The staff at Bristol Motor Speedway is hard at work getting the track ready for the Aug. 24 IRWIN Tools Night Race after finishing cleanup from the July 20 Global Rallycross event.
To build the jump for the GRC races, 190 truckloads of clay were used. An additional 60 loads of gravel covered the jump and the track’s infield section.
An estimated 10 cubic yards of materials were hauled in each truckload.
The trucks arrived about nine days before the race’s first practice. Fine-tuning on the course took place right up until the start of practice, and the course was fine-tuned again Friday evening before the Saturday races.
The final trucks finished hauling dirt out of the track last Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. There was additional cleanup, but the big pieces were gone by then.
There was a tight deadline for the clean-up, with drivers from the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series scheduled to test at BMS next Monday.
Defending Pro Stock champion Allen Johnson didn’t win this past Sunday at the NHRA Sonoma Nationals, but it was still a banner weekend for the Greeneville-based J&J Racing Team.
Johnson’s teammates, Vincent Nobile and Jeg Coughlin Jr., met in Sunday’s final, with Nobile taking the victory after Coughlin shook the tires on his Dodge Avenger.
In fact, all three of the J&J Racing’s Avengers reached the semifinals. Johnson lost by .017 of a second to Coughlin in their matchup.
Still, Johnson gained ground on championship leader Mike Edwards in the Mello Yello point standings. Edwards lost to Nobile in the quarterfinals.
The Late Model points battle at Kingsport Speedway is going down to the wire.
Chad Finchum of Knoxville swept twin 30-lap features at this past Friday night to regain the points lead. He passed Daniel Pope II of Smyrna for the lead in both races.
It came two weeks after Finchum’s No. 19 Ford was protested and the camshaft in his engine was found illegal. It was a crate engine from the Ford Motor Company, and Ford took responsibility for the mistake. Still, it resulted in Finchum losing the win and points for the night.
That gave the points lead to Johnson City’s Zeke Shell, but Friday’s sweep put Finchum back in the lead, eight points ahead of Shell.
Virginia driver Kres Van Dyke and Pope are tied for third, 18 points out of the lead.
There are only two nights of weekly racing left at the 3/8-mile concrete oval. Those races are scheduled for Aug. 9 and Aug. 16.
Kingsport Speedway has the Knights of Destruction Thrill Show on tap for this Saturday night. The thrill show features events ranging from buses races to demolition derbies to the Chitwood Stunt Show. It starts 7:30 p.m. and is advertised as a rain-or-shine event.
Volunteer Speedway hosts the Southern All-Star Racing Series this Saturday for the running of the Herman Collins/Dewey “Red” Ledford Memorial.
This $5,000-to-win event will honor the track’s first two Late Model champions, who died one day apart back in March. Collins captured the first-ever Late Model championship at Volunteer Speedway in 1975. Ledford won the Late Model title one year later.
The Southern All Star Racing Series Super Late Model racing program will feature practice, qualifying and heat races before the 50-lap main event. Also racing will be the Fastrak Racing Series-sanctioned Pro (Crate) Late Model, Modified Hobby and Mini Stock divisions.
A trio of Washington County racers — Jerry Broyles and Tim Byrd of Jonesborough, and Dale Ball of Johnson City — lead the Pro Late Model standings.
The pit gate opens Saturday at 4 p.m., with the grandstands opening at 6 p.m. Practice is set to begin at 8 p.m., followed immediately by time trials and racing.
Tucker Brown of Blountville made it to the final round of the 8-9 year-old division at the NHRA Junior Drag Racing League Eastern Conference Finals at Bristol Dragway last weekend.
Brown, a Bristol Dragway regular, posted a .191 reaction time and a 13.169 elapsed time in a loss to Michigan racer Alex Kish.
With race week at the speedway in only three weeks, there aren’t any racing events scheduled at the dragway until the end of August.
Jeff Birchfield is a sports writer for the Johnson City Press. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.