Speedway Willow Springs will officially launch its fourth season this Saturday, March 31st, with a day time event that begins at 1 pm. The speedway is a quarter mile paved oval that is within the mammoth Willow Springs International Raceway complex located in Rosamond-California.
Providing the on track action on Saturday race day will be the speedway's mini stock, bomber, hobby stock, the KGG Electric street stocks, pro and super streets, as well as the late model and super late model divisions. The pit gates will open at 9 am for a practice session that will run until noon.
There's some very good news, regarding sponsorship, for at least three of the speedway's racing divisions. On Thursday Speedway Willow Springs promoter Debbie Maas, along with race director Danny Quinn, announced that Toyota has made a contribution to the winner's share of the purse for the mini stock, street stock and late model divisions.
Toyota will be presenting the winner of the mini stock main event $300 and guaranteeing the drivers $50 for just starting the A feature. The winner of the street stock main will receive $400 with the field also receiving $50 to start. The Toyota sponsorship program will provide $500 to the winner of the late model feature with all others receiving $50 to start. The Toyota program is huge for the Speedway Willow Springs new season.
Very unique for the speedway's March 31st season opener is the Dirt Car Challenge which is being presented by Ralph Gugliuzza, aka NASCAR Ralph, the proprietor of A to Z Graphics based in Ridgecrest. When it became apparent that the dirt track at the Victorville Auto Raceway Park was not going to be operational this year, Willow Spring's Debbie Maas and Danny Quinn issued an invitation for the Victorville teams to come and race with them.
A to Z Graphics decided to place an interesting twist on that invitation with the Dirt Car Challenge. Any hobby stock car from the Bakersfield Speedway or Santa Maria Speedway, or any street stock cars from Perris Auto Raceway and the Victorville track are eligible for the Challenge. If a dirt car wins the feature race, then that driver will receive a $200 bonus, above his regular purse amount, from A to Z Graphics. If a dirt car does not win the race, then a $100 bonus stays on the win and a $100 bonus goes to the highest finishing dirt car.
Verification of a car's dirt track status will be required. Something along the lines of an official points sheet from last year will suffice. All dirt track cars must be clean, have a full width windshield screen and a coolant over flow catch can. Official rules for the speedway's divisions can be found at www.willowspringsraceway.com/page.php?=52.
Maas and Quinn, along with their entire staff, have been extremely busy over the past few months preparing for their new racing season. "The race track is being operated strictly by volunteers," Maas said adding "we're all doing this because we love racing. It's been three years of hard work by a lot of people. We need to keep this track going. It's important for the families, and the kids, who supports our racing. We are very excited about the start of our fourth season. We've been receiving a tremendous amount of telephone calls from racing teams. It looks like Saturday is going to be a great day."
General admission tickets are $10 with kids eight and under admitted free when accompanied by a paid adult. That same ticket is good for all Saturday and Sunday activities at all of the tracks within the Willow Springs complex. It also includes free parking, free overnight camping, pit area and paddock access, to the road course tracks, as well as bleacher seating. The Willow Springs International Raceway complex is located at 3500 75th Street West, Rosamond, CA 93560.