Late Model Ace Ray Cook to Lease Tri-County Race Track for 2011
by Chris McWilliams on February 24, 2011
Ray Cook After His 2010 Show-Me 100 Victory (Image Credit: Rick Schwallie)
Dirt Late Model veteran Ray Cook already has a busy 2011 season on the horizon as he plans to run with the Lucas Oil Late Model Series and promote the successful Southern Nationals Series. However, his 2011 just got a lot busier as he has announced that he will be leasing the Tri-County Race Track in Brasstown, North Carolina for the 2011 season. There was a chance that the historic 1/4-mile, dirt oval may not open this season and with the help of a lot of other people, Ray and crew will do their best to keep the track going. Ray Cook had this to say of his new venture, “I grew up going to Tri-County every Friday night when I was about ten years old and ran my first race there when I was fifteen in a Pony car. There are a lot of racers in this area that need Tri-County to thrive in order to have somewhere to race and hone their skills. Obviously, with me racing full-time on the Lucas Oil trail and promoting the Southern Nationals as well, I am not going to be there every time we open the gate at Tri-County. I have been fortunate enough to assemble a great crew to work at the track; however, as Kip Cochran, Leon Latham, and Brian Kennersley all have a ton of experience.”
For more information on Ray Cook fans can visit his website at www.raycook53.com.
Cook has made one big adjustment to the racing program at Tri-County as the track will now race on Friday nights. The decision made sense as there are currently six Saturday night tracks within a two-hour radius of the Brasstown/Murphy area and Tri-County will now be the only Friday night track that will run Super Late Models. In addition to the Super Late Models, Ray will also run the Limited/Crate Late Model, Modified Street, Road Runners/Street Stock, and Mini Stock/Pony divisions. Initial plans for 2011 call for the five classes to be in action every other Friday night at Tri-County starting possibly as early as March 25. Barring rain-outs and other unforeseen circumstances, Ray is hoping to put together a 15-18 race schedule for the 2011 season. A few practice sessions are also in the works prior to the tentative opening date of March 25.
Ray Cook #53 Battles Frank Heckenast Jr. #99 (Image Credit: Erik Grigsby)
Cook would like to include input and ideas from all the racers and race fans in the area and as a result is holding an open forum at the Brasstown Community Center on Monday, February 28 at 7:00 p.m. Racers and fans need to be sure to show up on Monday to let their voices be heard on topics concerning the Tri-County Race Track. The Brasstown Community Center is located at the entrance to the race track off of Setiwig Road. More information about the 2011 racing season at Tri-County will be released next week following the meeting at the Brasstown Community Center. A new website is also in the works and will be online and fully functional prior to the start of the season.
Cook concluded by saying, “I look forward to the challenge of bringing Tri-County Race Track back to life. Car counts and fan attendance have really dropped in recent years, but I have hope that we can change things around and put on a great program for the fans and racers. It is going to take a lot of work, but with the help of Jack Wimpey and many others who have volunteered their service, maybe we can pull it off!”