TRACK SPOTLIGHT White has run other tracks throughout the area but said there are reasons he comes back to the East Tennes- see track for races like the Cherokee Showdown in November. “It’s a real family track where every- body feels a part of it,” he said. “We all pitch in and help each other when needed. It’s a good atmosphere as Randy and Christy are good people. It’s just a nice small drag strip you can come and have fun at.” Another endorsement comes from Gary Susong from Bybee, Tenn. Su- song races a 1973 Barracuda which he first owned his senior year of high school and has raced for over four decades. “I like the atmosphere and the friend- liness of the people,” he said. “It’s a family-oriented track. They do a really good job with track prep and they’re really good track operators.” For more information about Cherokee Race Park click here. Cherokee Race Park has a simple for- mula for attracting good car counts and racer participation. It includes being friendly to those who race with you, creating a good atmosphere and working hard at track preparation. Randy Marisett, who has owned the International Hot Rod Assocation (IHRA) sanctioned track with his wife, Christy, for the last four years after leasing it three years prior to that, knows how important it is to get the racing surface right. He’s a racer who has one door car (a Chevy Nova) and three dragsters. “We are all about the track prep,” Marisett said. “If my car spins, then everybody else will spin too and I don’t like to spin my tires. We prep the track well where we don’t have a hooking problem.” Along with a lot of paved pit area, it’s something his fellow racers appre- ciate about the Rogersville, Tenn., track located less than one mile from Cherokee Lake. They also appreci- ate being part of the IHRA Summit SuperSeries, the largest and most prestigious national championship in bracket racing. “It helps the local tracks out tre- mendously,” Marisett said. “The folks at IHRA have been wonderful to me. I like IHRA because they’re out there to support the sportsman racer.” Gale Lumpkins (Box), Eric Carpenter (No Box) won IHRA Summit SuperS- eries track championships in 2018. Tyler White from Newport, Tenn., who races a red Pontiac Firebird added, “The IHRA Summit SuperS- eries gives you something to work for throughout the year. It’s a great way to support your local track, and hopefully next year, we will be in Memphis at the (IHRA Summit SuperSeries) World Finals.” FRIENDLY ATMOSPHERE KEEPS COMPETITORS COMING BACK TO CHEROKEE RACE PARK 28