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Dirt track, drag strip hosting big events this weekend

Jeff Birchfield • Oct 30, 2018 at 5:13 PM

Although their track championships have been settled, Volunteer Speedway and Cherokee Race Park look to finish their seasons on high notes this weekend.

Volunteer Speedway concludes its 45th year of racing with the $3,000-to-win Crate Late Model Nationals, an event expected to bring a large car count in this and other divisions at the 4/10-mile dirt track in Bulls Gap.

Local drivers including three-time track champion Tim Byrd of Jonesborough and Johnson City racers Tim Maupin and Jackie Hughes of Johnson City are scheduled to compete.

The main event is a 50-lap feature which pays $3,000-to-win and $300 to start. Races for the Sportsman Late Model, Modified Street, Open Wheel Modified and Classic divisions are also on tap.

A drivers meeting is scheduled for 2 p.m. followed by hot laps, qualifying and green flag racing.

In other dirt-track news, testing has been going on the recently converted to dirt Clay Valley Speedway (formerly Lonesome Pine Raceway). The drivers are raving about the racing surface as comments have been positive about the transformation of the facility.

Another open testing date is set for Saturday, Nov. 10.

The three-day Cherokee Showdown takes place this Friday through Sunday at Cherokee Race Park.

The Friday and Saturday purses include $2,500-to-win for the Pro (Box) division, $1,000-to-win for the No Box division. Double entries are allowed with $75 to enter for the Box racers and $50 to enter for the No Box division.

Saturday's race is $5,000-to-win for the Box racers and $1,500-to-win in No Box. Entries for Box on Saturday are $100 for Box and $65 for No Box. Racers may also choose to do a three-day entry for $225 for Box and $140 for No Box.

For racers, the overnight parking starts Thursday at noon. Gates open at 10 a.m. all three days with time trials to begin at noon.

MOTOCROSS CHAMPIONS

Madison Hensley raced to three wins and five second-place finishes this season to capture the Women's division championship at the Hot Summer Nights Supercross Series.

The 12-year-old rider was one of three Johnson City racers to win championships after last Saturday's season finale at I-81 Motorsports Park was canceled due to rain.

Alton Clark, 19, won four races, to capture the ATV Novice division crown over runner-up Quentin Wise of Jonesborough. Riley Cash scored two wins in claiming the 65cc Beginner class title.

Izayah Shipley of Gray finished the season with two wins to earn the 85cc Beginner title.

Alex Colley of Norton, Virginia was the most prolific winner with championships in three divisions and a runner-up finish in a fourth. Laken Fields of Church Hill won two championships, while Jake Hillman of Jonesborough was champion in the 51cc 4-6 division and runner-up to Fields in 51cc Open.

Carson Eads of Kingsport also finished with one championship and one runner-up finish, while Cody Goode earned the 65cc 10-11 title.

Brent Cardwell of Johnson City (250D), Matthew Burke of Kingsport, Seth Fields of Church Hill and Zack Doran of Blountville all earned runner-up finishes.

BIG ACTION AT BRISTOL

Minnesota driver Cody Slowinski won a 15-lap feature for the Bandit Big Rig Series at Bristol Motor Speedway last Saturday.

The race was part of the Metro by T-Mobile Halloween Monster Mash, which also featured Monster Truck action with Mike Vaters Jr. from Hagerstown, Maryland, in the Overkill Evolution truck taking the overall title.

Slowinski won under caution after the Mike Morgan-driven truck slammed into the turn-2 wall. Craig Kruckeberg, who won a prior qualifying race over Allen Boles in a photo finish, was runner-up.

Mark Noble, Darren Proffit and Boles rounded out the top five.

The racing season is over at Bristol Motor Speedway and Dragway as the venue is being prepared to host visitors to Speedway in Lights from November 16 through January 5.

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