The boys of summer are back to slinging dirt at Twin City Raceway in Kenai, but they’ll be getting a dose of girl power.
The .307-mile dirt track, located off of the Kenai Spur Highway near Beaver Loop, dropped the green flag on its racing season over the Memorial Day weekend, but the action this weekend will feature a different field of drivers.
Saturday night will be highlighted by the Powder Puff feature race, consisting of the wives, girlfriends, sisters and mothers of the men that take to the track, and any female racer wanting to strut her stuff. The all-female field currently is slated to consist of six to eight drivers, depending on who shows up.
“It’ll be anyone who can be convinced to get in a car,” said Johna Beech, president of Twin City Raceway’s Circle Track division.
“It’s been awhile since we’ve had a Powder Puff race at Twin City, so it’ll be fun to bring it back this year.”
Following the Hutchings Auto Spa Car Show, which runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., the track will host a Fan Appreciation Night of racing, starting with the Powder Puff race at about 6 p.m.
The season got started Memorial Day weekend with races May 28 and 29, which is a week or two earlier than Twin City typically opens for the summer.
“Opening weekend is always my favorite,” Beech said. “There’s a lot of excitement and everyone’s geared up to go.”
Beech said about 600 racing fans showed up for the action, which will be fast and fierce this year.
In order to make it easier for fans to attend, Beech said the track also shifted the weekend doubleheader weekends from the typical Friday-Saturday slate to a Saturday night and Sunday event. There are four planned doubleheaders this summer.
Also on the schedule is a variety of different feature races, starting with the Alaska Dirt Track Shootout, a four-night series which begins in Fairbanks on June 17 and 18 and finishes at Twin City Raceway on July 22 and 23.
The Legends “Dirty Thirty” 30-lap feature race will roar to life July 16, the stock car “Filthy Fifty” 50-lapper will be Aug. 13 and the Late Model “Topless Twenty Five” is Aug. 27. The Topless Twenty Five will be a race of Late Model machines that have removed the roof, allowing drivers improved sight lines and the fans better views of the drivers working the steering wheel.
“The guys really enjoy it,” Beech said. “It’s a different way to race.”
The summer season wraps up Sept. 3 and 4 with a weekend doubleheader of night races.
The car counts could also see a rise this summer. Beech said the Late Models could see events of 15 to 18 cars, and with a change in the points and rulebook governing the division, the action is expected to be closer. Beech said a group of drivers convened over the winter to decide rule changes on tires, weights and other modifications, in order to keep a level playing field. Beech also said the points format went through a minor change that should keep the championship chase exciting.
Shawn Hutchings won the Late Model track title last year, but 2014 champion Mike Braddock is back to try for the title after recovering from a broken arm last summer.
In the A-Stock division, the opening weekend saw 10 to 12 cars, while the B-Stocks could have at least five entrants. Michael Eyre won the A-Stock title last year, and Keith Jones took the B-Stock trophy.
The Legends class is sure to see six to eight competitive racers, a division that Alex Schwochert won last year by a scant nine points over Bryan Barber.
Beech said the sprint car class is currently in the process of being built back up to a healthy level. If the track sees four or more entrants, the sprints will hold heat and feature races.