Cash will mean more crash.
Close to 40 cars will be seeking out mayhem at this weekend's hit-to-pass races at PGARA Speedway Park. Chris Arronge, president of the local stock car association, said the level of participation for a hit-to-pass event hasn't been this high in about five years.
"It's going to be pretty big," he said. "We've got guys that haven't raced hit-to-pass in 10 years coming back out."
A powerful magnet has pulled the crash-and-bash artists back to the PGARA oval. Thanks to contributions from Ritchie Manufacturing and Chieftain Auto Parts, a total of $10,000 in prize money will be up for grabs. Main-event winners today and Sunday will each pocket $2,500. A truck tug-of-war will also be held each day, and those survivors will take home $500 each.
The car count this weekend will far surpass the number of entries for a June 23 hit-to-pass show. That night, only a dozen drivers turned out and that prompted Rob Ritchie of Ritchie Manufacturing to ask PGARA vice president Jamie Crawford how to pump up the interest. Crawford's answer was blunt and to the point -- money.
"[Ritchie] said, 'OK, what's it going to take?' and he wrote us a cheque," Arronge said. "And it's working. We're quadrupling our last hit-to-pass."
Time trials today will start at 6 p.m. and the green flag for racing will drop at 7 p.m. On Sunday, time trials will be at 1 p.m. and racing will start an hour later.
Arronge would like to see 2,500 fans in attendance tonight.
"I don't think that's unrealistic," he said. "And usually we get about half on Sunday so if we get 1,000 people on Sunday I'll be happy."
Tickets will be available at the gate.