The old Willard Speedway stands to become one of Carter County’s best tourist attractions, with kart racers and their fans from throughout the region finding their way to the rural community in Carter County in pursuit of raw, racing action.
Track officials estimated a crowd of about 250 race fans, racers and support teams for opening night at the renovated raceway.
Karts, an evolution of the classic “go cart” with considerably higher-tech components and engineering, run on a new track engineered and cut from the Earth near the highway. “These things are more sophisticated than our dirt track cars in may ways,” said veteran racer Jeff Flaugher. “It is pretty amazing.”
Teams arrived hours ahead of the first lap, with some performing major surgery to add or replacement mechanical components, buff tires and make other judgement-based adjustments after considering track conditions first hand.
Hot laps began as the sun set over the Willard and track team members worked to illuminate the speedway.