SALEM, IN – Excitement is building for one of the most anticipated races of the summer at Salem Speedway Fueled by the Hoosier Lottery – the 25th annual Arrow Auto Glass Firecracker 200 presented by the Scott County Visitors Commission. The $5,000 to win street stock classic is set to roll off on Friday, July 4th.
“It’s hard to imagine a more exciting race than the Firecracker 200,” said track general manager Richard Deaton. “The competition level for this event is at an all-time high and that makes for some very intense racing action.”
The grueling 200-lap race presents a major challenge to all teams in terms of car and driver endurance.
“Drivers must deal with the rigors of an exhausting 200-lap race in the summer heat, while also staying alert mentally,” said Deaton. “The Firecracker 200 is probably the toughest race of the season at Salem.”
Drivers and crews fully realize that anything can happen in the blink of an eye on the lightning-fast Salem high banks. Anticipating and avoiding potential pitfalls can spell the difference between victory and disappointment.
Through the years one of the best at steering clear of problems at Salem has been veteran Louisville driver Chuck Barnes Sr. Barnes, the all-time win leader on the high banks, has visited victory lane on three occasions in the Firecracker 200 and seven times in the Halloween 200. However, it has been five years since Barnes has claimed victory in either of the $5,000 to win races.
Brett Hudson of Owensboro, Ky., winner of three consecutive (2010-2011-2012) Firecracker 200 races, had his victory string snapped last year, as Brian Bayer of Birdseye, Ind., roared to his first Firecracker 200 victory. Hudson finished on the lead lap in fourth place with Barnes second and David Bayens of Memphis, Ind., third.
Barnes, Hudson, Bayer and Bayens are all expected back for the silver anniversary edition of the summer classic and will be joined by 2007 Firecracker 200 winner Frank Kimmel II of Borden, Ind. and 2013 Smoker Friendly Discount Tobacco Halloween 200 winner Todd Kempf of Huntingburg, Ind.
Other drivers that have filed early entries include Blake Hillard of Owensboro, Shawn Smith of Louisville, Kyle Hadley of Louisville, Skeeter Crum of Jeffersonville, Phil Jenkins of Greenfield, Ind., and Justin Pirtle of Palmyra, Ind., among others.
The O’Reilly Auto Parts Pure Stocks and Portland Recycling Front Wheel Drive Stocks are set to kick-off the racing action on July 4th with 50-lap feature events for both divisions serving as a prelude to the Firecracker 200.
Salem Speedway Fueled by the Hoosier Lottery will once again be giving away free Hoosier Lottery prize packs, valued at $11 each, to several lucky fans, age 18 and older, during the July 4th event.
Spectator gates open at 2:30 p.m. on July 4th with practice getting underway at 3 p.m. and the first race rolling off at 5:30 p.m.
Advance general admission tickets are priced at $14 for adults and $3 for children (age 7-12). Kids, age 6 and under, are admitted free when accompanied by an adult. Advance reserved seat tickets are priced at $19 each. All prices are $2 more on the day of race. For tickets or more information go to www.salemspeedway.com or call 883-6504 or toll free 1-888-246-7223.