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Dirt track racers car show

The “Local Dirt Track Racers Car Show” ... will be from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., followed by a short parade, on Saturday, April 9. Mike Noteboom (center) is hosting the display and information time at Les’ Body Shop. Sons, Jeremy (left) and Travis (right), will be with car drivers to talk about the sport and the cars.

For the second year, Mike Noteboom will be hosting the “Local Dirt Track Racers Car Show.” From 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 9, Les’ Body Shop parking lot will be filled with around 14 cars that can make any lead-footed, white-knuckled driver drool. Bring your camera so you can have a picture taken in front of the dirt track race car of your dreams.

Racers from the Philip area will gladly answer questions about the cars and about dirt track racing. The sport is one that requires a car, skill, and an overpowering desire for adrenaline. The racers will also display their cars in a short parade through Philip around 2:00. Citizens should easily hear the power coming down the street.

The main class of cars and races for contestants from this area is “street stock.” These cars are light and fast. Contrary to their name, they are not street legal and have been pretty much put together from the ground up. They have no extra weight of any kind – including windows, lights, inside door panels, mufflers, nor a speedometer. They consist of a chassis, a 5-point seat harness, some metal paneling and a V-8 engine.

The next class is “super stock” – lighter still, yet with an even larger engine.

Only one person from this area is in the next class – Nathan Kjerstad drives a “late model.” These are the lightest cars with the biggest engines, needing far wider tires to try to keep them grounded. Kjerstad usually drives with a group of 16-22 competitors. According to Kjerstad, repeating what the track owner said, the late models (600+ horsepower) reach 80 miles per hour on the track. Please note that the dirt track is only 3/8 of a mile oval, the cars have no speedometers, and other cars are sometimes less than a coat of paint away. Qualifying heat races usually are eight laps around the track. An event race is usually 20 laps.

One more class competed in by a local driver is the “mini-sprint.” Jaeson and Cody Hanrahan trade off on driving their short, light, motorcycle-engined car that has a huge Z-shaped air foil on the roof.

The dirt, rocks and dust add to the sense of speed and competiveness. Mike Noteboom excitedly admitted that all of the entrant cars earn dents and scratches before too long into the season. Several of the cars were rolled before last season was over. Noteboom’s “We like to have fun!” is illustrated by the guys painting “For Sale: if you can read this, make me an offer” underneath one of the cars.

Last season, one local driver got a new car in mid-season. During its second lap, the car was rolled (thank goodness for roll-bars), but, the driver still earned points for the race and he finished the season.

The Philip area has a very large percentage of drivers for its population. “... and they do very well.” said Noteboom. “We have fun, but come racing night, it’s all business.” The age of drivers ranges from the rare teenager up to far older, and includes some women.

An individual race is great to win, but contestants earn points for running at least one lap in a given race. They also earn more points the better they place, with first place earning the most per race. The season point champion obviously has to do consistently well during the entire season.

Along with car show hosts Mike, Travis and Jerry Noteboom, some racers showing their cars at the “Local Dirt Track Racers Car Show” will include Dustin Arthur, Brian Hostutler, Chris Walker, Luke Clements, Andy Fitzgerald, Clint Jensen, John Jensen, Josh Jensen, Cam Meinzer, Jaeson and Cody Hanrahan and Nathan Kjerstad. Dustin Smith and Kenny Clements are two new racers this year.

The first scheduled race of the season will be April 29 at the Black Hills Speedway in Rapid City.