Anticipation high for Fair racing


By Jason Strickland - [email protected]



Two sprint car drivers race side by side on the front straightaway of Missouri State Fair Speedway during a practice session Aug. 3.


A sprint car driver maneuvers around turn four of Missouri State Fair Speedway during an Aug. 3 practice session.


A sprint car driver races on the front straightaway during an Aug. 3 practice session at Missouri State Fair Speedway.


By Jason Strickland

[email protected]

Two sprint car drivers race side by side on the front straightaway of Missouri State Fair Speedway during a practice session Aug. 3.
http://sedaliademocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/web1_LEAD-ART-RACING-ADV.jpgTwo sprint car drivers race side by side on the front straightaway of Missouri State Fair Speedway during a practice session Aug. 3.

A sprint car driver maneuvers around turn four of Missouri State Fair Speedway during an Aug. 3 practice session.
http://sedaliademocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/web1_SECONDARY-ART-RACING-ADV.jpgA sprint car driver maneuvers around turn four of Missouri State Fair Speedway during an Aug. 3 practice session.

A sprint car driver races on the front straightaway during an Aug. 3 practice session at Missouri State Fair Speedway.
http://sedaliademocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/web1_THIRD-ART-RACING-ADV.jpgA sprint car driver races on the front straightaway during an Aug. 3 practice session at Missouri State Fair Speedway.

Sunday marks the end of the Missouri State Fair, but before everything is packed up, 360 Sprint Cars will take the track at the Missouri State Fair Speedway.

The ASCS Sprint Car High Roller Classic will cap off the Fair with a 30-lap feature race that could have about 24 cars.

Overall, about 45-50 cars are expected to race around the half-mile oval.

“There’s going to be guys coming that we don’t know about, of course,” said race organizer Gerry Olson.

Hot laps will start at 6 p.m. with heat races starting at 7 p.m. If the expected number of cars enter the race, there will be four or five heat races and a last-chance feature to determine who races in the feature.

Drivers will earn points for their finishing position in the heat races and get 1.5 points for each pass made.

“It gives the heat races a lot of meaning,” Olson said.

Work has already been done to make sure the track is in good condition Sunday.

“We were out here until 5 o’clock Tuesday morning getting the front straightaway graded and back in place,” Olson said. “We’ll start again after the concert on Saturday night. We’ll start track prep, grading, water.”

Olson said they’ll have a water truck that can release more water onto the track than they usually can.

Drivers got the chance to take laps around the track earlier this month and Olson said the feedback was positive.

“The guys that have run here prior, it’s the best they’ve ever seen the track,” he said.

A large crowd is expected for the event, especially since there haven’t been races at the speedway in three years.

“They’ve never sold reserved seating for this event,” Olson said. “Given the magnitude of what I think it’s going to be, in my experience of doing this, if you don’t sell and you’ve got a great crowd you’re going to lose a lot of you’re seating because they put blankets down and they spread out. We’re trying to capitalize and make sure we fill every seat.”

Olson said he’s gotten an idea of how significant the support for dirt track racing is in mid-Missouri by visiting area tracks such as Double X Speedway in California, Randolph County Raceway in Moberly and Callaway Raceway in Fulton.

“I was just astounded by the following that these local guys have gotten here in the central area of Missouri,” he said. “It’s just amazing.

Jason Strickland can be reached at 660-530-0147 or on Twitter @J_Strick_Sports.

Sedalia Democrat

Jason Strickland can be reached at 660-530-0147 or on Twitter @J_Strick_Sports.

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