Mike Bushee (front) talks with a group of racers during an event at Carteret County Speedway in 2015. Andy Marquis Photo

With the 18th running of the Thanksgiving Classic at Southern National Motorsports Park less than six weeks away things are beginning to take shape for the annual race event.

Mike Bushee is a familiar name in the region with teams and drivers and for this year’s event, he will serve as the Competition Director for all divisions. Bushee is no stranger to Southern National Motorsports Park either having worked there in a couple different stints and for one-off events most recently as this year. Bushee also served as CARS Tour Late Model Stock Car series Competition Director from 2016-2017 and the MASS Street Stock tour from 2016-2018.

Bushee brings a wealth of knowledge to the leadership for the Thanksgiving Classic and hopes he can help his home track to make the annual event bigger and better than before.

“Southern National is my home track,” said Mike Bushee. “It’s home to me and I want to see it be as successful as it can be. Michael Diaz and I have always had a good relationship helping each other whenever we can and after he loaned me a bunch of equipment to go up and work Richmond we struck up a conversation about this and the time just seems right.”

Bushee will not only serve as the Thanksgiving Classic Competition Director but will also work during the week in the office leading up to the event to make sure that people can come by and pay for trackside or drop off entry blanks and more.

“I want to be there to help make it a live being again. I will answer the phones when I’m there and have the number forwarded to me when I’m not. Plus I can get the entries as they come in whether online or through the mail and get everything ready ahead of the event. The Thanksgiving Classic is one of the biggest races in this region and it needs this kind of attention.”

Southern National Motorsports Park owner, Michael Diaz is excited to have Bushee back working at the track and having someone on the grounds during the week to assist fans and drivers ahead of the Thanksgiving Classic.

“It’s always great to work with (Mike) Bushee,” commented Diaz. “He brings a lot of years of experience and a lot of familiarity for our teams and drivers who have worked with him either here or on the CARS Tour or at some other race track or for some other series. He’s been around a long time and everyone knows him and knows he will treat them fair and that means a lot to the racers.”

Both Diaz and Bushee hope this will turn into something more for the 2019 season but want to put all their time and energy on making this event the best it can be. Charlie Hansen will continue to serve as the tracks General Manager through the Thanksgiving Classic. David “Lightning” Saunders will continue to serve as the lead Technical Inspector for the Thanksgiving Classic.

“We’re going to work this event hard and see what happens for the future,” said Bushee. “I’d like to do whatever I can do to help the track and the racers in this region. We’ll see where this goes and go from there.”

Details including rules, entry forms, purse and more for the Thanksgiving Classic will be released in the coming days on the Southern National Motorsports Park website at www.SNMPark.com. Bushee will begin working in the office at the track on Monday, October 22nd and can be reached at (919) 284-1114.