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Regional racing wraps up this weekend

Fri., Oct. 7, 2011, midnight

Racing in the region heads into its final weekend with action at Spokane County Raceway’s drag strip and road course.

The Rockstar Energy Drinks weekly drag racing series wraps up tonight with its final appearance on the strip. The road course hosts the two-day Northwest Autocross nationals beginning Saturday.

Tonight’s drag racing program is one of the most popular series at Spokane County Raceway, with an emphasis on getting street racers to compete in a controlled environment. Supported by local law enforcement and local car clubs, hundreds of racers have competed in the series at an affordable price to enter the pit area.

Autocross racing is a timed event with drivers navigating a series of twists and turns. With only one car on the designated course at a time, the key to victory is in the car’s handling of the track versus the speed under the hood.

Driver skill plays a big role in potential victory, with cars ranging from purpose-built machines to everyday sedans. Much of what race fans can see for competition vehicles include Chevrolet Corvettes, Mini Coopers and Honda street cars. Most vehicles are eligible to compete in the event.

Spectator admission is free with plenty of good vantage points along the course.

Racing action begins at 10 a.m. Saturday and runs through Sunday.

Rockstar Energy Drinks drag racing begins tonight, with gates opening at 6, followed by racing at 7. Grandstand admission is $10 for ages 12 and older.

For more information on all of this weekend’s racing at SCR, call 244-3333.

Little takes big step

Earlier this season Jesse Little, grandson of Inland Empire racing great Chuck Little and son of past NASCAR Sprint Cup Series star Chad Little, ventured to the Northwest from his North Carolina home in an attempt to make history as the youngest qualifier in the Montana 200.

This weekend his focus will be on a similar mark, with his family converging on the famed Martinsville Speedway as the high school freshman looks to become the youngest driver to make the field in one of short track racing’s most prestigious events, the Virginia is for Lovers 300. The race attracts more than 100 drivers from across the country racing on hallowed NASCAR grounds.

“I am really fortunate to be able to race where some of the greatest drivers in NASCAR history have stepped foot,” Little said. “There are some tracks that rise above the others such as Daytona, Bristol and Charlotte, for example, and in the late model world, Martinsville is one of those types of tracks.”

Little has a handful of races remaining in his 2011 season but has already begun plans for 2012, including select NASCAR and regional late model races on both coasts.

Qualifying for the Martinsville race is set for Saturday, with the top 22 drivers locked into the 42-car field. Those not locked into the field will be able to transfer in through a series of qualifying races. The top five finishing drivers in the transfer heat races will be locked into the finale on Sunday afternoon. Race fans can keep up with Little’s weekend progress on his website, jesselittle.com, or through the team’s Facebook page.

Indoor racing picks up next month and FastKart Indoor Speedway is taking registrations for its weekly racing series. Run from November through February, the series allows drivers to compete in similarly prepared go-karts with a complete program offered, including qualifying, heat races and main events.

Points are tracked over the season, with a champion crowned at the end of the season. Past winners include Colton Schultz and Andrew Zimmer.

Open to drivers of all ages, registration and other information is available at FastKart Indoor Speedway located at 1224 E. Front St. or by calling 568-1065.

SCR’s oval track has set its season-championship banquet for Oct. 22 to be held at the Holiday Inn located in Airway Heights. Champion drivers from all competitive divisions will be honored along with rookie of the year and other awards.

Activities begin at 6 p.m., with dinner and presentations to follow.

Space is limited and those interested in attending should call 328-7768 for more information.



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