MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WWAY) -- New owners and new features will welcome race fans to the Myrtle Beach Speedway this year.
The Grand Opening for the 2012 race season at Myrtle Beach Speedway is two weeks away. The historic short track has seen four generations of Pettys and three generations of Earnhardts take the green flag. The raceway with many upgrades will continue to be a leader in short track racing, drawing drivers and fans from across North and South Carolina.
"The entire facility is going to get touched in one way or another," said Bob Lutz, one of the new partners of the speedway. "All of the walls around the race track, inside and outside, have been repainted. The bleachers are being sandblasted and they're getting repainted. All of the block buildings are getting stuccoed and all of the trim on all of the buildings is getting redone. Every piece of this facility, in one way or another, is being touched and being improved upon."
The main change for the Myrtle Beach Speedway this year will be the addition of the NASCAR Racing Experience. This attraction allows drivers to race around the track in an actual race car. Construction for the project began in February and the grand opening is set for Thursday, April 19.
“The NASCAR Racing Experience will be operational 4 -5 days a week during the summer months, whether you are a race fan or a thrill seeker you can come out and drive an actual race car around an historic facility like the Myrtle Beach Speedway .”
This year's first race will be on May 5. It's Kids Night and it will feature a Late Model event, drifting and Charger Mini racing.
"We're hoping to pull a lot of fans from the Little River area, Brunswick county and up around Wilmington to make the trip down to check out the new ownership and the speedway," said Matt Cox, a NASCAR Late Model stock car driver from Little River, SC.
Adam Fulford is a NASCAR Mini-Stock driver from Shallotte, NC. He is also a two-time champion at Myrtle Beach Speedway.
"Myrtle Beach Speedway is trying to be a whole lot more fan-friendly. They are trying to get more people to the track and they're trying to get more cars here racing," said Fulford. "We have a ton of people in Brunswick county that come down and race every week and we have quite a few fans from Brunswick county, but we need more; we need more from all the counties."