April 25, 2007 Edition

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National racing events
are this weekend in WR

Gretchen Hunt

The Walnut Ridge Regional Airport's Swindle Field is the site for two Sports Car Club of America racing events this weekend.

The Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce is helping to host "Racing in the Ridge," which will include food vendors, T-shirts and lots of excitement for spectators, according to Karen Williams, events committee chair for the Chamber.

The first day of racing will be Saturday, when SCCA will present The Tire Rack National Tour event. The race is referred to as an autocross or Solo II event.

The racers compete against each other in timed runs. Course times will be combined with the racers having the fastest finishes claiming the wins.

According to Cindy Jansen of SCCA, there will be 20 to 25 classes that will allow all different types of vehicles to participate.

Well over 120 racers have already signed up for the first race and that number is expected to grow.

The second racing day will be Sunday when the Walnut Ridge Airport will be the site for a ProSolo event. In the ProSolo, competitors will run in heats with the winners advancing into a challenge where bracket competition is held. An overall winner will be named.

Approximately 50 have pre-registered for the ProSolo, but that number is expected grow, as well, according to Jansen.

The races will be all-day events with competitors vying for cash and prizes.

Spectators are welcome, and there is no charge for admission. Food vendors will be serving favorites such as barbecue, red beans and rice, hamburgers and homemade ice cream. In addition, breakfast items will be available during the morning hours.

Area residents invited to participate

In addition to welcoming those from Northeast Arkansas to watch the racers, SCCA has also extended an invitation to local drivers.

Those interested can register at the airport between 5-8 p.m. on Friday night prior to the races. Racers must be a member of SCCA, but trial 90-day memberships are available, and individuals can join when they register.

Jansen said there are also ladies classes during both races.

For more information on SCCA, visit scca.com online.

Williams said local organizers are excited to once again be selected as a site for national SCCA racing events.

"We have drivers who come from all over the country to compete at our airport," Williams said. "We hope that area residents will take advantage of this opportunity to see what the Sports Car Club of America is all about and catch a little racing excitement."

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