NST: Sweetwater preview

NST headed to high altitude of Wyoming Sweetwater Speedway a high challenge for NST teams ROCK SPRINGS, Wyo. -- Breathe deep, if you can. The National Sprint Tour teams travel to Rock Springs this weekend for a Sept. 15-16 doubleheader at ...

NST headed to high altitude of Wyoming
Sweetwater Speedway a high challenge for NST teams

ROCK SPRINGS, Wyo. -- Breathe deep, if you can.

The National Sprint Tour teams travel to Rock Springs this weekend for a Sept. 15-16 doubleheader at Sweetwater Speedway, located on the Sweetwater Event Complex.

Deep breathing will be easier said than done during the weekend, as the elevation in Rock Springs is 6,250 feet above sea level.

That will force engine tuners to work harder than usual to massage speed out of the 800-horsepower machines.

"It's just a matter of tweaking the engine," said Larry Lloyd, CEO of the Sweetwater Events Complex. "Overall the speeds are good here. Tuning the engine is always a challenge. The air is a little thinner here, so you have to compensate for it. The same with tire pressures. It's a fast track, and it's high-banked."

Chad Banks, marketing director at the Sweetwater Events Complex, agrees that engine tuning will be at a premium come Friday and Saturday nights.

"It is certainly different from racing at sea level somewhere like California," Banks said in reference to where the NST last raced Sept. 5.

Having a series like the NST in town is different for Rock Springs, and the upcoming weekend has excitement running high in town with the anticipation of watching Danny Lasoski, Steve Kinser, Tim Kaeding, Jason Meyers, Jason Solwold, Paul McMahan, Jason Sides, Shane Stewart, Brian Paulus, Dean Jacobs, Kerry Madsen, Travis Rilat, Stevie Smith, Jonathan Allard and Chad Hillier take on local racers.

"It's a real big deal for us," Banks said. "We're very excited. We haven't had a race of this caliber since 1999. It's a real boost for our track and our community, and for Wyoming overall."

Lloyd is among those sharing that excitement.

"I can't tell you how excited we are," Lloyd said. "There's a great enthusiasm from the staff, and from people in town. When the drivers show up, they will see checkered flags along the main drive. People at most of the businesses in town have promotional buttons for this event."

Drivers and team members will have a chance to see the enthusiasm first hand on Thursday evening, starting at 6 p.m.

"They will leave from our facility, and go through the main streets to White Mountain Mall," Banks said. "People will have an opportunity to see the trucks and the cars."

After the big rigs leave the track around 6 p.m., a meet and greet session at the mall is expected to run from about 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Lloyd said there is city participation in the event.

"We're planning on a convoy," he said. "The truck convoy will go through town, ending with a barbeque at the mall. The city's fire department and police department will lead the convoy."

Throughout Friday and Saturday, cars and drivers will be on display at various places around the town, giving fans multiple opportunities to the machines up close.

Come evening both nights, Lloyd is expecting many of those enthusiastic fans to be at the 3/8-mile track, based on past races.

"Everything sits in a bowl, so spectators have a great view of everything happening," Lloyd said. "The crowds go wild over the speed and the technical driving.

"This is a racing community," Lloyd added. "We get people from outside our immediate area for these big races. I believe the same thing will happen this time. We're getting a lot of calls about this."

Tickets are $35 a night, and can be purchased by phone at 307-352-6789 ext. 200 or online at www.sweetwaterevents.com/specialeventsNST.html. Tickets purchased online can also be printed online.

Banks encourages fans to get tickets now, as he anticipates a sellout for this event.

"Our community has really supported it greatly," he said.

For more information on the NST, visit www.nationalsprinttour.com.

-credit: nst

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About this article
Series Sprint
Drivers Danny Lasoski , Steve Kinser , Dean Jacobs , Jason Sides , Kerry Madsen , Paul McMahan , Shane Stewart , Travis Rilat , Tim Kaeding