Sprague, Benson, Speed, Crafton to Headline Race Fest in Downtown Mansfield As has been tradition since 2005, the Ohio 250 weekend in Mansfield will officially kick off with Race Fest in downtown Mansfield. This year's event will feature the...
Sprague, Benson, Speed, Crafton to Headline Race Fest in Downtown Mansfield
As has been tradition since 2005, the Ohio 250 weekend in Mansfield will officially kick off with Race Fest in downtown Mansfield. This year's event will feature the transporter parade with 32 of the race team transporters parked on Park Avenue West and several of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series most popular drivers signing autographs in the gazebo in the town square.
"This promises to be the biggest and best edition of Race Fest yet," said Mansfield Motorsports Park public relations manager Charles Krall. "Everyone is excited about it. The transporter drivers always look forward to it, the drivers are excited, and I just can't wait for it to get here. Usually you expect the action on the race track to be the highlight of the weekend but I really think what we have going on downtown will be very close. It's going to be a really good time."
Headlining the event will be 2004 Ohio 250 winner and three-time series champion Jack Sprague. In four starts at Mansfield, Sprague has never finished lower than second and the stop in the Buckeye State is always one of his favorites. Alongside Sprague will be former NASCAR Nationwide Series champion Johnny Benson, Ohio-based ThorSport Racing's Matt Crafton and Shelby Howard, and former Formula One pilot Scott Speed. Others that will be signing include home state drivers Tim Cowen and Jack Smith, Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidates Justin Marks and Brian Scott, and series newcomer Keven Wood. Wood is the grandson of Glen Wood, one of the founding members of the famed Wood Bros. Racing Team.
Fans in attendance will also have the chance to take a tour of the several of the racing transporters. Those tentatively scheduled to be open for tours are Kevin Harvick Inc.s' No. 33 Camping World rig (driver Ron Hornaday); Circle Bar Racing's No. 14 Power Stroke Diesel by International rig (driver Rick Crawford); Germain Racing's No. 30 Lumber Liquidators rig (driver Todd Bodine) and BHR-VA's No. 18 Dodge Motorsports rig (driver Dennis Setzer).
Many show cars will also be on display adjacent to the gazebo. Tim Cowen will have his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series No. 42 Cowen Logistics Ford F-150 on display alongside his No. 75 Ford Taurus NASCAR Camping World East Series car. Danny Jackson will have his USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series car and Jack Smith and Mike Osgar will have their ASA Late Model Series cars on display. Charlie Shultz will have his winged ISMA supermodified on hand as well. Others may be also be added in the next week.
A unique addition to Race Fest is the Women's Auxiliary of Motorsports Cook-Off, which will feature several drivers barbequing a small meal to be judged by a select panel of BBQ experts. WAM will also have a memorabilia auction with several pieces of racing history from the Cup, Nationwide, and Truck Series up for auction to the highest bidder.
Nearly 40 vendors will be on hand, there will be inflatables for kids of all ages to jump in, and several of the neighboring restaurants will be running Race Fest specials for the fans on hand. Mansfield Motorsports Park will have its souvenir trailer on hand and fans will be able to purchase the weekend's souvenir program with a complete entry list and weekend schedule. Tickets for upcoming MMP events will also be available. Those in attendance will also have the chance to check out an Air Force Mini Jet F22 and try their skills on the Isenhart Motorsports Late Model racing simulator.
Race Fest kicks off at 5 P.M. when the transport rigs roll down Park Avenue West from their staging area in the Sears parking lot at the Richland Mall. The driver autograph session kicks off at 6 P.M. and the driver Q&A session will follow at 7 P.M. The transport rigs will roll for the MMP paddock at 8 P.M. Live music from the Line Drive Band will continue until 8:30 P.M.
Tickets for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Ohio 250 are now on sale, and can be purchased via the track website, www.mansfieldmotorsportsonline.com. Fans can also call the track ticket office at (419) 525-RACE (7223), or visit the speedway office at 100 Crall Road.