action this weekend at Cherokee Speedway can click here to order their video ticket now.
Fans who missed “The Morning Bullring” and wish to see the show in its entirety can click here for the on-demand replay of the broadcast. Fans can also visit the Speed 51 Five Star Bodies Facebook Feed to watch the replay of the broadcast. Be sure to like Speed 51 on Facebook and turn on notifications, so you can be alerted when “The Morning Bullring” comes on each Monday at 7:30 a.m. ET.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51.com Southeast Editor - Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51.com