February 21, 2014 11:27:27 AM
Dirt-track racing season in the Golden Triangle will kick off with some familiar names from the highest level of stock car racing.
Magnolia Motor Speedway will play host the United Speed Contest Sanction Frost Buster 250 on Feb. 28-March 1. Former NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers Kenny Schraeder and Kenny Wallace will be among the top sprint car racers.
The Frost Buster 250 will lift the lid on the 2014 season at Magnolia. The weekend will feature USCS winged Outlaw sprint cars, USCS Outlaw Modifieds, and USCS 600 Sprint Car Series winged mini sprints.
"I've raced against (Schraeder) a good bit," said Johnny Stokes, general manager of Magnolia Motor Speedway. "Wallace, he raced with us when I ran at Columbus (Motor Speedway). They hadn't been down in a while, and with the rest of the talent that will be here that weekend, there should be a lot of great racing for the fans."
Columbus Motor Speedway will open its season Feb. 22 with a street stocks special track manager Joe Ables said was scheduled to run in November and December before the races were rained out. The 25-lap special will feature a $2,000 winner's purse, while a limited-late model race will have $1,000 up for grabs. The weekend will feature various other races Thursday and Friday.
"We're trying to get it in before the points races start, before anyone gets local track points," said Ables, Columbus Motor Speedway general manager. "This won't be a points race for anybody."
Outside of a weekly racing series event March 29, the next event will be April 12 for the Mississippi State Championship Challenge Series (MSCCS) Super Late Models, which will feature a $2,500-to-win purse.
"We have three specials for street stocks, three of the State Challenge Series, on the schedule this year," Ables said. "We had three of both of them last year, too. Still working on some stuff with other big races. I've talked to Southern All-Stars, but nothing locked as of yet."
Columbus Motor Speedway is in its 52nd year of operation. It will feature $1 and $5 admission for races throughout the year.
Magnolia Motor Speedway also will feature a string of high-profile races. A new series, the National Dirt Racing League (Kings of Dirt), will debut April 17-19 at Magnolia and will feature "the heavy hitters in super late models," Stokes said. The race will feature a $7,500 winner on April 18 and a $2,500 winner on April 19.
Magnolia Motor Speedway also will play host the a full weekend of Lucas Oil Dirt Model Series events on June 12-14, including a televised (MAV TV) event with a $20,000 winner's purse.
"It'll be the only nationally-televised race in the state of Mississippi," Stokes said.
Annual events, like the Coca-Cola Governor's Cup (Aug. 9) and the Cotton Pickin' 100 in October, return to the lineup.