Big-money late model racing invades Stateline Speedway this weekend as the 13th annual Idaho 200 takes center stage.
Offering more than $43,000 in prize money, the race draws elite talent from across the Northwest. Many of the Inland Empire’s top late model stars will be out to win the 200, including David Garber, Braeden Havens, Andy Brown, Shelby Thompson and Blake Williams.
Kevin Richards will not be back to defend his Idaho 200 crown as he is handing the wheel to Thompson who looks to back up a top-five run in last month’s Montana 200 with a shot at winning the Gem State crown.
Local drivers will look to protect the home turf against the likes of four-time NASCAR regional champion Garrett Evans, four-time Montana 200 and Idaho 200 winner Gary Lewis, past Yakima Fall Classic winner and defending Spokane County Raceway champion Erick Hargraves and reigning Montana Raceway Park champion Ryan Wells.
A field of 24 cars will battle for two 100-lap segments complete with a half-time break. When the dust settles the Idaho 200 winning driver will net a minimum payout of $8,000 for their victory with $6,000 offered for second place and the third-place driver earning $5,000.
Idaho 200 time trials start tonight at 6, with racing to follow that will determine Saturday night’s starting lineup. For more information log onto raceidaho.com or call (208) 773-5019
Spokane Speedway to host AMA pros
For years Spokane hosted a midweek stop for drag racing’s best after Seattle’s NHRA event and prior to a race in Minnesota. The draw for racers was to test and tune while taking home a nice payday for a night’s work. Fans won out as they got to see the likes of John Force and Tony Pedregon battle it out side by side for the victory.
Mica native Joe Kopp is hoping to build a similar tradition of having professional racers again make the Inland Northwest a stop in between races. With an AMA Flat Track motorcycle race near Seattle on Saturday and next weekend’s race in Peoria, Ill., Kopp has planned a midweek race on Wednesday at Spokane Speedway.
Also in town will be AMA representatives who will be inspecting Spokane Speedway for a possible flat-track event in 2013.
“I’ve been in contact with many of the top riders in the country and we’re getting some real positive feedback as to who will be part of this inaugural event,” Kopp said. “This will be the first time in Spokane history that flat track AMA riders of this caliber have raced in the area.”
Kopp, a multitime AMA Flat Track champion, confirmed that he’ll dust off the helmet for a one-time race in front of the hometown fans.
Top riders confirmed for the race include Jared Mees, Henry Wiles, Brad Baker and Matt Weidman.