Oglethrorpe Speedway to open Triple Crown Championship

Lucas Oil Triple Crown Series championship ready to kick off Speedweeks 2003. Savannah's Oglethorpe Speedway Park Set to Open 3-Race Big Money Weekend on January 31st - Saturday and Sunday Events to Follow in Waycross & Brunswick,...

Lucas Oil Triple Crown Series championship ready to kick off Speedweeks 2003.

Savannah's Oglethorpe Speedway Park Set to Open 3-Race Big Money Weekend on January 31st - Saturday and Sunday Events to Follow in Waycross & Brunswick, GA

(Savannah, GA - January 16, 2003) Major national stock car racing competition returns to the Georgia coast on January 31st for the start of the 2nd Annual Lucas Oil Products sponsored "Triple Crown Late Model Championship." The three straight nights of big league high-speed drama will bring the best dirt late model pilots in the country to the Coastal Georgia region to battle on three different tracks aiming to hit pay dirt for a possible $22,000 jackpot. The 2003 Lucas Oil Triple Crown Championship is the first racing action of the season for the annual trek of competitors and fans making their way to Florida and SpeedWeeks 2003.

Famed Savannah Race Track Opens SpeedWeeks 2003 with Friday, January 31st Main Event

Each of the three hosting race tracks Oglethorpe Speedway Park (Savannah, GA), Waycross Motor Speedway (Waycross, GA) and Golden Isles Speedway (Brunswick, GA) are well known for their extreme speeds and they each have storied histories of stock car racing throughout the past half-century. The special weekend of racing entertainment will get started at Oglethorpe Speedway Park when the green flag falls on this year's SpeedWeeks action on Friday, January 31st in a 40 lap $5,000 to win rumble on the coast at the 5/8-mile clay oval in Savannah, GA. Following the Friday night opener in Savannah, the Lucas Oil Triple Crown Championship Series travels to Waycross Motor Speedway for another 40-lap $5,000 to win main event on Saturday night, February 1st. The final event of the trifecta will take place on Sunday afternoon at Brunswick's Golden Isles Speedway with a special 60-lap $10,000 feature event on Sunday, February 2nd.

As an added bonus Lucas Oil Products will present the driver with the highest average finish over the three-day affair with an extra $2,000. Jimmy Mars of Elk Mound, WI claimed the honor last year. This year's lineup of marquis short-track drivers will provide race fans with America's best talent on dirt and will include 1996 Hav-A-Tampa Dirt Racing Series (HAT) National Champion and 5-time Dirt Track World Champion (DTWC) Freddy Smith, 1997 HAT National Champion and 5-time 'World 100' Champion Billy Moyer, former Southern All-Stars (SAS) Champions Ronnie Johnson and Clint Smith. Moyer picked up a huge win at Oglethorpe Speedway in Savannah in front of a national television audience with a HAT tour victory in 1997 while Freddy Smith has been strong at all three tracks over his stellar career, including a winning streak spanning 3 straight years, in SAS and UDTRA action at Brunswick's Golden Isles Speedway. Johnson has been historically strong at all three tracks and the former 2-time DTWC is a former HAT winner at Golden Isles Speedway. Four-time Hav-A-Tampa National Champion and the 2002 UMP SummerNationals Champion, Scott Bloomquist will be in action in Georgia for the final two of the three nights of racing affair beginning with the Saturday night action in Waycross. Bloomquist is a pervious winner at each of the three lightning speedways during his career. 1997 Hav-A-Tampa Dirt Racing Series Rookie of the Year Earl Pearson Jr. cut his racing teeth at the Georgia tracks with numerous wins coming at all three including his first career HAT win at Waycross Motor Speedway. Tennessee hot shoe Skip Arp is yet another of the fiercest competitors in the world of American short-track racing and will also be in action. Arp is a previous winner at Golden Isles Speedway with a HAT national victory in 1996.

Other drivers who will be on hand to contend for the three nights of all-star racing at Savannah, Waycross and Brunswick will be legendary racer and former 'World 100' Champion Mike Duvall (Cowpens, SC); former "Show-Me 100" winner Ray Cook of Brasstown, NC; former STARS champions Mike Balzano and veteran Steve Shaver each of Parkersburg, WV; former Hav-A-Tampa Rookie of the Year Dan Schlieper (Milwaukee, WI); National Late Model Sportsman champs Ivedent Lloyd (Ocala, FL) and Skip Pannell (Albany, GA); former Southeastern Dirt Late Model Champion Chris Madden (Gray Court, SC), Savannah veteran Leland Prewitt, Blackshear, GA native and former HAT winner Mike Carter, David Smith (Inman, SC), Mike Mishoe (Nahunta, GA) as well as Illinois standout Randy Korte (Highland, IL) and many more nationally recognized short-track warriors. A long list of other notable nationally ranked racers have made their intentions to race in the event known, among them are former Million Dollar event winner and 3-time STARS Champion Donnie Moran (Dresden, OH); former UDTRA & Southern All-Stars Champion Dale McDowell (Chickamauga, GA); former Hav-A-Tampa Shootout Champion Wendell Wallace (Batesville, AR) and many more of America's most exciting short-trackers. In the most recent major event at Golden Isles Speedway 78 competitors from across the nation were on hand to battle for the coveted 24 starting spots for the event.

In fact, dependent upon their busy travel and racing schedules several NASCAR Winston Cup Superstars have also indicated their intentions of participating in one or more of the special Lucas Oil Products sponsored Triple Crown Late Model Championship so don't be surprised who might show up to take the green flag in the trio of races.

These three Georgia tracks are very rich in racing history with all three holding special significant aspects in not only Georgia motorsports but also the overall stock car racing arena. Drivers such as the late, legendary Tiny Lund as well as some of the south's all-time win leaders - Red Farmer, Buck Simmons, Rance Phillips and Bobby Allison have enjoyed their individual heydays at the Georgia race tracks. Several racers from outside of the region and relatively unfamiliar with 130 mph plus speeds have expressed reservations for the high-speeds of the 2300 pound, 750 horsepowered super late models; but there will be "No Fear" shown by the tested veterans and newcomers who will flock into the Coastal Georgia speedplants for the three straight days of competitive stock car action.

Oglethorpe Speedway Park has a well-documented history including the fact that the first stock car event ever held at the Savannah, GA speedway in 1951 was won by 1950 Indianapolis 500 Champion Johnny Parsons. As years and laps rolled by past NASCAR champions, Ned Jarrett, Glenn "Fireball" Roberts, David Pearson, Joe Weatherly, Buck Baker, Speedy Thompson and Lee Petty have all competed at Oglethorpe Speedway Park in Savannah. In later years Oglethorpe Speedway Park became the first dirt track in the nation to sign on the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series. The sanctioning body saw a regular competitor of Oglethorpe Speedway Park earn the NASCAR National Weekly Racing Series' inaugural Championship when David Into captured the crown competing week-to-week at the Savannah, GA oval. Fans are treated to high-rise stadium seating at Oglethorpe Speedway Park and VIP Suite accommodations are available. More recently Waycross Motor Speedway has recently made facility improvements by adding and upgrading the grandstands to better accommodate the fans and providing great racing entertainment by virtue of its speedy half-mile oval. Golden Isles Speedway is, well let's just say FAST, really fast as average lap speeds reach over 130 mph at the 5/8's mile D-Shaped oval with drivers attaining top speeds of over 150 mph down the back chute.

More recently major event winners at these three tracks include: Freddy Smith, Scott Bloomquist, Billy Moyer, Skip Arp, David Into, Jack Pennington, Earl Pearson Jr., Clint Smith, Chris Madden, Jack Pennington, Mickey Gibbs, Wade Knowles, Mike Carter, Cecil Eunice, Buddy Geiger, Jack Nolan, Leland Prewitt, Ivedent Lloyd, Skip Pannell, Wayne Shuggart, Frank Brantley, Cecil Eunice, Charles Powell, Robert Powell, Robert Elliott, Hal McGraw, Ricky Brant, Donnie Bazemore, Brian Turner, Kent Strickland and Bobby Oglesby.

Aside from the Super Dirt Late Model racing UMP Open Wheel Modifieds will be in action all three nights with each event paying the winner $1,000, plus support division racing each night in the Pure Stock, SuperStreet and Mini Stock classes with overall best average finisher in each division earning bonus money.

Although the first event at Oglethorpe Speedway Park will take the green flag on Friday night January 31st, the Savannah oval will be holding an open practice session on Thursday, January 30th from 6:30pm-9: 30pm. Pits open at 3:00pm and pit passes are $12.00.

JANUARY 31st -- FRIDAY at Oglethorpe Speedway Park (Savannah, GA):

Grandstand Gates open @ 3:30 pm - $20.00 (Kids 7-12 $5.00 / Kids 6 & Under are FREE)

Infield tickets - $25.00

Pit Gates open @ Noon - $30.00

Directions: Take U.S. Hwy 80 Exit off of I-95 and go 2 ½ miles East. Turn Right onto Dublin Road just past the Caterpillar dealership. Cross the railroad tracks and bear Right onto Jesup Road to the track.

It is approximately 120 Miles FROM Oglethorpe Speedway Park TO Waycross Motor Speedway

Take I-95 South to U.S. Hwy 82 West (Just South of Brunswick and continue West to Waycross)

ALTERNATE ROUTE -- Take Hinesville Exit off of I-95 South (just past Richmond Hill) to Hinesville thru Jesup to Waycross

FEBRUARY 1st -- SATURDAY at Waycross Motor Speedway (Waycross, GA):

Grandstand Gates open @ 3:30 pm - $20.00 (Kids 7-12 $5.00 / Kids 6 & Under are FREE)

Pit Gates open @ Noon - $35.00

Time-Trial Qualifications @ 6:00 p.m.

Racing @ 7:00 p.m.

Directions: Track located 1 mile East of U.S. Hwy 1 on north side of railroad tracks in town (Waycross).

It is approximately 30 Miles FROM Waycross Motor Speedway TO Golden Isles Speedway

Take U.S. Hwy 82 East toward Brunswick. Track will be on your left at Glynn/Brantley County line

FEBRUARY 2nd -- SUNDAY at Golden Isles Speedway (Brunswick, GA):

Pit Gates open @ 9:00 a.m. - $35.00

Grandstand Gates open @ Noon - $25.00 (Kids 7-12 $5.00 / Kids 6 & Under are FREE)

Time-Trial Qualifications @ 1:00 p.m.

Racing @ 3:00 p.m.

Directions: From I-95 Go 12 miles West on U.S. Hwy 82 & Golden Isles Spdwy will be on your Right.

-vlc-

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Stock car
Drivers Scott Bloomquist , Freddy Smith , Donnie Moran , Jimmy Mars , Ned Jarrett , Bobby Allison , Johnny Parsons , David Smith , Red Farmer , David Pearson , Lee Petty , Tiny Lund