by Jon Brown, MERIDIAN, Idaho — Long deprived of the speed, thrill and thunder of winged open-wheel action, Magic Valley race fans can get their fix in serious fashion Saturday night.
The Canadian-American Western Winged Sprintcar Series starts its inaugural season with the opening night of the Northwest Asphalt Speedweek at Magic Valley Speedway on Saturday.
Tickets are $18 for adults with varying discounts for military personnel with ID, senior citizens, and children ages 7-11. Children 6 and younger get in free. A family pass good for two adults and up to four children ages 7-11 costs $46. Fans can save $3 off the adult admission price by ordering tickets online at www.wingedsprintcars.com.
Call (208) 888-2813 for more event information. Details of other races in the Western Winged Sprints Series can be found at www.wingedsprintcars.com.
The top racers from western Canada, Oregon, Washington, the Treasure Valley and Utah roll into Twin Falls to take part in the first organized open-wheel show at Magic Valley Speedway in several years.
“It’s a new venue, and it’s something fun to do. We’re thinking outside the box for this event,” series organizer Adam Nelson said.
“We’re excited that (Magic Valley promoter) Eddy McKean would invite the Western Winged Sprintcars to race at his facility.”
Among the drivers making the tow is Magic Valley track record-holder Sierra Jackson. The Middleton driver will use Saturday’s MVS show and a Memorial Day Western Winged Sprints race at Rocky Mountain Raceways in West Valley City, Utah, as a tuneup for her defense of the Bob and Tom Naylor Memorial and Diamond Cup championships back at her home track at Meridian Speedway.
The Naylor on Wednesday and the BOB 96.1 FM Diamond Cup on Friday-Saturday, June 1-2, serve as the final races of Northwest Asphalt Speedweek, all of which feature Western Winged Sprints points races as well as races in the Idaho-Utah Challenge Series.
An open practice beginning at 5 p.m. Friday at Magic Valley precedes the Saturday show. Qualifying on Saturday starts at 5 p.m. followed by racing at 6:30 p.m.
In addition to the Western Winged Sprints, Meridian Speedway points races for the Pit Stop Drive Thru Super Stocks and Tates Hornets will be held Saturday in Twin Falls.
Nelson, who also serves as ASA-sanctioned Meridian Speedway’s managing partner, expects about a dozen race teams from the Boise area as well as five teams from Canada, about 10 from the Salt Lake City area and some of the top drivers from the ASA Northwest Sprintcar Racing Association, which pulls drivers from Idaho, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia.
Jackson is the reigning NSRA champion and shared the Diamond Cup championship with Matt Hein last year. Hein and fellow Roseburg, Ore., racer Andy Alberding could be among the West Coast racers in action for Northwest Asphalt Speedweek. The NSRA is co-sanctioning the Diamond Cup in Meridian at the end of the week.
Other Boise-area drivers to look for during Speedweek include reigning Meridian track champion Mike Murgoitio and top 2011 NSRA rookie Johnny Giesler, both of whom call Meridian home. Another Meridian racer, Bryan Warf, is expected to compete, too.
Some of the top Utah drivers expected to compete include Jimmy Waters, Ryan Burdett and T.J. Thorne.
Canadian standouts expected to make the tow include Ron Larson, Matt Mansell, Darren Yates, Scotty Almond and perhaps Jeff Montgomery.