DirtCar Series News Release
by ROBY HELM
DIRT CAR SERIES MAKES ITS RETURN TO NORTH GEORGIA SPEEDWAY
THIS SATURDAY NIGHT
NC - Dating back to the early 90s, the Hav-A-Tampa Dirt
Racing Series made North Georgia Speedway in Chatsworth,
GA a regular stop. The series, now known as the Xtreme DirtCar
Series, will be returning to the 3/8-mile clay oval this
Saturday night for the first time since 1996 for the Peach
State Dirt Classic 60-lap $10,000-to-win main event.
the past, North Georgia Speedway has been good to both the
touring pros and the local drivers looking to make a name
for themselves in the national spotlight of dirt late model
racing. The track also has been the springboard for several
drivers that have won series events at other tracks, and
other drivers that have become well known on the national
Hickman of Soddy Daisy, TN began the history between the
series and Chatsworth, GA track with a victory on July 19,
1991. The defending and two-time NGS Late Model Champion
John Jones of Ringgold, GA was just as strong at his home
track in 1992 by taking the HAT/XDCS win on August 14.
McPherson of Dalton, GA is an eight-time NGS Late Model
Champion, and defended his home turf by putting a HAT/XDCS
win at the top of his resume on July 16, 1993. After 1993,
the traveling pros had the place figured out.
XDCS Champion Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, TN picked
up one of his 90 XDCS career wins at NGS on July 16, 1994.
The 1998 national championship runner-up, Skip Arp of Georgetown,
TN won the HAT/XDCS event at NGS on July 5, 1995.
1996 XDCS Champion Freddy Smith of Knoxville, TN has had
the most success at NGS in series action, by sweeping the
two series events during his championship season on July
20 and September 14, 1996.
NGS regulars like Rex Richey of Ringgold, GA, Marshall Green
of Dalton, GA, and Bobby Turner of Ballground, GA have also
posted series wins at other tracks during their respective
careers. Richey and Green are former Southern All-Star Regional
McDowell of Rossville, GA, Ronnie Johnson of Chattanooga,
TN, Ray Cook of Brasstown, NC, and Shane Tankersley of Morganton,
GA are well-known on the national level of dirt late model
racing, but they always seem to return to NGS to keep their
racing skills sharp.
the 1999 XDCS Champion and last year's championship runner-up
won two big events at NGS last season. McDowell has gotten
off to a tough start in the 2003 XDCS season, and is currently
12th in points. McDowell will be looking forward to the
familiar site of NGS this Saturday night.
is ranked fifth in all-time XDCS career wins with 19, and
he won the Grant Adcox Memorial Race at NGS last September.
Cook has finished in the top ten of the XDCS point standings
for the last eight seasons, and had three wins last season
who finished second in the series points last season and
was the Lucas Oil Rookie of the Year runner-up, continues
to show improvement, and showed his polished talents at
NGS just a few weeks ago with a NGS win.
top local favorites expected to take on the traveling pros
are several drivers from Murphy, NC. Members of the "Murphy
Mafia" include David Payne, David Killian, Johnny Chastain
and Shawn Chastain. Another expected Peach State drivers
include Shane Clanton of Locust Grove, GA and Ricky Williams
of Fayetteville, GA.
local and regional favorites will be looking to gun down
the best drivers in the country, led by XDCS point leader
Jimmy Mars of Elk Mound, WI. In the first five events on
the 2003 XDCS season, Mars has one win, three top fives,
five top tens and one fast time. Mars holds a slim six-point
lead over Earl Pearson Jr. of Jacksonville, FL.
has one win this season, with two top fives, and four top
tens. Steve Francis of Ashland, KY is third in the XDCS
points chase with three top fives in the first five XDCS
the defending and two-time XDCS Champion Rick Eckert of
York, PA, the first five events of the 2003 season have
been the best of times and the worst of times. The good
times have Eckert with two wins, but the worst of times
has him finishing outside the top ten in the other three
events. Despite the elevator ride, Eckert is fourth in the
Birkhofer of Muscatine, IA has made his championship hopes
known, and is fifth in points, just 83 points behind Mars.
Donnie Moran of Dresden, OH is sixth in points followed
by the 2002 UMP Late Model Champion Terry English of Benton,
won the latest series race, his 90th series career-leading
victory and the 400th overall, on April 13 in Gastonia,
NC. The win vaulted Bloomquist up to the eighth spot in
the series points chase. Bloomquist sees Eckert looming
in the series record books, and his Drive For Five could
keep Eckert from winning a record three straight championships.
Balzano of Parkersburg, WV is ninth in points and Dan Schlieper
of Pewaukee, WI rounds out the top ten. Rob Blair of Titusville,
PA is 11th, just four points outside the top ten, followed
by McDowell, Randy Korte of Highland, IL, Randle Chupp of
Mooresville, NC, Lucas Oil Rookie of the Year point leader
Matt Miller of Waterville, OH.
out the top 20 in XDCS points are Steve Shaver of Parkersburg,
WV, Cook, Rick Aukland of Zanesville, OH, Tankersley and
Smith. In addition to his NGS win earlier this season, Tankersley
was the fourth-quick qualifier and had a ninth-place finish
at the Gastonia, NC XDCS event. Smith has a couple of big
wins in unsanctioned events in the Southeast this season.
schedule of events for Saturday night has the pit gate opening
at 1:30 p.m., the grandstand gate opens and competitor registration
begins at 3 p.m., the drivers meeting will be at 5 p.m.,
with hot laps set for 5:45 p.m., and qualifying scheduled
for 6:30 p.m.
will be a live webcast presented by Autobet.US on the Xtreme
DirtCar Series web site at www.xtremedirtcars.com beginning
at 9:30 p.m.
race day and ticket information call North Georgia Speedway
at (706) 695-3313, or visit their web site at www.northgeorgiaspeedway.net.
North Georgia Speedway is located 5.2 miles south of Alternate
S.R. 52 on S.R. 225, then 3/10-miles west on Raceway Drive,
or exit I-75 at exit 317, then go 13.4 miles north on S.R.