Drivers not usually seen at Merced Speedway will be converging on the local oval Saturday night for the last race of the season. Seven divisions of racecars will be competing in qualifying and feature events.
Dubbed "Sibling Rivalry" because the race has an open invitation to attend for drivers from sister track Antioch Speedway, Saturday's race will also afford modified stock car drivers a chance to prepare for a national event in Las Vegas next month. Antioch Speedway finished its season last week.
"We (race drivers) need to keep going if you don't race, you and your car won't be in condition to compete against cars from the East at Las Vegas," explained Merced 2012 track champ Bill Egleston.
Egleston has gotten calls from drivers who race in Bakersfield who are planning on traveling up to Merced on Saturday. They wanted clues about the quarter-mile clay oval that would help them adjust their cars to be competitive.
"I'm bringing two cars," he said. "My new car for Las Vegas will be on display for fans to see before the races, then I'm going to take it out on the track for practice laps. I'll be racing my older car in Saturday's event."
Egleston will "shake down" the new car for any problems to be corrected or adjustments to be made.
"Then it will be time to go out and have some fun," he added.
Antioch drivers are even car-pooling to get to Merced. Hobby stockers Brad Myers, Nick Baldwin and Fast Freddie Ryland are sharing trailers to get all their cars to the track. Ryland is flying back from Hawaii in time to make the race.
"We've raced on Saturday at Antioch Speedway all season. Now, the chance to get some variety is great," said Myers. "We're all looking forward to racing against different drivers. For many of us it will be a new track to drive on and new people to meet."
For Merced fans, the race will be a one-time chance to see cars and drivers who have never ventured to Merced. In addition to the modified division, the racing divisions will include SportMods, Hobby Stocks, Valley Sportsman, Antioch Speedway Dwarf Cars, Super Stocks with Antioch Speedway Super Hobby Stocks; and, Mini Stocks that are "Four Bangers" at Antioch Speedway.
Racing will begin at 7 p.m. on Saturday night. Merced Speedway is located at the Merced County Fairgrounds, 900 Martin Luther King Jr. Way.