Tennessee Memorial coming to Speedway
by Special to the Banner
May 12, 2013 | 505 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Cleveland Speedway is gearing up for the 36th annual Tennessee Memorial Race coming up Saturday, May 1. The event will pay $4,000 to win and $300 to start for Southern All-Stars sanctioned Super Late Models race. Scheduled a full week prior to Memorial Day weekend, race teams and fans have time to prepare for this big event as drivers from around the region are expected to converge on the 1/3-mile clay banked dirt track oval.

This year the Alhambra Shrine will be joining the festivities during the Tennessee Memorial event with a special blood drive and bone marrow testing site. The Shriners will be selling the single blister-pack Hot-Wheels/Match-Box donations for kids in local area hospitals. The goal is a “Drive for 500” new cars to be collected during the event. Shriners from Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina will be joining our local Tennessee charter at the event and are presenting awards to the night’s three fast qualifiers in S.A.S, Steel-head LLM and Crate.

This event has seen its fair share of exciting finishes among some of the sport’s elite stars. Three-time and reigning S.A.S Champion Randy Weave has been on a Cleveland Speedway hot streak winning every Super Late Model event since November’s Gobbler last season. Defending race winner of the Tennessee Memorial event is 30-plus year veteran Skip Arp, of Georgetown. It was Arp who last challenged Weaver in a SLM duel at Cleveland in an April showdown of GRT type race cars.

Other recent winners include Jimmy Owens, Shane Clanton, Jonathan Davenport, Dale McDowell and Clint Smith. A host of local, regional and national competitors are expected to once again embark on the Willkomm family owned facility for this very special event designed to honor the nation’s veterans and fallen heroes in advance of Memorial Day coming up at the end of the month.

Drivers expected to appear include series current points leader Riley Hickman as well as S.A.S frequent contenders William Thomas, Billy Ogle Jr., David Payne, Mike Weeks, Mark Rosner, Hunter Peacock, Brett Holmes, Jason Heitt, Mark Vineyard and Bo Shirley.

Of those S.A.S regulars battles with the likes of regulars such as Shane Clanton, Jonathan Davenport and Clint Smith who are all off their respective tours. Regional SLM racers like David Payne, Derek Ellis, Ray Cook and Steve Casebolt are all likely contenders as well for the Tennessee Memorial title.

All local divisions will see action to include the Steel-Head LLM’s, Crate LM’s A&B-Hobby, Pony and Front Wheel Drives. Prices are $30 for the pits and $15 for the grandstands, with reserved seats available for an additional $3. Tickets go on sale Sunday by phone order at 423-280-1771. Pit gates will open at 2 p.m. with the drivers meeting set for around 6:45. Hot laps will begin the program just prior to invocation and the National Anthem that will kick start the night’s competition with the Shriners. Additional information is on the track website at www.CleveandSpeedway.com the series website at www.SASdirt.com.