NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Keepin’ it Short – 60 years of speed outside of Savannah

Racing on Georgia red clay has a long and storied history and a good bit of that was written on a little dirt track in Pooler, Georgia. The Oglethorpe Speedway Park hosted Cup level races in the 50s and still hosts a weekly racing schedule today. In its past Oglethorpe has seen the likes of Lee Petty, Curtis Turner, Fireball Roberts, Junior Johnson and David Pearson compete on its half-mile of red clay. While it is no longer a NASCAR sanctioned track, the facility still hosts Late Model action along with Street Stocks, Mini Stocks, Pure Stocks and 440s.

In 1946, Donald Brewster purchased the land where the speedway currently resides with the plan of constructing a race track. While the facility was under construction Brewster suffered a heart attack and passed away, resulting in the project being put on hold and sitting idle for five years. When 1951 rolled around, Joe Blount acquired the land and all of the assets on it, finishing the project in March of that year and hosting a motorcycle race. In May of ’51 the first stock car event was held, drawing an impressive field which included Johnnie Parsons, the defending Indianapolis 500 champion, who went on to win the race.

Fast forward to 1954 when Oglethorpe hosted its first Grand National (now Sprint Cup) event won by Al Keller. Future Hall of Famer Herb Thomas sat on the pole but broke a right rear hub with three laps to go and ended up finishing tenth. The following year the track ran its second Grand National race with Lee Petty taking home the trophy.

However, the 1960s were a dark time for Oglethorpe because the new Savannah Speedway opened offering asphalt racing to the fans of the area. Blount tried to maintain interest in the track even hosting other events like horse races but it was to no avail. He eventually threw in the towel and closed the doors of the track to weekly racing. In 1976 Blount transferred his least to Curtis Culver and Clem Burnsed to allow them the chance to try and restore interest in the dirt track. Culver passed away later in the year leaving the track in the hands of Burnsed.

The following season Emory Stone took over Culver’s portion of the lease and underwent the arduous task of reasserting Oglethorpe onto the racing scene. Stone’s first effort was a Dirt Track 100 which saw a huge purse for the time of $20,000. The timing couldn’t have been better because dirt track racing was beginning to return to popularity at the time.

1981 saw the purse for the Dirt Track 100 increase to $45,000 and the winner’s share balloon to $10,000. Buck Simmons snagged the checkered flag in that event, one of the richest dirt track races of its time. And just three years later Oglethorpe returned to the NASCAR fold, hosting the Winston Racing Series now known as the Whelen All-American Series. In that first season David Into not only won the track championship he also scored the Regional championship and the National championship. The victories were worth $25,000 for Into. 1988 saw the debut of Enduro racing which has been popular in the area ever since.

The 40th anniversary of Oglethorpe Speedway fell in 1991 and there were many events commemorating the milestone. The speedway was recognized by NASCAR for producing more top 16 national points finishers than any other track. Then, David Into decided to hang up his helmet in 1994 after winning 10 track titles in 11 seasons. The following year Brian Turner took the title in the Late Model division without scoring a single feature win the entire season, a feat that has never been duplicated. 1998 was the first year that Oglethorpe ran the Showdown on the Coast with Chris Usry taking home the trophy.

As the century turned, Kent Strickland became the second driver in the history of the track to win the Late Model championship in back-to-back seasons. 2001 was the 50th anniversary of the track and the Wall of Fame was introduced. The top 20 drivers of all time were honored under a special ceremony during the Showdown on the Coast which saw Tuck Trentham win the race for the second year in a row. The 2003 season was special for Bobby Oglesby who won the Late Model title for the third consecutive year, becoming the first driver since Into to win the title three times at the track. In 2007, OSP decided to drop their NASCAR sanction for the first time in almost 25 years.

This year marks the 60th anniversary for Oglethorpe Speedway Park and Emory Stone continues to guide the track through the trying times of local promotion. The NeSmith Late Models are the feature class for the track and the Showdown on the Coast is still the feature race of the schedule. If you’re in the Savannah area on a Friday night this Summer, head to Pooler, GA and take in some of the best dirt track racing in the Southeast.

Whelen All-American Championship Update

You can’t stay on top forever, at least that is what Jimmie Johnson keeps telling us as he continues to rack up Sprint Cup titles. In the Whelen All-American National Championship it looked like Keith Rocco was poised to make a similar run, but Philip Morris is doing everything he can to prevent that from happening. For the first time in nearly a year and a half, Rocco has been knocked off of the top spot in the national points. Morris continued his domination at South Boston Speedway this past weekend, taking the checkered flag in both 75 lap races on Saturday night. Morris has won nine of the first ten Late Model races at South Boston this season. The track has increased their already announced bounty on Morris to $2,000 for this weekend’s 150 lap feature. Morris is fending off some very strong competition in taking these wins.

C.E. Falk, the winner of last year’s Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown finished third in both races this weekend. Lee Pulliam, who is leading the points race at Motor Mile Speedway and sits third in the national points was second to Morris in both races. Peyton Sellers, a former National Champion raced along with Justin Johnson, a former track champion and Divisional Champion was competing as well. Morris is half way to an 18 win season which, assuming they continue to have the car counts at South Boston, should give him the maximum points possible and another national title. It is still very early in the season but Morris is well on the way to a truly magical season.

Zachary Hausler notched another win this past weekend which makes him the first driver in the Whelen All-American Series to score double digit victories this year. Ryan Preece and Davin Scites crept into the top 10 this week. Natalie Sather deserves a shout out as well, sitting 11th in national points after two strong showings in the South Boston races this weekend.

Whelen All-American National Point Standings Top 10

1) Philip Morris – 12 races – 9 wins – 11 top 5s – 11 top 10s – 449 points
2) Keith Rocco – 15 races – 7 wins – 11 top 5s – 14 top 10s – 447 points
3) Lee Pulliam – 12 races – 6 wins – 10 top 5s – 11 top 10s – 412 points
4) Zachary Hausler – 14 races – 10 wins – 12 top 5s – 14 top 10s – 300 points
5) Brandon Davis – 7 races – 5 wins – 7 top 5s – 7 top 10s – 297 points
6) Frank Deiny, Jr. – 11 races – 0 wins – 6 top 5s – 10 top 10s – 292 points
7) Nate Monteith – 9 races – 5 wins – 8 top 5s – 8 top 10s – 275 points
8) Justin T. Johnson – 10 races – 0 wins – 6 top 5s – 10 top 10s – 270 points
9) Ryan Preece – 10 races – 2 wins – 8 top 5s – 9 top 10s – 262 points
10) Davin Scites – 9 races – 1 win – 7 top 5s – 7 top 10s – 239 points

Under the points structure for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series, the race winner receives two points for every car in the event up to 20. Second place receives two fewer points, and so-on through the field. Race winners receive an additional five bonus points. For example, if there are 20 cars, the winner receives 45 points, second gets 38 and third 36. If there are 15 cars, the winner received 35 points, second gets 28 and third 26. The top 18 races count towards the National Championship for a driver. A perfect season for a driver would be 18 race wins with 20 car fields which equates to 810 points. The first driver to reach 810 points is declared the National Champion in the event of a tie.

This Week’s Race Schedule

Fri : June 3rd – Ocean Speedway ; Watsonville : CA – Taco Bravo Ocean Sprints
Fri : June 3rd – Bubba Raceway Park ; Ocala : FL – United Dirt Late Models
Fri : June 3rd – Oglethorpe Speedway Park ; Savannah : GA – NeSmith Dirt Late Models
Fri : June 3rd – Meridian Motor Speedway ; Meridian : ID – ASA Northwest Sprint Cars
Fri : June 3rd – Fayette County Speedway ; Brownstown : IL – Badger Midgets
Fri : June 3rd – Fayette County Speedway ; Brownstown : IL – POWRI Midgets
Fri : June 3rd – Fayette County Speedway ; Brownstown : IL – POWRI Micro-Sprints
Fri : June 3rd – Grundy County Speedway ; Morris : IL – ASA Midwest
Fri : June 3rd – Anderson Speedway ; Anderson : IN – USSA Midgets
Fri : June 3rd – Belleville High Banks ; Belleville : KS – World of Outlaw Sprint Cars
Fri : June 3rd – Dodge City Raceway Park ; Dodge City : KS – USMTS Modifieds
Fri : June 3rd – Paducah International Raceway ; Paducah : KY – Northern All-Star Late Models
Fri : June 3rd – Seekonk Speedway ; Seekonk : MA – NEMA Lites
Fri : June 3rd – Princeton Speedway ; Princeton : MN – Upper Midwest Sprints
Fri : June 3rd – Callaway Raceways ; Fulton : MO – United Late Models
Fri : June 3rd – Cleveland County Speedway ; Lawndale : NC – NDRA Late Models
Fri : June 3rd – Attica Raceway Park ; Attica : OH – F.A.S.T. Sprint Cars
Fri : June 3rd – Kil-Kare Speedway ; Xenia : OH – Whelen All-American Series
Fri : June 3rd – Canaan Fair Speedway ; Canaan : NH – Sprint Cars of New England
Fri : June 3rd – Beaver County Raceway ; Beaver : OK – Championship Late Models
Fri : June 3rd – Beaver County Raceway ; Beaver : OK – Midwest DIRTcar Late Models
Fri : June 3rd – Brills Motor Speedway ; Meeker : OK – MARS DIRTcars
Fri : June 3rd – Outlaw Motor Speedway ; Wainwright : OK – Sooner Sprint Nationals
Fri : June 3rd – Kawartha Raceway ; Peterborough : ON – OSCAAR Late Models
Fri : June 3rd – Willamette Speedway ; Lebanon : OR – Northwest Wingless Sprint Tour
Fri : June 3rd – Lindas Speedway ; Jonestown : PA – Keystone Legend Car Tour
Fri : June 3rd – Williams Grove Speedway ; Mechanicsburg : PA – URC Sprints
Fri : June 3rd – Autodrome Granby ; Granby : Quebec – Empire Super Sprints
Fri : June 3rd – Anderson Motor Speedway ; Anderson : SC – UARA
Fri : June 3rd – Tazewell Speedway ; Tazewell : TN – Lucas Oil Late Models
Fri : June 3rd – Eastside Speedway ; Waynesboro : TN – Steel Block Bandits
Fri : June 3rd – Manitowoc Expo Raceway ; Manitowoc : WI – Midwest Sprint Cars
Fri : June 3rd – Manitowoc Expo Raceway ; Manitowoc : WI – Wisconsin Dirt Late Models
Fri : June 3rd – Mississippi Thunder Speedway ; Fountain City : WI – Corn Belt Clash Late Models
Fri : June 3rd – Casper Speedway ; Casper : WY – Championship Late Models
Sat : June 4th – Castrol Raceway ; Edmonton : Alberta – NPP Late Models
Sat : June 4th – Flomaton Speedway ; Flomaton : AL – Gulf Coast Mini-Sprints
Sat : June 4th – Montgomery Motor Speedway ; Montgomery : AL – Show-Me-The-Money Late Models
Sat : June 4th – Talladega Short Track ; Talladega : AL – National Vintage Racing
Sat : June 4th – I-30 Speedway ; Benton : AR – Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Car Series
Sat : June 4th – Firebird International Raceway ; Chandler : AZ – National Auto Sport Association
Sat : June 4th – USA Race Park ; Tucson : AZ – ASCS / Southwest Region
Sat : June 4th – Buttonwillow Raceway Park ; Buttonwillow : CA – Vintage Auto Racing
Sat : June 4th – Madera Speedway ; Madera : CA – NCMA Sprints
Sat : June 4th – Santa Maria Speedway ; Santa Maria : CA – 3/4 Midgets
Sat : June 4th – Santa Maria Speedway ; Santa Maria : CA – USAC 360 Sprint Series
Sat : June 4th – Stockton 99 Speedway ; Stockton : CA – SRL Late Models
Sat : June 4th – Colorado National Speedway ; Erie : CO – Englewood Racing
Sat : June 4th – Bubba Raceway Park ; Ocala : FL – United Dirt Late Models
Sat : June 4th – Citrus County Speedway ; Inverness : FL – Florida United Promoters Late Models
Sat : June 4th – Hendry County Motorsports Park ; Clewiston : FL – Top Gun Sprint Cars
Sat : June 4th – Screven Motor Speedway ; Sylvania : GA – NeSmith Dirt Late Models
Sat : June 4th – Toccoa Speedway ; Toccoa : GA – Southeastern Late Model Sportsmen
Sat : June 4th – Meridian Motor Speedway ; Meridian : ID – ASA Northwest Sprint Cars
Sat : June 4th – Stateline Stadium ; Post Falls : ID – ICAR Late Models
Sat : June 4th – Stateline Stadium ; Post Falls : ID – MMRA – Baby Grands
Sat : June 4th – Stateline Stadium ; Post Falls : ID – Northwest Pro 4 Trucks
Sat : June 4th – Chicagoland Speedway ; Joliet : IL – ARCA Late Models
Sat : June 4th – Peoria Speedway ; Peoria : IL – Badger Midget Auto Racing Association
Sat : June 4th – Peoria Speedway ; Peoria : IL – POWRI Midgets
Sat : June 4th – Peoria Speedway ; Peoria : IL – POWRI Micro-Sprints
Sat : June 4th – Anderson Speedway ; Anderson : IN – CRA All-Stars
Sat : June 4th – Lawrenceburg Speedway ; Lawrenceburg : IN – American Mini Sprints
Sat : June 4th – Tri-State Speedway ; Haubstad : IN – Midwest Sprint Cars
Sat : June 4th – Rush County Speedway ; Rushville : IN – Midwest TQ Midgets
Sat : June 4th – Knoxville Raceway ; Knoxville : IA – Lucas Oil Knoxville Championship
Sat : June 4th – Dodge City Raceway Park ; Dodge City : KS – Midwest DIRTcar Late Models
Sat : June 4th – Dodge City Raceway Park ; Dodge City : KS – NCRA/Great Plains Late Models
Sat : June 4th – Dodge City Raceway Park ; Dodge City : KS – USMTS Modifieds
Sat : June 4th – Lakeside Speedway ; Kansas City : KS – World of Outlaw Sprint Cars
Sat : June 4th – Rush County Speedway ; LaCrosse : KS – United Rebel Sprints
Sat : June 4th – Florence Speedway ; Florence : KY – Lucas Oil Late Models
Sat : June 4th – Jones Motor Speedway ; Chatham : LA – SUPR Late Models
Sat : June 4th – Oxford Plains Speedway ; Oxford : ME – American Canadian Tour
Sat : June 4th – Hagerstown Speedway ; Hagerstown : MD – Appalachian Mountain
Sat : June 4th – Seekonk Speedway ; Seekonk : MA – Pro Four Modfieds of New England
Sat : June 4th – Berlin Raceway ; Marne : MI – Must See Racing Xtreme Sprints
Sat : June 4th – Gingerman Raceway ; South Haven : MI – National Auto Sport Association
Sat : June 4th – Kalamazoo Speedway ; Kalamazoo : MI – USA Modifieds
Sat : June 4th – Brainerd Raceway & Resort ; Brainerd : MN – ChumpCar World Series
Sat : June 4th – Jackson Speedway ; Jackson : MN – Jackson Sprint Touring Series
Sat : June 4th – Ogilvie Speedway ; Ogilvie : MN – Upper Midwest Sprints
Sat : June 4th – Magnolina Motor Speedway ; Columbus : MS – Pro Late Models
Sat : June 4th – Central Missouri Speedway ; Warrensburg : MO – United Late Models
Sat : June 4th – I-55 Raceway ; Pevely : MO – Northern All-Star Late Models
Sat : June 4th – Malden Speedway ; Malden : MO – Mid-South Racing
Sat : June 4th – Scotland County Speedway ; Memphis : MO – United Late Models
Sat : June 4th – Petty Raceway ; Moncton : New Brunswick – Parts For Trucks Pro Stocks
Sat : June 4th – 311 Fastrack ; Madison : NC – Carolina Clash Late Model Series
Sat : June 4th – Bowman-Gray Stadium ; Winston-Salem : NC – NASCAR Camping World East Series
Sat : June 4th – Orange County Speedway ; Rougemont : NC – Allison Legacy Series
Sat : June 4th – Orange County Speedway ; Rougemont : NC – CCS Late Models
Sat : June 4th – Orange County Speedway ; Rougemont : NC – PASS Southern Late Models
Sat : June 4th – Canaan Fair Speedway ; Canaan : NH – PASS Modifieds
Sat : June 4th – Monadnock Speedway ; Winchester : NH – New England Trucks
Sat : June 4th – Monadnock Speedway ; Winchester : NH – Senior Tour Auto Racers
Sat : June 4th – Twin State Speedway ; Claremont : NH – New England Antique Racers
Sat : June 4th – Airborne Speedway ; Plattsburg : NY – Race Of Champions Modifieds
Sat : June 4th – Stateline Speedway ; Busti : NY – ULMS – Late Models
Sat : June 4th – Fremont Speedway ; Fremont : OH – F.A.S.T. Sprint Cars
Sat : June 4th – Sandusky Speedway ; Sandusky : OH – Midwest Supermodifieds
Sat : June 4th – Lawton Speedway ; Lawton : OK – ASCS / Sooner Region
Sat : June 4th – Salina Highbanks Speedway ; Salina : OK – MARS DIRTcars
Sat : June 4th – Tri-State Speedway ; Pocola : OK – Show-Me Racin Series
Sat : June 4th – Flamboro Speedway ; Freelton : ON – Canadian Vintage Modifieds
Sat : June 4th – Sunset Speedway ; Banks : OR – DAA Extreme Northwest Crate Late Models
Sat : June 4th – Coos Bay International Speedway ; Coos Bay : OR – Northwest Wingless Sprints
Sat : June 4th – Cottage Grove Speedway ; Cottage Grove : OR – Interstate Sprint Cars
Sat : June 4th – Grandview Speedway ; Bechtelsville : PA – Late Models
Sat : June 4th – Grandview Speedway ; Bechtelsville : PA – Modifieds
Sat : June 4th – Lake Erie Speedway ; Erie : PA – Can-Am TQ Midgets
Sat : June 4th – Port Royal Speedway ; Port Royal : PA – ARDC Midgets
Sat : June 4th – Port Royal Speedway ; Port Royal : PA – USAC National Sprints
Sat : June 4th – Susquehanna Speedway ; Newberrytown : PA – Central Pennsylvania LegendCars
Sat : June 4th – Williams Grove Speedway ; Mechanicsburg : PA – Super Sportsmen
Sat : June 4th – Autodrome Drummond ; Drummondville : Quebec – Empire Super Sprints
Sat : June 4th – Autodrome St-Eustache ; St-Eustache : Quebec – Castrol Late Models
Sat : June 4th – Dakota State Fair Speedway ; Huron : SD – Dart Challenge Late Models
Sat : June 4th – Volunteer Speedway ; Bulls Gap : TN – Unsanctioned Late Models
Sat : June 4th – C C Speedway ; Corpus Christi : TX – Dwarf Car Series of Texas
Sat : June 4th – Cowtown Speedway ; Kennedale : TX – Sprint Series of Texas
Sat : June 4th – MSR Houston ; Angleton : TX – 24 Hours of LeMons
Sat : June 4th – Bear Ridge Speedway ; Bradford : VT – Granite State Mini-Sprints
Sat : June 4th – Natural Bridge Speedway ; Natural Bridge : VA – Steel Block Bandits
Sat : June 4th – Ephrata Raceway Park ; Ephrata : WA – Washington Midgets
Sat : June 4th – Beaver Dam Raceway ; Beaver Dam : WI – Interstate Racing Association
Sat : June 4th – Plymouth Dirt Track ; Plymouth : WI – Midwest Sprintcars
Sat : June 4th – Plymouth Dirt Track ; Plymouth : WI – Wisconsin Dirt Late Models
Sat : June 4th – Summit Point Raceway ; Charles Town : WV – WERA Sportsman Series
Sat : June 4th – Tyler County Speedway ; Middlebourne : WV – Unified Force Race Championship Tour
Sun : June 5th – Firebird Int Raceway ; Chandler : AZ – National Auto Sport Association
Sun : June 5th – Buttonwillow Raceway Park ; Buttonwillow : CA – Vintage Auto Racing
Sun : June 5th – Shepp’s Speedway ; Alexander : IL – Northern All-Star Late Models
Sun : June 5th – Kokomo Speedway ; Kokomo : IN – Midwest Mini-Sprints
Sun : June 5th – Belleville High Banks ; Belleville : KS – United Rebel Sprint Series
Sun : June 5th – Gingerman Raceway ; South Haven : MI – National Auto Sport Association
Sun : June 5th – Kalamazoo Speedway ; Kalamazoo : MI – MCR Dwarf Cars
Sun : June 5th – Brainerd Raceway & Resort ; Brainerd : MN – ChumpCar World Series
Sun : June 5th – Canaan Fair Speedway ; Canaan : NH – Late Models
Sun : June 5th – Millstream Speedway ; Findlay : OH – NRA SprintInvaders
Sun : June 5th – Clinton County Raceway ; Lock Haven : PA – All Star Sprint Cars
Sun : June 5th – Grandview Speedway ; Bechtelsville : PA – NEETS Enduros
Sun : June 5th – Circuit ICAR ; Montreal : Quebec – NASCAR Canadian Tire Late Models
Sun : June 5th – Casino Speedway ; Watertown : SD – Dart Challenge Late Models
Sun : June 5th – MSR Houston ; Angleton : TX – 24 Hours of LeMons
Sun : June 5th – Paris Motor Speedway ; Paris : TX – Southern Modified Promotions
Sun : June 5th – Winchester Speedway ; Winchester : VA – Appalachian Mountain Dirt Late Models
Mon : June 6th – Roaring Knob Motorsports Complex ; Markleysburg : PA – Appalachian Mountain Dirt Late Models
Mon : June 6th – Rosebowl Speedway ; Winona : TX – Southern Modified Promotions
Tue : June 7th – Farley Speedway ; Farley : IA – IMCA Deery Brothers Late Models
Tue : June 7th – Penn Can Speedway ; Susquehanna : PA – Race of Champion Dirt
Modifieds
Tue : June 7th – Williams Grove Speedway ; Mechanicsburg : PA – Appalachian Mountain Dirt Late Models
Tue : June 7th – Husets Speedway ; Brandon : SD – USMTS Modifieds
Tue : June 7th – Outlaw Speedway ; Grand Prairie : TX – Southern Modified Promotions
Wed : June 8th – Gas City I-69 Speedway ; Gas City : IN – USAC National Midgets
Wed : June 8th – Red River Valley Speedway ; Fargo : ND – USMTS Modifieds
Wed : June 8th – Fonda Speedway ; Fonda : NY – All Star Sprint Cars
Wed : June 8th – Eldora Speedway ; Rossburg : OH – The Prelude to the Dream
Wed : June 8th – Lake Country Speedway ; Ardmore : OK – Southern Modified Promotions
Wed : June 8th – Lincoln Speedway ; Hanover : PA – Appalachian Mountain Dirt Late Models
Thu : June 9th – Angola Motor Speedway ; Angola : IN – Stan Perry Memorial
Thu : June 9th – Lincoln Park Speedway ; Putnamville : IN – USAC National Midgets
Thu : June 9th – Port Royal Speedway ; Port Royal : PA – Appalachian Mountain Dirt Late Models
Thu : June 9th – 85 Speedway ; Ennis : TX – Southern Modified Promotions
Thu : June 9th – Wisconsin International Raceway ; Kaukauna : WI – RED Super Late Models

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