The Drydene Xtreme DIRTcar Series heads to I-75 Raceway this Saturday. (Austin Bumgarner Photo)
The Drydene Xtreme DIRTcar Series heads to I-75 Raceway this Saturday. (Austin Bumgarner Photo)

Xtreme DIRTcar Series Bound For Volunteer State

SWEETWATER, Tenn. – Round three of the Drydene Xtreme DIRTcar Series campaign takes to the Volunteer State this Saturday for its first appearance at I-75 Raceway.

A $5,000 check is on the line as the Xtreme Series stars battle it out for 40 laps around the three-eighths-mile oval.

With reigning champion Chris Madden not in contention for a third consecutive title this winter, the door is wide open for a new head to don the Xtreme Series crown. Leading the way through the first two races is none other than the current points leader, Ross Bailes.

The Clover, S.C., native holds a three-point advantage over second-place drivers Carson Ferguson and Ben Watkins coming into I-75. With one series victory already this year, Bailes’ best chance to win his second career regional super late model championship is on the horizon.

Bailes has already done some homework on I-75, notching a fifth-place finish at the track in October. He’ll take the Billy Hicks-owned No. 79 to Tennessee on Saturday, searching for his first super late model win in the state since 2019.

Piloting a Donald Bradsher-backed Longhorn Chassis, Ferguson shined in his super late model debut in the season opener at Lancaster with a fourth-place run from 15th on the starting grid. The next day, the 21-year-old from Lincolnton, N.C., once again climbed to fourth and held it together through all 100 laps of the Blue Gray 100 at Cherokee Speedway, setting him second in the points standings.

After a $10,500 sweep in Georgia with his 604 Crate Late Model last weekend, Ferguson’s ready to get back behind the wheel of a Super on Saturday, chasing his first win with 850+ horses under the hood.

The first visit to I-75 marks the seventh different track the Xtreme Series has visited since its inception in 2019. The most recent track debut happened at the half-mile Lancaster Motor Speedway two weekends ago, where Ross Bailes scored the win in the season opener.

I-75 has hosted super late model racing five times in 2021 with several different regional series. Many of the same drivers who took part in those events are projected to compete again against the Xtreme stars on Saturday.

A host of regional and local talent is projected to make up Saturday’s roster, including perfect-attendance drivers Carder Miller, Cory Lawler, Gary Dillon, Daulton Wilson, Ethan Wilson, Tim Vance and David Yandle.

Ray Cook, Stacy Boles, Christian Hanger, Craig Greer, Steve Smith, Dakota Smith, David Payne, Eli Beets, David Crabtree and Colton Profitt have each made their presence known over the regular season and are expected to represent their locales for the final time at I-75 this season.

Cory Hedgecock has been nothing short of stellar at I-75 this season with two wins and no finishes worse than fourth over five starts. His most recent triumph came last month in regional competition, where he led all 50 laps of the Tennessee Fall Nationals and bagged a grand total of $15,000 – the richest payday of his career.

The 29-year-old regional racer has one previous Xtreme Series start, which came on Dec. 7, 2019, at Volunteer Speedway, where he finished ninth.

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