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Blue-Gray race set for run at Cherokee Speedway today

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Race draws LMS drivers

By Michael Knight

 

   

The Southern All-Stars East Super Late Model Series will bring another exciting racing season to a close today with the running of the 20th annual Blue-Gray 100.

The Blue-Gray race started as a season-ending championship race with the best drivers competing in a classic North vs. South speedway showdown.

Previous winners of the Blue-Gray 100 include Donnie Moran, Scott Bloomquist, the “Southern Gentleman” Freddy Smith, Donnie Clint Smith, Petey Ivey and Chris Madden.

Several of those drivers are familiar to fans who attend races at Lancaster Motor Speedway.

No one is looking forward to this race more than Georgia’s Casey Roberts, who could very well become the first-ever, four-time East Series Champion after winning the 2007, 2008 and 2009 honors. This year’s points championship will earn the winner a $10,000 prize.

If Roberts takes home the championship followed by the race win this afternoon, he would take $20,000 back home to Georgia.

If he can hold off the nation’s top drivers for a grueling 100-lap finale, that is.

Traditionally, this season-ending event brings out the ‘who’s who’ of dirt Late Model racing and this year promises to be no different.

Last year’s race drew 35 cars with Georgia’s Dale McDowell grabbing the win over Dennis Erb Jr. of Illinois, Jimmy Owens, Jonathan Davenport and Chris Ferguson.

These top five drivers are hoping to be on hand with the exception of last year’s winner McDowell, who is done for the season.

With the stage set for a classic BG 100 rematch, a new winner will take home the crown and gain the status as one of the elite Blue Gray 100 legends.

Other drivers with this race on their schedule include Clint Smith, Steve Shaver, Chris Madden, “Rambo” Franklin, Freddy Smith and Ricky Weeks. The top 15 in the SAS East points chase are also expected with first place in points still up for grabs between Casey Roberts and Johnny Pursley, a driver familiar to LMS fans.

The finale today features an entire Southern All-Stars East Late Model show with qualifying, heat races and the 100-lap main event.

Support divisions running main events only will be City Chevrolet Crate Late Models, Crate Sportsman, Stock 4 and Young Guns.

Gates open at 11 a.m., with the drivers meeting at 1 p.m.

Racing begins at 2 p.m. at Cherokee Speedway, which is located off I-85 exit 96 in Gaffney. The track phone is (864) 489-1969. More info can be found online at http://www.cherokee-speedway.com & http://www.trackforums.com.

The top 10 in the SAS East points: 1) Casey Roberts 874, 2) Johnny Pursley 830, 3) Mike Gault 746, 4) Zach Mitchell 742, 5) Ross Bailes 726 6) Jim Ramsey 726, 7) Chris Ferguson 672,  8) Travis Leake 666, 9) Jeff Smith 658, 10) Johnny Pursley 636.