Dixie able to avoid wrath of tornadoes
by Emily Horos
ehoros@cherokeetribune.com
June 15, 2013 04:37 PM | 730 views | 0 0 comments | 32 32 recommendations | email to a friend | print
While Cherokee County was hit with a pair of tornadoes Thursday night, the owners of Dixie Speedway breathed a sigh of relief as the storm avoided the Woodstock dirt track.

Mia Green, whose father, Mickey Swims, owns the track, said Dixie has had a history of being in the path of the storms that descend on Cherokee County.

“Usually, it will get us, but, thank goodness, it didn’t this time,” Green said. “I haven’t watched the news to see what side got hit, but I know it wasn’t us. It wasn’t too bad at all on this side”

In September 2011 a tornado ripped through Woodstock and caused more than $300,000 worth of damage at Dixie. At the time, it was estimated that nearly 2,000 feet of the fencing that surrounds the grandstands was mangled, while the concession stand, restrooms and ticket stand were all damaged. Employees and volunteers descended upon the track in the following few days and had the track ready for racing less than a week after the tornado struck.

With the track void of damage this time around, Green said there’s no reason for racing not to take place as scheduled tonight. There will be a full racing program, plus the Cruiser Championship. Green said the cruisers are a crowd favorite, as most of the cars are usually driven by two operators — one on the pedals, the other steering.

“We have allowed them to have one driver, but many of them still have the two drivers,” Green said. “The street cruiser championship will be a big deal for those drivers. On the regular Saturday night program, people always look forward to seeing them because they are just wild with two people in them.”

In the past week, spectator racing at Dixie has created some online buzz.

“That’s where the people in the stands can race their own personal cars,” Green said. “It’s strictly night by night. We announce for whoever wants to participate in spectator racing to come on down and they take their personal car.”

The vehicles compete in one-lap drag races until a winner is crowded.

Green said that a video of a crash at the June 8 race had more than 8,000 hits on YouTube within three days.

“It’s crazy,” Green said. “We have had wrecks, and that’s what happened that night. This truck put this car into the wall. It’s their personal car, and it just got ugly. You never know what is going to happen.”

Grandstand admission is just $10 for adults, and the gates will open at 5 p.m. Tailgating, normally $17 per person, will be discounted by $5 for fans who arrive from 5-6 p.m.
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