The long wait is almost over for local race fans.
Missouri State Fair Speedway on Friday will begin its first season of weekly races since 2004.
Former NASCAR driver Ken Schrader will be on hand for the opener. He will meet and greet fans and plans to race in either the modified or late model races.
A-modified, late model and 360 sprint cars will race weekly through the summer, culminating in championships night on Aug. 6.
Jason Bodenhamer, of Centerview, and Reid Millard, of Jefferson City, are promoting this year’s races with Bodenhamer handling the day-to-day operations.
The Mid-America Modified Series, 360 sprints and late models will kick off the season.
Some familiar names compete in the Modified Series, including Sedalian Terry Schultz.
The Series will race two times this season at the speedway.
Several drivers have already registered for the upcoming season, including Sedalians Bob Cummings and Faron Crank and longtime State Fair drivers Howard Hall and Randy McGraw.
Gates will open at 5 p.m., and hot laps will start at 7 p.m. with racing to begin at 7:30 p.m. A tent will be set up for the opener where fans can meet Schrader. Entrance to the tent, free drinks and race tickets cost $60.
General admission tickets cost $12. Senior citizens, military personnel and college students with ID must pay $10.
Children ages 6-12 will be charged $6 and ages 5 and younger will be admitted free of charge.
Several special events have been scheduled this season with the crown jewel being the World of Outlaws’ visit June 16.
The program will be the third in a series of four races promoted by NASCAR star Kasey Kahne called the Showdown for the Bud Crown. The local event is called Kasey’s King of Sedalia.
This event showcases the largest pyrotechnics display ever performed at a dirt track event, according to a Missouri State Fair Speedway press release. The event features 900 horsepower World of Outlaws sprint cars with drivers like legendary Steve Kinser, four-time champion Donny Schatz and current points leader Jason Meyers all racing under huge blasts of flames and fireworks throughout the night as they battle each other and Kahne.
The first two legs of the series were held March 19-20 at Volunteer Speedway in Bulls Gap, Tenn.
The final stop will be July 8 at LaSalle (Ill.) Speedway.
The top three finishers in the series will share $15,000.
Kinser leads the series by seven points over Meyers, who won the second leg of the series.
Brad Sweet is third, Paul McMahan fourth and local favorite Danny Lasoski fifth.
Joey Saldana who won the first leg is 13th after a did-not-finish in the second round.
Tickets cost $29 for advanced reserved seats and $35 for reserved seats on race day.
Reserved seats for youths 12 years and younger cost $9.
Tickets may be purchased in advance by calling 704-795-7223 from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays or online anytime at worldofoutlaws.com/tickets.
LA Raceway begins its weekly racing series Friday night. The program will feature A-modified, B-modified, 305 sprint, street stock and hobby stock cars.
Gates will open at 5 p.m. with hot laps beginning at 7 p.m. and racing at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets cost $10 for adults, $8 for senior citizens and military personnel, $6 for youths ages 11-15 and are free for children 10 and younger.
Family passes and pit access cost $25.