Ray Cook’s Spring Nationals Opens on March 14-15 at Volunteer Speedway in Spring Thaw!

Spring NationalsBy Chris Tilley

BRASSTOWN, NC (March 5, 2014) – The 2nd Annual Ray Cook-promoted Old Man’s Garage Spring Nationals Series presented by Schaeffer’s Oil will open on Friday and Saturday, March 14-15 at Joe and Phyllis Loven’s Volunteer Speedway in Bulls Gap, TN during the track’s 13th edition of the ‘Spring Thaw.’ An open practice session will kick off the weekend on Thursday, March 13.

A busy weekend and opener for the high-banked oval located off Interstate 81 in Bulls Gap, TN will be held in conjunction with the NASCAR Sprint Cup weekend up the road at Bristol Motor Speedway.

The Super Late Models will compete for $4,000 to win / $400 to start on Friday, March 14 and on Saturday, March 15 the Super Late Models will race for $10,000 to win / $600 to start. Dale McDowell, of Chickamauga, GA, is the defending race winner of last year’s running of the Spring Nationals/Spring Thaw event. Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, TN is a four-time winner – with him and McDowell being the only repeat winners of the event. The series entry fee will be $100.00 each night, but if a driver competes on Friday evening then Saturday night’s entry fee will be just $50.00.

Friday’s format includes the traditional Southern Nationals format, while Saturday night everyone will be running heats with no one being locked in after A& B group qualifying.

On Thursday night, March 13 during the open practice session, the gates will open at 4:30 and pit passes are $15.00 per person.

On Friday, March 14, the pit gates will swing open at 3:00 pm with the grandstand gates opening at 6:00 pm. The driver’s meeting is slated for 7:00 pm with hot laps shortly after at around 7:30 pm. Adult general admission is $20.00 with children ages 11-15 admitted for $5.00, while children 10 and under will be admitted FREE. All pit passes will be $30.00. The Crate Late Model class will also be on the racing card on Friday evening.

On Saturday, March 15, the pit gates will swing open at 3:00 pm with the grandstand gates opening at 6:00 pm. The driver’s meeting is slated for 6:15 pm with hot laps shortly after at around 6:45 pm. Adult general admission is $25.00 with children ages 11-15 admitted for $10.00, while children 10 and under will be admitted FREE. All Pit Passes will be $35.00. The Steel Head Late Model division will also be on the racing card for Saturday evening. There will be a driver’s autograph session in the main grandstands on Saturday afternoon at around 5:00 pm and will last for about 45 minutes.

A three-day pit pass (Thursday/Friday/Saturday) will be offered for $70.00, which is a $10.00 savings. The armband must be on for all three days during the event. Further information on the Volunteer Speedway can be obtained by calling the track office at (423) 378-5942 or the track phone at (423) 235-5020 or go online to www.volunteerspeedway.com.

Further information on the Old Man’s Garage Spring Nationals Series by Schaeffer’s Oil can be obtained by logging on to the official series website located at www.southernnationalsseries.com.

Spring Thaw Friday, March 14 Purse (40 Laps): 1) $4,000, 2) $2,000, 3) $1,400, 4) $800, 5) $700, 6) $675, 7) $650, 8) $625, 9) $600, 10) $580, 11) $560, 12) $540, 13) $520, 14) $500, 15) $480, 16) $460, 17) $440, 18) $420, 19) $400, 20) $400, 21) $400, 22) $400. TOTAL $17,550

Spring Thaw Saturday, March 15 Purse (60 Laps): 1) $10,000, 2) $5,000, 3) $2,500, 4) $2,000, 5) $1,500, 6) $1,300, 7) $1,200, 8) $1,100, 9) $1,050, 10) $1,000, 11) $950, 12) $900, 13) $850, 14) $800, 15) $750, 16) $700, 17) $650, 18) $600, 19) $600, 20) $600, 21) $600, 22) $600. TOTAL $35,250

Previous Spring Thaw Winners:
1999-Freddy Smith of Seymour, TN
2000-Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, TN
2001-Scott Sexton of Pigeon Forge, TN
2002-Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, TN
2003-Mother Nature
2004-Brian Birkhofer of Muscatine, IA
2005-Mother Nature
2006-Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, TN
2007-Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, TN
2008-Jimmy Owens of Newport, TN
2009-Mother Nature
2010-Ray Cook of Brasstown, NC
2011-Chris Madden of Gray Court, SC
2012-Dale McDowell of Chickamauga, GA
2013-Dale McDowell of Chickamauga, GA & John Blankenship of Williamson, WV

2014 Old Man’s Garage Spring Nationals Series by Schaeffer’s Oil Schedule:
Fri, March 14-Volunteer Speedway-Bulls Gap, TN-$4,000 to win/$400 start
Sat, March 15-Volunteer Speedway-Bulls Gap, TN-$10,000 to win/$600 to start
Fri, March 28-Tri-County Race Track-Brasstown, NC-$4,000 to win/$400 to start
Sat, March 29-Smoky Mountain Speedway-Maryville, TN-$6,000 to win/$500 to start
Thur, April 17-201 Speedway-Sitka, KY-$4,000 to win/$400 start
Fri, April 18-Ponderosa Speedway-Junction City, KY-$4,000 to win/$400 start
Sat, April 19-Florence Speedway-Union, KY-$5,000 to win/$450 to start
Thur, May 8-Duck River Speedway-Wheel, TN-$4,000 to win/$400 start
Fri, May 9-Boyd’s Speedway-Ringgold, GA-$4,000 to win/$400 start
Sat, May 10-Dixie Speedway-Woodstock, GA-$6,000 to win/$500 start