The Pine Knot Raceway, lost to time and 30 years of vegetation growth, is being renovated into an off-road motorsports arena that can seat 7,000 spectators.
The facility’s owner, Andy Jordan, met with area media members on Friday as bulldozers worked at the site preparing the arena for its July 5 grand opening. That event will feature a monster truck competition, but the facility will not be bound to one type of event.
“If it has to do with off-road, it will be happening here,” Jordan said.
Every Saturday night, Jordan said, the arena will be open bringing spectators mud bogs, obstacle course racing for ATV’s, dirt bikes and other off-road vehicles, lawnmower racing and demolition derby competition.
“In my line of work, you come across every promoter imaginable, so I have a good base to organize all sorts of events here,” Jordan said.
Jordan is affiliated with gotmudd.com, a website dedicated to off-road events he utilizes to also promote events. In the last few months, Jordan has purchased Cumberland Safari in addition to the Old Pine Knot Raceway. Cumberland Safari, located in Scott County, hosts guided off-road tours across abandoned mining and logging roads along the Cumberland Plateau.
His interest in off-road motorsports led him to purchase the raceway and 400 acres around it and begin planning for weekly events.
Right now, work is commencing on approximately 50 acres that will include the raceway, seating area and parking area. Jordan said he wants to build cabins around a large pond and develop an RV and camping area as well as other amenities as time progresses.
“The thought is that people could come to Cumberland Safari to ride the trails and then come up here on Saturday night to spend the night and watch a great show,” he said. “There is a lot going on here now, but things will get much more aggressive here over the next 60 days in terms of construction.”
The project has taken a substantial investment of both time and money, Jordan said.
“Some people would say with the economy like it is it’s kind of crazy to start a project like this, but really there is nothing else to do around here, but ride four-wheelers and go off-roading,” he added.
Competition will begin early in the week, each week, Jordan said, with competitors qualifying on various nights, all in preparation for the Saturday night show. A full schedule is being prepared for the coming months, but as of press time was unavailable. Jordan said the monster truck nationals will open the facility on July 5, with an American Racing Mower Association sanctioned event coming just a few weeks later.
“I want people to be able to come in here to compete and at least be here for a full weekend, maybe longer,” he said. “Because we will be going all week long getting ready for that Saturday show.”
The show will begin at 6 p.m. on July 5th for the Monster Truck Nationals. Gate admission is $17.50 for adults with children 6 and under admitted for free. Other events that evening will include monster truck rides, ATV’s, tough trucks, Rhinos and a mud bog. All local competitors are encouraged to come and compete. Jordan urges spectators to bring their own lawn chairs for use along the stadium seating until bleachers are complete.
Jordan added, “And after the 5th it will be full blown, wide open and not slowing down.”
For more information on the Old Pine Knot Raceway, upcoming events or Cumberland Safari Adventure Tours, please call (423) 663-4300 or (888) 422-2975 or visit www.cumberlandsafari.com