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Topic: Winchester(TN) Speedway's new owners - - -
Dirt Full Roller
Total posts: 49
posted February 09, 2003 08:48 AM
Historic Speedway under new ownership
Tim and Jana Smith of Huntland, Tennessee purchased Winchester Speedway in January and have embarked on a major overhaul of speedway facilities and an ambitious racing schedule for the 2003 racing season.
While both Tim and Jana already had careers that kept them fully occupied (Tim is the proprietor of Smith’s Backhoe Service in Winchester while wife Jana is a school teacher in New Market, Alabama) they now have the task of running a speedway with a racing schedule that stretches from February to October.
The Smith’s have scheduled the biggest race held at the speedway in the last five years with the first annual "WinterFest 2003" on Saturday, February 15th. With less than six weeks between taking over the reigns at the speedway and the first event sixteen hour days have recently become the norm for the new owners.
Tim has already embarked on remodeling the main grandstand concessions building and construction of a new pit area concession stand and restroom facilities. Not only will the concessions have a new look come February 15th, but Tim is installing new race car scales, an ultra modern lighting system and a new sponsorship agreement with Coca Cola that will include an electronic scoreboard sponsored by Coca Cola. The lighting system and scoreboard are scheduled to be in place by the March 29 regular season opener.
Specal events and "Big Shows" have not been part of the speedway’s curriculum the last several seasons but the Smith’s intend to change that with not only the first ever WinterFest on February 15th but a Big 10 series schedule that in conjunction with another midstate speedway will see race and point fund payouts exceeding $100,000 for the Late Model division!
In years past Winchester Speedway hosted some of the biggest short track races in the south. The 1985 Rebel 100 saw Freddy Smith of Kings Mountain, North Carolina take home the lions share of the largest purse to that point in time in the tracks history while 1986 saw the first ever STARS (Short Track Auto Racing Series) sanctioned race south of the Mason-Dixon line. That North-South 100 was won by the legendary Larry Moore of Dayton, Ohio. Busch Grand National and Winston Cup racer Jeff Purvis has three Rebel 100 victories with Hav-A-Tampa National champion Dale McDowell also garnering one of the prestigious 100’s. Other "National" stars winning special events at Winchester have included, but limited to: Ronnie Johnson, **** Potts (Indiana), Billy Moyer, Scott Bloomquist, Mike Head, Ray Godsey and Wayne Brooks (Arkansas).
Major shows and traveling drivers have been scarce at Winchester the past several years but that should change and very soon.
The February 15th WinterFest has already drawn regional and national interest with drivers from six states already planning on attending and just this week, Allen Brown from Michigan called to say he and his wife were planning on attending the "WinterFest 2003" this coming Saturday. Allen is the publisher of the National Speedway directory and national host for the racing promoters RPM workshop in Florida.
When Tim Smith took over the ownership at Winchester he stated that his goal was to provide fans a place to go to see great racing that was officiated without bias, provide a friendly family atmosphere and the best food available at any racetrack around. The 2003 racing schedule and staff are in place to provide the aforementioned services and Tim and Jana Smith are looking forward to greeting the fans and racers alike to a newly renovated Winchester Speedway. The Smith’s would like invite everyone to come on out in 2003 and witness a "Rock ‘em Sock ‘em sideways travelin’ dirt show". The type of action that only short track dirt racing can provide.