Jefferson, MIS hope weather allows racing
The sound of high-powered engines and the smell of burnt rubber return to area stock car racing tracks this weekend—weather permitting, of course.
Jefferson Speedway opens its season with Saturday’s night’s Spring Sizzler, while Madison International Speedway will make its 2011 debut with a special American Speed Association event on Sunday.
At Jefferson Speedway, racers again will compete in six divisions.
The Late Models division features several former champions, including defending champ Casey Johnson of Stoughton.
Three-time champion Jason Erickson also returns along with former champions Doug Hahn, John Ovadal Jr. and Dan Chesmore.
Scott Riedner of Waunakee will be aiming for his third straight Sportsman title and his fifth championship in six years.
The International class is led by Edgerton’s Mark English, who has won four consecutive track titles.
In the Hobby Stocks, Jim Tate Jr.—the division’s only repeat champion since 2004—returns to defend his 2010 championship.
Drivers also will compete in the Road Warrior and Bandit divisions.
Gates open at 3 p.m., time trials start at 5 p.m. and racing begins at 7 p.m.
Jefferson Speedway is located between Jefferson and Cambridge on Highway 18. More information about the upcoming season can be found at www.jeffersonspeedway.com.
The ASA Midwest Tour will kick off Madison International Speedway’s season, highlighted by Sunday’s third annual Joe Shear Classic super-late model race.
The 136-lap event honors the late Joe Shear, who was a four-time champion at the track and won 66 feature races during his career.
The soft-spoken driver from Clinton died of cancer on March 9, 1998.
Also on Sunday’s schedule are the ASA Midwest Sportsman and ASA Midwest Trucks.
Practice begins at 11:30 a.m., with qualifying at 12:45 p.m. and racing at 2 p.m.
The weekly program at MIS begins Sunday afternoon, May 23, with the Friday night opener set for June 3.
“We’ve battled a lot of weather issues in the spring over the past several years so we’re going to start the regular season a little later,” said MIS general manager Dave Grueneberg.
The weekly Friday night program will include four divisions of racing: Late Models; Area Sportsman; Bandits; and Legends.
Track champions in 2010 were Jeremy Miller (Late Models), Bobby Wilberg (Area Sportsman), Chester Ace (Bandits) and Max McNamara (Legends).
MIS is located on Sunrise Road, two miles south of Highway 138 between Oregon and Stoughton.
The track’s revamped website is madisoninternationalspeedway.com.
-- Slinger Speedway begins its 64th season on Sunday with the Miller Lite 120 Spring Opener. Gates open at 2 p.m. and racing starts at 4 p.m.
-- NASCAR star Kyle Busch has committed to again race in the 32nd annual Miller Lite Slinger Nationals on Sunday, July 10. He will be joined by Mauston’s Kelly Bires, who has competed in a variety of NASCAR races the past few years.
Tickets are available by calling the track at (262) 644-5921, or by ordering online at www.slingersuperspeedway.com.