Across Tennessee and Georgia, racing kicked back into gear Saturday as a plethora of tracks reopened post the COVID19 pandemic crisis shutdown of over 100 days worldwide.
Early Saturday morning, Kyle Courtney (# 171) of Knoxville picked up his first major win of 2020 at Volunteer Speedway in upper East Tennessee. The race started Friday night but Mother Nature intervened and forced officials to race into the early morning hours at the Bulls Gap high-banked dirt oval near Bristol.
Saturday night was pack full of action all across the South.
Brandon Overton (# 76) of Evans, Ga., picked up the $6,000 Super Late Model victory at Normal Park's Needmore Speedway.
Chickamauga's Dale McDowell (# 17M) cruised to his second Southern All-Star victory of the season at Atwood at Thunderhill Raceway Park. McDowell reminisced about the late BJ Parker and Lynn Acklin (who passed earlier this year) that started the series back in the 1980's. McDowell leads the SAS points after two events in 2020.
Closer to home, the new Mountain View Raceway in Spring City near Dayton got racing with their grand opener. The Sportsman Late Model special event drew 29 competitors with Wartburg's Zach Shannon (# Z1) writing his name on the $1,000 winner's check. At Maryville's Smoky Mountain Speedway Cory Hedgecock nearly swept both A-main special events, but Crossville superstar Randy "The Dream" Weaver relegated Hedgecock to runner-up in the Crate $3,000 race. Hedgecock did pick up the $3,000 Topless Late Model victory. Andy Pickelsimer (# 1) of Ooltewah won the I-75 Raceway Season Opener Late Model feature Saturday night.
Suspended NASCAR racer Kyle Larson (# 57) completed his comeback by taking the World of Outlaws Sprint Car finale at Ken Schrader's I-55 Federated Auto Parts Speedway Saturday night in Pevely, Missouri.
Sunday and Monday nights (this holiday weekend), Tennessee plays host to two more races as Tazewell (TN) Speedway welcomes in the UCRA 604/Crates, Sunday night and Monday night the 411 Motor Speedway near Gatlinburg welcomes race fans to the annual Scott Sexton Memorial $10,052-to-Win SLM 52 lap showdown, memorializing the late East Tennessee racer. Also live SLM races pick up down in Tampa, Fla., Monday as the Lucas Oil Dirt Late Model series begins another three race swing through Wednesday.
Next weekend races kick back off in Alabama with Fort Payne Motor Speedway hosting the Season Opener Saturday at 7 p.m. CST just outside of Chattanooga down I-59.