SALISBURY, N.C. — official release — Steve Bischoff photo — Fifty-five drivers have filed entries for the inaugural SPEED SPORT Challenge. With the purse having grown to more than $3,000, more entries are expected prior to the May 21 race at Millbridge Speedway.
The race is garnering so much attention that drivers including J.J. Yeley from the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Tyler Reddick from the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and winged sprint car drivers Rico Abreu, Joey Saldana and Paul McMahan will all be competing.
“This is going to be the biggest event in dirt sprint kart racing,” SPEED SPORT correspondent Derek Pernesiglio said. “You have guys entered that have won the Wild West Shootout, the Got Milk Nationals, The Knoxville Dirt Sprint Kart Nationals and numerous track championships. Aside from the marquee names, the entry list is stacked with heavy hitters from this type of racing.”
Pernesiglio, who also drives a dirt sprint kart and is the track’s two-time and defending winter series champion has a kart entered in the race with a driver yet to be named.
“Work calls,” Pernesiglio said. “I have to report the race that night on MAVTV, but Iʼll have my kart in the show with someone driving.”
Getting into the show will be half the battle with 55 drivers looking for just 20 starting positions in the feature.
The SPEED SPORT Challenge will be the first televised dirt sprint kart race. The 30-lap event will feature drivers from various racing backgrounds, including outlaw karts, sprint cars and stock cars, competing against Millbridge Speedway stars in 500cc winged outlaw karts, which have the same power-to-weight ratio as 410 sprint cars.
SPEED SPORT Productions will tape Millbridge Speedway’s five divisions with the focus on the SPEED SPORT Challenge main event for the premier winged open karts. Millbridge Speedway’s classes include beginner box stocks for racers ranging 5-8 years old, box stocks ranging ages 9-13, intermediates featuring Marcos Ambrose’s new Thumper X engine, a sportsman division and the premier 500cc open division.
The event will be telecast as part of the MAVTV series “SPEED SPORT” scheduled to air on June 5.