By John Wells
Let’s go racing! It’s time for Arne Thompson to climb up the flagstand to wave the green flag for the best drivers in the region who will be heading to the track for the highly anticipated 2017 NASCAR Whelen All American Series weekly racing program at Madison International Speedway.
It’s racing under the lights this Friday night for the season opener with five racing divisions in action. See the NASCAR Whelen All American Club LaMark Late Models, Dave’s White Rock Sportsman, Pellitteri Waste Systems Bandits, Roto Rooter 6Shooters, and Vintage Racing of Illinois.
This year marks the third season the speedway has been owned and operated by Gregg and Angie McKarns. They’ve been working tirelessly during the off-season to put together a great racing program, make improvements around the facility and create even more fan-friendly opportunities and they offer you this promise: “We feel that nothing matches the excitement of short track auto racing under the lights on a Friday night.”
Three weekly divisions will begin their seasons this Friday. The Late Models and Sportsman will once again be taking on Wisconsin’s Fastest Half-Mile while the four-cylinder Bandits battle it out on the “Ring of Fire” quarter mile.
The Roto Rooter 6Shooters and Vintage Cars will also be taking to the track as part of the season opener. The 6Shooters division is grass roots racing at its finest and will compete on six nights in 2017 on the “Ring” with no point standings maintained. The Vintage cars will be racing on the half-mile and feature some of the best looking cars you will ever see.
Weekly Late Model, Sportsman, and Bandit drivers will be competing for over $15,000 in point fund money this season along with extra incentives in the RA Heating and Air Conditioning Dash Series plus contingency awards. Drivers who race weekly at Madison will also be eligible for NASCAR state and national honors.
A talented field of drivers from the region will be making their way to Madison each week to see who can become a 2017 track champion. The Late Model division is shaping up to be very competitive with several past champions expected to return including defending Madison champion Bobby Wilberg.
Besides great racing, fans will be treated to a variety of new food items plus the brand new Sue McKarns Playground for the kids. Family friendly pricing will also be in effect for this Friday night with a $30.00 family ticket good for two adults and up to four students / children which can be a savings of over $25.00.
Pit gates on Friday open at 2:30 with practice beginning at 4:00, qualifying at 6:20 followed by racing at 7:30. An open practice session will also take place on Thursday from 5:00 – 8:00 PM.
Madison International Speedway is located on Sunrise Road just south of Highway 138 two miles east of Oregon.