Open­ing night is go­ing to be a big one, but we don’t think there’s a su­perla­tive large enough to de­scribe the $1 Mil­lion Sprint Car Shoot-Out — a world-first event that gives 10 sprint car driv­ers the chance to win $1M. It took months of clar­i­fi­ca­tion to the UK in­surer to get this across the line, and it is such an un­usual con­cept that there are driv­ers from the US fly­ing over specif­i­cally to race in it. Un­like most large pay­outs, this prize can be won by any of the com­peti­tors, and the first step is to make the Top 10. All driv­ers will qual­ify from their heats, as they would nor­mally do, which will de­ter­mine who the Top 10 qual­i­fiers are. In a nor­mal ‘pole shuf­fle’, driv­ers will go head to head to es­tab­lish their start­ing po­si­tions in the fea­ture — how­ever, this time, the time they each run in that driver’s sec­ond lap will be very im­por­tant. Be­fore they head out onto the track, each driver will be asked to nom­i­nate the lap time that they are go­ing to run, and if their ac­tual time matches the time they nom­i­nated, they will be $1M richer. Most driv­ers will have an idea of how they are run­ning, so se­lect­ing the 13-sec­ond time will be the eas­i­est part — they prob­a­bly know whether they would run an early, mid, or late 13, so this will be pinned on them get­ting the full row of num­bers right on the night. We’ll all be watch­ing as the driver’s nom­i­nated time and the time they ac­tu­ally run gets dis­played on the mega screen for all to wit­ness. We asked Jamie McDon­ald, one of the top sprint car driv­ers, about how ex­cited he is for the event. “They’ve never done this be­fore, so full credit for think­ing out­side the box,” he said. But, while the odds are far bet­ter than Lotto, it’s still any­one’s game. “Ev­ery­one will find out on the night — the track changes dur­ing the sea­son, and on the night, so you’ll find that ev­ery­one will be see­ing how they go that night, and choos­ing their time based on that.” And, as men­tioned, the com­pe­ti­tion won’t just be lo­cal, ei­ther. “We’re com­ing over, and bring­ing our driver — I re­ally want the money!” laughed Peter Mur­phy, based in Fresno, Cal­i­for­nia. “I can’t imag­ine how many peo­ple [that] it’s go­ing to at­tract, and it’s ex­cit­ing — it’s got noth­ing to do with how much money they’ve got, but how they race on the night.” Peter is no stranger to West­ern Springs, hav­ing helped Steve Kinser to a win in 2016, and tak­ing crew-chief du­ties for Kyle Hirst, rac­ing that same Dal­tons USA #1 sprint car last year. As Kyle will re­turn to race the Dal­tons car in the up­com­ing Porter Hire In­ter­na­tional Sprint Car Se­ries, with Peter as crew chief, the $1M shot is just an added in­cen­tive to rac­ing on one of the world’s great tracks. “West­ern Springs runs a tight ship. I’ve raced all over Aus­tralia, all over Amer­ica, and West­ern Springs has that at­mos­phere as soon as you roll in the gate, and they run it to such a tight sched­ule,” Peter said. Are you ex­cited yet? For fur­ther de­tails, event, and tick­et­ing info, visit springsspeed­way.com.

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