Spring Nationals series coming to Dixie
by Emily Horos
ehoros@cherokeetribune.com
May 11, 2013 01:07 AM | 872 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dixie Speedway will host its largest event of the season tonight when the Ray Cook Spring Nationals come to the Woodstock dirt track.

For the special event, some of the region’s top racers will be on hand to compete head-to-head with local drivers for a $6,000 prize.

Dixie has never before hosted this event.

Track spokeswoman Mia Green expects 40 to 50 Super Late Models — the fastest cars on dirt — to be on hand tonight.

Included among the Ray Cook drivers will be Chase Elliott, the 17-year-old son of NASCAR legend Bill Elliott. Chase Elliott will be making his dirt-track racing debut, at the same venue where his father won his first professional race in 1974.

“We average 20 to 24 on a regular Saturday night because we’re the only dirt track in the Southeast that still runs Super Late Models every Saturday night,” Green said.

Not only will the single-race payout be high, but the race could decide the title in the Southern Nationals Series. Currently, Steven Casebolt holds a 24-point lead over Billy Ogle Jr. in the points standings.

Drivers will take hot laps starting around 6:30 p.m., and qualifying should begin by 8 p.m. Unlike other nights at Dixie, when drivers spin a wheel to determine their starting position, they will actually hold heat races to set the feature lineup.

“In our local Saturday night races, the Super Late Models don’t run heat races,” Green said. “But, at this event, they will have to race for their starting spot instead of just qualify. That is how all the big traveling racing series do it.”

The race will also be longer than a normal race at Dixie. Drivers will challenge the track for 50 laps.

Ticket prices for the special event start at $6 for children ages 9-17, while adults are $20. As usual, children 8 and under are free.

Gates open at 5 p.m.

Dixie will return to its regular race programing with a full race program May 18.
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