Tom Time: A Magical Week For Racing From Short Tracks To Major Leagues

Tom Baker Carolinas Racing, Featured, MidSouth, Midwest, Northeast, Other Sprint Cars, Southeast, Sprints & Midgets, Supermodifieds, Tom Baker Blog, West 0 Comments

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Blog by RaceChaser Online Senior Editor Tom Baker – Photo Courtesy Millbridge Speedway –

For all of us at RaceChaser Online, May is a special month because it’s the month we flipped the switch and began our quest to bring the raw passion of the race fan and the determination of the local or regional racer to the spotlight with unique content while also providing news and views from the bottom to the top of the motorsports ladder.  As we celebrate our anniversary, we say thank you to all the racers, tracks, series, teams and especially the fans who have been so encouraging and supportive as we’ve grown.

We are truly blessed and we are charging full throttle into another year of doing what we love to do better than we ever have, and we’re humbled and excited that you would come along for the ride!

May is one of the most exciting months on the Motorsports calendar.  From major “national” events such as The Indy 500, The Coca Cola 600 and NASCAR’s All-Star Race to Formula 1’s Monaco Grand Prix, the stars of racing’s big leagues shine in some of the most tradition-steeped spectacles the sport offers.

But some of the most exciting racing of this month will take place on the hundreds or thousands of local tracks that dot landscapes across America and beyond, where promotes will schedule extra distance races with increased purses and the racers step up their game another notch trying to score one little victory in front of a bigger crowd.

One such example of this type of short-track “blockbuster” event will take place this Wednesday, May 20th at the tiny little Millbridge Speedway outside Charlotte, North Carolina. 

Nestled between Mooresville and Salisbury on Route 150, Millbridge is a 1/8-mile dirt track becoming known as a hub for “Outlaw Kart”racing and mid-week throwdowns where you can find some of NASCAR’s recognizable names either competing or walking around taking in the high-flying action.

These Outlaw Karts are a similar horsepower to weight ratio to a World of Outlaws Sprint Car.  They are a handful to drive on this tight track and provide some of the most exciting racing you’ll see anywhere.

This Wednesday may be the most prolific night in Millbridge racing history, as our media brethren Speed Sport News has put together the “Speed Sport Challenge”, an event featuring the locals competing against “big time” racers including but probably not limited to NASCAR Sprint Cup’s J.J. Yeley, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series rookie Tyler Reddick, Sprint Car stars Rico Abreu, Tanner Thorson, Kevin Swindell, Paul McMahan and Joey Saldana.

They expect over 60 racers from 14 states to compete and I understand at least one Canadian has entered as well!

Adding to the excitement will be Sprint Car’s “King” Steve Kinser serving as the Grand Marshall and signing autographs for the fans.  The action is also being filmed for Speed Sport’s MAVtv show and will be aired in June.

This may not be a race that draws 100,000+ fans, but let me assure you that for the local drivers, it may as well be Daytona or Indy.  This is their chance to shine against some of the finest racers in the nation and maybe be on TV as well!

It is races like this one, or the Jim Shampine Memorial race for the Supermodifieds at Oswego Speedway (also being filmed for MAVtv coverage by Speed Sport’s group) that make Memorial Day week and weekend special for all involved.  Oswego is located in Central New York State right on Lake Ontario and is known for its Hoffman Hot Dogs, steel walls and the Supermodifieds…the most exotic and fastest pavement short-track cars on the planet.

The added incentive of performing well on TV will no doubt raise the excitement meter at Oswego to fever pitch this weekend.

It’s also neat to see platforms for TV being developed where races such as these can be seen and appreciated by millions of people.  It’s about time!

Wherever you live, there is likely a local or regional racing show this weekend.  The racers you see on TV weren’t born there.  They started their careers at tracks like these running their own big shows on this special weekend dreaming of the day when they would be climbing into a car on one of the sport’s biggest stages.

Get out and see the show that your local short track is putting on this weekend.  You never know – you may be watching the “next big thing” at your local track and not even know it!

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