With the racing world paused amid the COVID-19 outbreak, SPEED SPORT is highlighting race tracks around the United States. This is part of that ongoing series.
Track of the Day: Smoky Mountain Speedway
Address: 809 Brick Mill Rd., Maryville, TN 37801
History: Smoky Mountain Speedway has a history of racing dating back to 1962, when the track first opened to spectators.
Originally a half-mile dirt track, the track was a half-mile paved oval during the 1970s and ’80s before eventually being transitioned to a four-tenths-mile clay oval.
Shortly after opening, the stars and cars of the NASCAR Cup Series invaded the track. From 1965 to 1971 NASCAR visited the track a dozen times, with Dick Hutcherson, David Pearson, Paul Lewis, Richard Petty and Bobby Isaac each scoring wins. Petty won six times at Smoky Mountain, including the final Cup Series race at the track in 1971.
Facing financial issues, the track was closed for a short period of time in 2009 and 2010 before three local businessmen — Larry Garner, Stanley Best and Roger Sellers — worked together to purchase and revive the track.
The trio kept racing going at Smoky Mountain Speedway, making the track a special events facility. In late 2018 Sellers bought out Garner and Best, becoming the sole owner of Smoky Mountain Speedway.
The track regularly plays host to a number of touring divisions, including the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series and Southern All Star Racing Series, among others. The facility continues to be a special events track, with no weekly racing planned for the oval this year.