SUBJECT: DIRT, ATOMIC SPEEDWAY ORG: Racing Information Systems KNOXVILLE, TN - RIS - This Friday night Atomic Speedway will present a regular weekly show with five weekly racing divisions in action. But according to track officials, what appears...
SUBJECT: DIRT, ATOMIC SPEEDWAY ORG: Racing Information Systems
KNOXVILLE, TN - RIS - This Friday night Atomic Speedway will present a regular weekly show with five weekly racing divisions in action. But according to track officials, what appears to be a regular weekly show can have special appeal to fans and spectators alike.
"I've seen ads for Late Model races in East Tennessee that state a special showing going for a distance of 40 laps and paying $1,500-to-win, but at Atomic Speedway, that's our regular weekly show," Atomic Speedway Co-Promoter Roby Helm said. "On top of that, our Late Models are competing locally for the lions share of the $30,000 Goodyear Tire Point Fund and the $57,000 United Dirt Track Racing Association (UDTRA) point fund."
Helm said the top Late Model drivers in East Tennessee were at Atomic Speedway last Friday night, and expects more in the weeks to come.
"We had drivers like Billy Ogle Jr. of Knoxville and Randy Weaver of Crossville, who won the twin features last week, plus other championship drivers like Kevin Coffey of Friendsville, Terry Shannon of Pilot Mountain, Rick and Sam Williams of Crossville, Patrick Duggan of Lenoir City, Roger Best of Maryville, Jeff Monger of Lenoir City, Dave Bilbrey of Crossville, Tommy Kerr of Rockford, and Brad Coffey of Marysville," Helm said. "Everybody that's anybody who wants to prove themselves in East Tennessee Late Model racing at its best will be racing at Atomic Speedway on Friday nights this season."
According to Helm, Atomic Speedway, and its sister track Crossville Speedway, will be paying more money to weekly competitors during the 1997 racing season than any other track ever has in the past.
"From what people who have been racing in this area for a long time have told me, a season point fund has been unheard of in East Tennessee weekly racing, let alone one of $30,000," Helm said. "Our Goodyear Tire $30,000 point fund is not just for the Late Models, it is for the top ten drivers in all five weekly divisions at Atomic and Crossville Speedways."
The regular Friday night purse at Atomic Speedway for the Late Models, Open Wheel Modifieds, Super Stocks, Pure Minis and Pure Street Bombers are the highest of any other weekly short track in East Tennessee, according to Helm.
"I had a Super Stock driver tell me last week that he could finish fourth in an Atomic Speedway feature and it would be as much as what he won for winning at any other track in this area," Helm said. "Our purse and the point fund money combined make our regular weekly show a special event all in itself."
One of the goals of Atomic Speedway officials set for this season was to create more of a level playing field to induce closer, more economical competition and better action for the fans. Bringing in the new Goodyear Dirt Tire appears to be contributing to reaching that goal.
"All of the racers at Atomic Speedway, from the high dollar Late Models, to the more economical Pure Minis and Pure Street Bombers, have to compete within a set budget," Helm said. "When it comes to the racing tire situation here in the past, and what is going on at other tracks in the area, some guys are on tire deals, in that some competitors pay less for the same tire than others do."
"The competitors that are on tire deals can spend more money in their budget for other things on their race cars, than the guy who is spending more for tires," Helm continued. ""The guy who is not on a tire deal pays the difference for what his competitor is getting his deal tires for. With the Goodyear tire rule at Atomic and Crossville Speedways, there are no tire deals, and every competitor at these two tracks buy the same tire at the same price as everyone else."
Helm said the competition last Friday night at Atomic Speedway was good, and that the drivers seemed happy with the new Goodyear Dirt Tires.
"From what we saw last Friday night, the new tire rule is beginning to work, as some racers who ran in the back last year were running up front, and some of the racers who ran up front last year were running at the back," Helm said. "The drivers also reported virtually no wear at all on the new Goodyears, which means they'll have to spend less this season on tires."
For this Friday night's regular program featuring the Late Models, Open Wheel Modified, Super Stocks, Pure Minis, and Pure Street Bombers the pit gate opens at 4 pm, the front gate opens at 5 pm and racing is scheduled for 7:30 pm.
John (Bubba) Kaiser Racing Information Systems