JANUARY 23, 2008 --- The countdown for the launch of the 2008 racing season at Manzanita Speedway is underway with a couple of fun events and then one of the biggest races on the 2008 schedule kicking off a season that stretches from February 9 to November 22.
The fun part of the schedule gets things off and running February 9 with the running of the U-Pull-It 150 lap bomber enduro, sometimes better known as "Motorized Mayhem". An expected field of 65-75 cars are expected to vie for the $1000 top prize. Josh Crabtree will be seeking a second straight win. He scored his first enduro win in the November 18, 2006 event after his father Ed had won his fourth such race in the February 18, 2006 race.
After the enduro comes a fun event with a purpose. The first ever Copper on Dirt Golf Tournament will be held at the Bougainvillea Golf Club, 5740 W. Baseline Road on Wednesday, February 13th. The event will become an annual event and is held in conjunction with the Copper on Dirt races February 15-16. The event is a cornerstone for the Drivers Fund of Arizona which was recently started to help out drivers in their time of need whether it is an accident on a race track or assistance with injured loved ones. All proceeds from the tournament will be distributed in 2008 through an application process. An entry blank and more information is available at manzanitaspeedway.us.
The second annual Copper on Dirt gets the serious racing underway with a two night stand Friday and Saturday night February 15-16. The unique format will attract most of the nation's top open wheel drivers with three classes running on the famed half mile track. Jerry Coons, the defending two time USAC National Midget champion will begin his quest for a third straight title and is entered in not only the midget race but the USAC Silver Crown and USAC/CRA sprint races as well. Jerry is coming to town with a full head of steam. He dominated the preliminary race in last years Western and then came from the back of the field to nip Dave Darland in the USAC sprint race. He won the Roger McCluskey Classic in Tucson at the end of 2007.
Tracy Hines, who won all three divisions in the Friday night prelims for last year's Copper, has recovered from off track injuries which sidelined him for most of 2007 and is expected to wheel one of Tony Stewart's sprint cars and will also race the midgets and silver crown cars.
Darland, a former USAC champion, Ricky Stenhouse, winner of the sprints and silver crown features in last year's event, Bud Kaeding, a two time Silver Crown champ, Damion Gardner, winner of the Chile Bowl feature, Cory Kruseman, winner of the midget feature last year and two time National USAC sprint car champion headline an entry list that is expected to match the 130 car field last year.
Reserved tickets are still available but the event attracted a standing room only crowd last year and the same will probably match that attendance figure.
For reservations and ticket information call the Manzanita ticket office, 602 2767575.