Twin Cities Raceway got off to roaring start over the Memorial Day weekend with a double header that drew good crowds out to the fastest oval track in Alaska and brought racers from as far away as Fairbanks to try their skills. The summer schedule of GCI Saturday Night Thunder at Twin Cities will include a full card of A-Stock, B-Stock, Legends and Late models, “We have a field of late models that is about 16 strong so we have some great competition in the late model group this year and we’re bring back the sprints this year, so our car count is up with a full schedule planned for the summer and the enthusiasm and excitement from the fans is roaring,” said Johna Beech, Twin Cities Raceway president. “The sprint cars are a little more of a modified car than the legends. Last fall John Melish came to the Twin City board and said he had a couple of drivers that wanted to bring back the action of the sprint class and so we made some modifications and are anticipating some exciting racing in this division,” she said.
2015 Late Model Champion Sean Hutchings # 27 will be fighting tooth and nail to hold on to his championship and repeat this year he told the Dispatch, “I have the pressure of having the target on my back this year and everyone going after me, but I’ll keep steady and hope to repeat. It’ll be fan exciting season for the fans,” he said. Mike Braddick a driver out of Palmer was the 2014 Late Model Champion # 82 broke his arm last year in a crash in Fairbanks and was unable to race the entire season will be back according to Beech, “He’s back and I have a feeling that he’s going to be putting in some time and energy into retaking the championship from Hutchings, so bottom line it’ll be an exciting season of racing in the Late Model division. Mike Ire is a local driver who won the A-Stock championship last year has moved up to B-Stock this year which opens up the A-Stock championship for grabs,” she said.
Returning for her second season is Ashton Jones running #2 in the A-Stock division having won her first race last year before even having her driving license, Ashton is making Alaska history on the oval and is training hard with her dad Keith a B-Stock driver, “She just graduated from high school this year and we are excited about what this girl can do. We have such a strong family bond at the track, not necessarily a genetic bond like Ashton and Keith but the whole track is like a tight knit family. Keith and Ashton are amazing to watch practice. Keith is last year’s B-Stock champion out of Wasilla and has taught all three of his daughters to drive the oval and Ashton is the one left still at home and is officially 18 now taking on Twin Cities Raceway for her second season in # 2. So while she was at the test and tune her dad talks to her via phone to her earbud in her helmet while standing up on the tower advising her how to navigate the track and how to hold her line and go into the turn and helps her learn while not being able to be with her in the car. They make a great team and she is gaining confidence every time she gets out there,” said Beech.
GCI is the Twin Cities title sponsor so if you are a GCI account holder you can get into the general admission grand stand free with a copy of your GCI bill. Pit Pass season passes are also available for fans over 12-years of age, “If you want to be a big fan and be up close and personal with the drivers the pit is where you want to be, the general admission side is really rocking too with some of our crowds last summer that were more than 600 so Saturday Night Thunder is becoming more and more popular,” she said. Ticket prices for Twin Cities Raceway general admission are $10.00 adults, seniors & students & children $5.00 and under six kids are free and military veterans or active are also free. General admission opens at 4:00pm Saturday and Sunday’s and the green flag drops at 6:00pm.