Times Staff Report
December 27, 2012
BRASSTOWN, NC - A week after the 2013 Schaeffer Oil Southern Nationals Series schedule was released, a schedule which includes 10 dates at as many different facilities in a two week stretch during the month of July, Ray Cook has announced that he will be spearheading a new mini-series starting in March of 2013. Dubbed the Spring Nationals, the new tour will be an offshoot from the popular Schaeffer Oil Southern Nationals Series, but instead of running on consecutive nights, the Spring Nationals will be held during the course of four different weekends. The new mini-series will make a stop at 201 Speedway during its inaugural campaign.
The inaugural event of Ray Cook’s Spring Nationals will be the annual running of the ‘Spring Thaw’ at the ultra-fast Volunteer Speedway in Bulls Gap, Tennessee on March 15-16. The two-day extravaganza at the 4/10-mile facility will pay $4,000 to the winner on Friday night, while Saturday’s finale boasts a hefty $10,000 top prize. Dale McDowell, of Chickamauga, Georgia, picked up the win in the 2012 edition of the ‘Spring Thaw,’ which was unsanctioned.
After a few weekends off, the month of April will be a busy one, as the tour winds through North Carolina, Tennessee and Kentucky. An April 12-13 doubleheader will take the cars and stars of the series to the Tri-County Race Track in Brasstown, North Carolina for a $4,000 to win show on Friday and the Smoky Mountain Speedway in Maryville, Tenn. for a $6,000-to-win event on Saturday. The month of April will then conclude with races set for April 18-20 at 201 Speedway ($4,000), Ponderosa Speedway in Junction City ($5,000), and Cleveland Speedway in Tennessee ($5,000).
The 10-race Spring Nationals tour will then wrap up with another tripleheader weekend on May 9-11 in the states of Tennessee and Georgia. The Duck River Raceway Park in Wheel, Tenn. ($4,000), Boyd’s Speedway in Ringgold, Ga. ($4,000), and Dixie Speedway in Woodstock, Ga. ($6,000) will close out the inaugural season. Following the completion of the series finale at Dixie Speedway on Saturday, May 11, Cook will pay the same point fund that he uses with the Schaeffer Oil Southern Nationals Series, which features a $5,353 top prize to the Champion.
“There was a lot of interest from both the drivers and the racetracks to put together another mini-series type of deal,” Cook said. “The Spring Nationals was put together with the idea that there are a group of drivers in the Southeast that don’t follow a national series or even a regional tour full-time. This gives them an avenue to run for some point fund money and only dedicate four weekends to the series. I know in my own experience in racing, I would love to get a point fund check in May that would help my team heading into the busy summer months. There has been a lot of excitement about the Spring Nationals with everyone I have shared the idea with, so hopefully this thing takes off like the Southern Nationals did and we can provide some more great racing for the fans in the Southeast!”
2013 SPRING NATIONALS SCHEDULE:
March 15 – Volunteer Speedway (Bulls Gap, Tenn.) – $4,000-to-win
March 16 – Volunteer Speedway (Bulls Gap, Tenn.) – $10,000-to-win
April 12 – Tri-County Race Track (Brasstown, N.C.) – $4,000-to-win
April 13 – Smoky Mountain Speedway (Maryville, Tennessee) – $6,000-to-win
April 18 – 201 Speedway (Sitka) – $4,000-to-win
April 19 – Ponderosa Speedway (Junction City) – $5,000-to-win
April 20 – Cleveland Speedway (Cleveland, Tenn.) – $5,000-to-win
May 9 – Duck River Raceway Park (Wheel, Tenn.) – $4,000-to-win
May 10 – Boyd’s Speedway (Ringgold, Georgia) – $4,000-to-win
May 11 – Dixie Speedway (Woodstock, Georgia) – $6,000-to-win
Point Fund: 1. $5,353, 2. $3,253, 3. $2,553, 4. $2,053, 5. $1,553, 6. $1,053…$553 will also be awarded to each driver that attends all of the series events and does not finish in the top six in the point standings. The point fund is based on at least seven completed events.