White Lightning- Dirt Track Racing
The lore of moonshine runners and fast cars plays out on dirt tracks across the 9 Lakes region on most summer weekend nights. Dirt Track Racing originated in the United States gaining popularity in the early 1920s, and spread internationally by 1930. Dirt tracks are short ovals and surfaced with clay and dirt. A precursor to NASCAR, dirt track racing was dominated by stock cars in the South. There are many classes of racing with most tracks hosting two types of racing in their programs, open wheel cars and full- bodied (stock) cars. Some tracks also host motorcycle series and special youth races.
Check out these local dirt tracks this summer for a family friendly, action packed evening under the lights:
Tazewell Speedway billed as the “world’s fastest” 1/3 mile dirt track, a fitting appellation for a track located nearby to “Thunder Road” Known for its high banks and tight racing, the speedways hosts races for 6 class divisions. Special events include the World of Outlaws Late Model Series, Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, and the Southern Nationals. Gates open at 5pm. After a day playing on Norris Lake, join the fun under the lights for an evening of racing.
Wartburg Speedway is a ¼ mile dirt track located nearby to Obed Wild, Scenic River recreation area and Frozen Head State Park. The track hosts races for 8 class divisions of vehicles, including late models, AWD, and mod-lites. Gates open at 4PM. Check weekly for racing divisions and special events. Other area attractions include Brushy Mountain Distillery and Windrock Park.
I-75 Raceway in Sweetwater races 5 class divisions on their 3/8 mile semi-banked clay oval. If you have never been to a dirt track, a race of 20 laps can be completed in 5 minutes. Each race is preceded by race heats, so the action is continuous. Gates open at 5PM. Spend a day exploring the quiet splendor of the Lost Sea Adventure and an evening with the roar of engines.
Dirt track racing continues to draw competitors and spectators. Grandstand seating, pit passes, and the opportunity to meet with drivers are all part of the fun. The heritage of East Tennessee is well known for its legacy of car racing and moonshine, so join in on the next generation of “legends in the making.”