COCHRAN, Ga. – Cochran Motor Speedway’s Gobbler 100 is getting a facelift.
The 2019 edition of the annual race is set for Thanksgiving weekend, Nov. 28-30, and for the first time ever, the event will see the dirt super late model division take center stage.
Friday’s feature will pay $5,000 to the winner, while Saturday night’s finale will post a whopping $15,000 winner’s check.
“We’ve had the Gobbler 100 the past few years with the National Dirt Late Model Series, but we decided this year that we would change things up a bit and have super late models as the headline division,” noted track owner Chris Martin. “We’re hoping to take this race and build it into a premier event over the next few years.”
Martin, who owns a Georgia contracting company, took ownership of the three-eighths-mile, red clay oval in 2013. Since then, he’s made countless improvements to the facility, including new lighting, a new sound system, new restrooms, and new bleachers.
“Back in 2013, when I bought the place, I saw a ton of potential,” Martin said. “Over the past six years we’ve progressively updated the facility to get it to where it needed to be to host major events.
“We’ve hosted races for the World of Outlaws Late Model Series and Ray Cook’s Spring Nationals already this year, and we received a ton of positive feedback from the drivers,” he added. “We also had a great deal of fan support, and that showed me that fans in this area are hungry for more super late model events.”
While super late models will headline the program, there will be added money for Bombers, Pure Stocks, 602 Late Models and Crate Late Models.
The 2019 edition of the Gobbler 100 comes to life with an Open Practice Session on Thursday, Nov. 28. On Friday, Nov. 29 support divisions will contest qualifications and heat races, while the super late models battle in a complete, $5,000-to-win program.
The weekend culminates on Saturday night, Nov. 30. The action is headlined by a $15,000-to-win super late model program. Crate late models will make their lone appearance of the weekend as they take part in a full program. The other support divisions will compete in their consolation events and feature events.
While Martin has had countless offers from super late model tours that would like to sanction the event, he plans to keep it unsanctioned.
“I want to keep the event unsanctioned to make it unique,” Martin said. “I’ve already had a lot of interest from national, regional, and local drivers. I think this will be a really fun and really eclectic field. It’s my hope that we can get a lot of fan and racer support, so that we can grow this event for year to come.”
Sponsors have already begun to come on board for the event, including Last Air and Electrical, Sunoco Race Fuels and Durrence Layne Chevrolet of Claxton, Ga.
More event details, including rules, payouts, etc, will be released in the coming weeks.