11/29/2013 6:00:00 AM Lucas Oil I-10 Speedway's annual Thanksgiving Winter Blast Race this Saturday
Lucas Oil I-10 Speedway, presented by Next Era Energy Resources, rolls out the Thanksgiving red carpet to fans and race teams Nov. 30 for the 12th Annual Thanksgiving Winter Blast.
Dave Grayson Special for the Times
BLYTHE - Lucas Oil I-10 Speedway, presented by Next Era Energy Resources, rolls out the Thanksgiving red carpet to fans and race teams Nov. 30 for the 12th Annual Thanksgiving Winter Blast. The quarter mile paved oval at the Colorado River Fairgrounds in Blythe, will treat fans to racing action from the Legend, Bandolero, Pony Stock and Street Stock divisions. Racing fans should note because of the chilly weather in Blythe this time of the year, this evening of affordable family fun will take place as special day race. The spectator gates open at 1 p.m. with the racing getting underway at 2 p.m. This special holiday weekend race is being sponsored by the community's local news source: the Palo Verde Valley Times.
The high-flying Legends make its first appearance of the speedway's Winter Blast season by beginning with the process of collecting points for the track championship. Greatly resembling roadsters from the 1930's and 1940's, these cars are powered by motorcycle engines. The light-weight nature allows the vehicles to circle the speedway at speeds compatible to full-sized late models. The side-by-side nature of the racing makes for extremely exciting watching.
The fact that this 50-lap main event pays $500 to win and a guaranteed $125 for just starting the race just adds to the excitement potential. Ricky Schlick reigns as Legends champion. Other Legend driver stand outs, who completed the top five in points during last year's Winter Blast season, include Dylan Cappello, Peyton Saxton, Gary Scheuerell and Lacie Price.
The future stars of short track racing also make a season debut this Saturday night - the youngsters in their small, but very swift, Bandolero cars. The division treats fans to twin 20-lap main events. The good news for the division's racing teams is Lucas Oil I-10 Speedway management waived the entry fees. Blake Rodgers, who won every Bandolero race on the schedule last season, is the reigning division champion. Keeping it all in the family was Brock Rodgers who finished second in last year's championship standings.
The Pony Stocks also races this Thanksgiving weekend. Competitors in this division are racing to win $500, with a guaranteed $125 to start, during a 50-lap main event. Comprised mostly of Ford Pintos, these pony stocks are ideal for racing on the speedway's quarter mile, bullring in nature, oval. The division made its first appearance in Blythe last season on a let's see what the reaction is basis. The immediate reaction from the Blythe racing fans has been both strong and favorable and the Pony Stocks quickly became a fan favorite.
Also joining the 50-lap, $500 to win, schedule - the speedway's Street Stock division. Making its appearance of the season on Saturday night, the division so far has all been about the racing Almquist family: Kirk, Clint and Steve. Kirk and Clint Almquist each has a feature win and are separated by six points in the championship standings.
The Lucas Oil I-10 Speedway's Thanksgiving Winter Blast weekend actually gets underway on Nov. 29, with a test and tune session from 1-4 p.m. This practice session, for all scheduled racing divisions, features free grandstand admission to spectators.
Following Friday's test and tune, the speedway will load up its banquet tables with delicious food for its annual Pit Pass Barbeque from 4-7 pm. Anyone wearing an official pit pass wrist band is welcome to join the feast.
"This event became a Thanksgiving holiday weekend tradition at our speedway well over a decade ago," said Speedway General Manager Greg Scheidecker. "Last year, well over 100 people joined us for dinner. It's our way of saying thank you to our racing teams and letting them know we are thankful for their support," he added.
On Saturday, Palo Verde Valley Times race day, general admission tickets will be priced at $10 and $8 for seniors age 55 plus, military personnel and the handicapped. Race fans can also present their AAA card at the ticket booth and receive a $2 discount on one general admission purchase. Teen tickets, age 13 to 17, are $5, Kids tickets, age 6 to 12, are $3 while kids age five and under are admitted free when accompanied by a paid adult. Additionally, Palo Verde High School students can receive a one dollar discount by presenting their ASB cards at the tickets booth. The speedway also offers a budget friendly family pack for $20 which admits two adults and two kids age 17 and under.
For out of town race teams and fans, the America's Best Value Inn is the official motel of the Lucas Oil I-10 Speedway. Located at 850 W. Hobsonway in downtown Blythe, they offer beautiful and spacious rooms at very affordable rates. Call 760-922-5145 for reservations which can also be made online. When making a reservation mention the special discount code: LUCAS OIL.
For more information about the speedway's Winter Blast Racing season, contact speedway Promoter Ronnie Hasler at 760 922 0333 or dial up the official website at www.i10speedway.