Doubleheader kicks off week of racing

Jeff Birchfield • Aug 20, 2013 at 6:49 PM

Races and racing-related activities are scheduled every day from today to Sunday in the local area.It starts with tonight’s NASCAR Whelen Modified Series and Camping World Truck Series doubleheader at Bristol Motor Speedway.Volunteer Speedway’s biggest race of the year, “The Scorcher,” is scheduled for Thursday night.The Food City 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race highlights a jam-packed Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway, which includes Sprint Cup practice and qualifying.Saturday is the biggest sporting event in our local area and the premier short-track race in the world, the IRWIN Tools Night Race for the Sprint Cup Series at Bristol Motor Speedway.However, the action’s not over as Kingsport Speedway has a 250-lap race for the CARS Pro Cup Series scheduled for Sunday.The modifieds are usually the fastest cars which race all week. The other big storyline from tonight’s races is whether Timothy Peters can defend his title after leading all 200 laps of the Truck Series race a year ago.Trevor Bayne will be among those racing on the dirt at Volunteer Speedway. The 2011 Daytona 500 champion will be a teammate to fellow Knoxville driver Billy Ogle Jr. in a Blount Motorsports car.Bayne, in the No. 6 Ford, will also be among the fan favorites for Friday’s Food City 250. The Nationwide Series race will feature a smattering of Cup Series drivers including Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski and Kasey Kahne.Saturday night is the big show, the IRWIN Tools Night Race. The biggest news leading into the race was Monday’s announcement that veteran Mark Martin would be in the No. 14 Chevrolet to replace the injured Tony Stewart, who’s out for the season.Besides the former Hooters Pro Cup Series, support classes will race at Kingsport Speedway on Sunday.In addition to the actual racing, there are plenty of racing-related activities. Food City Race Night is scheduled for Thursday in downtown Bristol with Richard Petty, Jeff Gordon and Rusty Wallace leading the list of those scheduled to attend.Another tradition is the transporter parade to the speedway with some of America’s veterans to be honored in a special ceremony.Driver appearances in the area include Brad Keselowski on Thursday from 5:30-6:30 p.m. and Dale Earnhardt Jr. on Friday from 10-11 a.m. at Walmart in Bristol near the speedway. Show cars, simulators and more will be on hand at the Walmart in Elizabethton today from 11:30 to 5:30 p.m. and at the Browns Mill location in Johnson City on Thursday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.———Mark Martin, not the NASCAR driver, but the dirt track racer from the Cookeville area, won this past Friday night’s Steel Head Late Model Championship at Volunteer SpeedwayHe led flag-to-flag beating Ethan Hunter and Cory Hedgecock to the finish line.Warren McMahan of Dandridge led all 20 laps of the Modified Hobby race. Jon Cook of Jonesborough finished second.———Round 10 of the Hot Summer Nights Motocross Series took place this past Saturday night at the Appalachian Fairgrounds.Chandler Carver of Jonesborough, Chance Markland of Elizabethton were winners among the younger riders. Other winners included: Jacob Austin of Jonesborough in the 125cc 2-stroke class, Chelsea Taylor of Elizabethton in the women’s 85cc division and Clay McNabb of Unicoi in the 250D Extra race.

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