Dixon excited to get 2020 racing season started at Kingsport Speedway
It’s finally race time, wave the green flag!
Chase Dixon of Abingdon, Virginia, was in the process of getting all geared-up for his rookie season competing in the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series at Kingsport Speedway, but the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic put the brakes on sporting events across the state of Tennessee back in March and virtually shut the entire country down.
Governors of many states enacted shelter-at-home mandates affecting everyday life of people. Sadly, too, there also were hospitalizations and loss of lives connected to the coronavirus outbreak.
Many people also lost their jobs, with businesses closing and unemployment numbers increasing to Recession-era record-high numbers as the economy suffered. Finally, though, it appears the United States is opening back up and people are resuming every day activities. Many call our reopening the “new normal.”
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee last week officially approved reopening of racetracks, among many other businesses across the state.
With Kingsport Speedway finally getting the green light to start the 2020 racing season Friday, May 29, a five division racing program featuring Late Model Stock Car, Sportsman, Pure Street, Mod 4 and Pure 4 is scheduled in the Model City. The track will hold non-sanctioned, non-points events until NASCAR racing resumes at tracks across the county.
Grandstand gates open Friday, May 29 at 4 p.m., with qualifying at 7 p.m. and green flag racing starting at 8 p.m. … Adult grandstand admission $12, with kids 12-and-under admitted free.
It’s said if you shoot for the stars, you just might reach the moon! Dixon, a high school sophomore, has set his sights high. The 16-year-old hopes competing in the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series is just the launching pad for where his racing talent will one day take him.
All across the United States, many youngsters racing go-karts and stock cars at local short-tracks dream of someday making it to the big leagues of NASCAR racing competing in the Cup Series, Xfinity Series or Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series.
Take a look at race car drivers who have enjoyed much success during their career and one common theme you will notice is they all got started at an early age. Young racers such as Dixon, who possess a lot of potential are often referred to as being “natural talents.” … Dixon’s grandfather, Greg Killen, won many races during his career competing at Lonesome Pine Raceway in Coeburn, Virginia.
Dixon opened eyes as a 14-year-old racing in Modified Street at Kingsport Speedway in 2018 as he captured three feature wins, recorded 7 fast-time pole qualifying awards, and finished runner-up in points. Dixon’s an extremely focused young man when he straps-in behind the wheel of his race car. He has the determination and drive to succeed, in other words he’s a “winner.”
Dixon moved up to competing in Limited Late Model in 2019, racing at Motor Mile Speedway where in the season-opener he earned the pole award with a time of 16.500 seconds, a time that would stand rest of the year as the fastest of any competitor to attempt a qualifying run. Dixon also occasionally raced with the Southeast Limited Late Model tour plus, he made his NASCAR Late Model Stock Car debut last fall at Martinsville Speedway.
The next step up the racing ladder for Dixon will be competing as a Late Model Stock Car rookie in 2020.
“Due to COVID-19 sanctions back in March which mandated racetracks couldn’t operate, our racing plans for this season suddenly got derailed,” said Dixon yesterday afternoon while taking a break from preparing the No. 07 Chevrolet Camaro ZL 1 race car in the Chase Dixon Motorsports shop. “For the past two months, it’s just been a waiting game to see what would happen with the coronavirus situation and when improvements would get to the point to where not only racing, but just businesses in general could once again reopen. I’m just glad we’re finally to that point where we can get started racing.”
The past two years for Dixon was basically just laying the groundwork for moving up to racing a Late Model Stock Car in the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series. He ran very well in Modified Street and also Limited Late Model.
“There really isn’t much difference handling-wise between the Modified Street and Limited Late Model compared to driving a Late Model Stock Car,” Dixon said. “I guess the main thing is just the engine package, with the carburetor and overall horsepower, plus the car’s weight. But one thing for sure I realize is the competition level, it’s going to be much better in Late Model Stock Car than in Modified Street and Limited Late Model.
“I’ll be racing against guys with a lot of experience, with many drivers having been racing before I was even born. Even though I’ll be a rookie in a Late Model Stock Car, I’m obviously going to the track with the determination to win. That’s just the mindset of a racer, you want to win – and I think our team is capable of winning anytime we show up for race night.”
Asked what his goals are for his (NASCAR Weekly Racing Series) rookie season racing, Dixon said “My expectations are pretty high. I’ve got confidence in my abilities to drive a race car and I truly believe we’ll run very well. Seat-time, running laps, that’s what I need and it’s important to be running at end of every race and not parked in the pits with a wrecked race car. We’ll be unloading at the track with a well-prepared race car every weekend, because if you want to run well on race night it takes putting in the hours during the week in the race shop working on your equipment.”
After coming on board at Chase Dixon Motorsports midway through last season, Chris Carrier will return in 2020 as crew chief.
“Yeah, I’m very fortunate to have such a knowledgeable guy as Chris Carrier to help guide me in the right direction with my racing,” Dixon said. “He’s been involved in stock car racing for many years, beginning as a teenager helping race teams out at local short-tracks and eventually serving as crew chief in NASCAR Cup Series, Xfinity Series and Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series. He’s done it all in motorsports, reaching the top level of NASCAR racing.
“With the experience Chris has in racing, I’ve got complete faith in what he tells me about what he’s done (setup-wise) to the race car. Any changes he makes on the car (chassis), he’s not just guessing, he knows what he’s doing. And as a young racer, I feel that’s very important to have 100 percent confidence in your crew chief. But not just with Chris, we’ve got a great group of guys who’ll be in the pits helping us on race nights.”
Behind every successful race team is good sponsor support, and Chase Dixon Motorsports is very thankful for their partners in 2020: Sonny Brown - Quality Heat & Aire (Kingsport), Abingdon Collision & Towing, Shoun Trucking, J&D Pit Stop, Pioneer Chevrolet, Texas Roadhouse (Kingsport), Cumberland Gap Water, Wheel Chill, Hedgecock Racing Enterprises, Project Shop, Psycho Monkey Racing Apparel, Nanu and Papaw, Jacquie Jenkins, David Haupt, and Highlands Sign Company.
Besides the No. 07 Late Model Stock Car with Chase Dixon behind the wheel, Chase Dixon Motorsports Driver Development Program will field the No. 99 Sportsman car this season at Kingsport Speedway for Colby Higgins of Valdosta, Georgia. For more information regarding marketing partnerships available with Chase Dixon, or interest in the CDM Driver Development Program, contact Chris Dixon at (276) 608-6733.
Follow Chase Dixon Motorsports at www.ChaseDixonMotorsports.com and also on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Chase Dixon Motorsports PR
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