Dirt flies at the Mitchell Raceway

Published: Jun. 20, 2023 at 5:16 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The Mitchell raceway is in full gear, with the Gene’s life in Alaska Dirt Shootout just a week away, the race this weekend gives all the racers the chance to get everything ready for one of the biggest races of the year.

“We’re running a little bit behind this year, we had some issues, and it just wouldn’t make sense to open the track. So we went ahead and canceled, and this is going to be our opening night,” said Monte Pearson, President of the Greater Fairbanks Racing Association. “So this is going to be the night for the guys to test and tune the Gene’s life in Alaska dirt shootout next week with special guest, Nascar legend Kenny Schrader, he’s going to come up, and race modifieds with us.”

Though everyone in the racing association is excited about the opening night of racing, it’s not the only thing planned for the night. Organizers have also found a way to give back to the community.

“Yeah, for the food bank here in Fairbanks, bring four cans of food and get in free. So it doesn’t get much better than that, and all the donations go to the Fairbanks food banks,” said Pearson.

The effort put in by the Greater Fairbanks Racing Association for the community is always returned by those looking to enjoy something to do on a Friday night.

“The support is amazing, Fairbanks really does embrace dirt track racing here in Fairbanks. We’ve seen in the last few years, we get crowds from two to a thousand spectators on race nights, and it’s just exciting,” said Pearson. “The shootout brings out a lot more fans. A lot more fans come to see the Nascar legends that we’ve been bringing up.”

The fundraiser for the opening night of racing at Mitchell Raceway would collect 741 pounds of food for the Fairbanks food bank.

The dollar stocks would first up for the night, and Zach Breland ran away with the lead to take the win for the night and solid second place finish by first time racer Kole Laughlin.

In the modified race, fans would see a race of survival, with cars dropping out due to wrecks or mechanical difficulties. Jerry Parsons would find a way to stay clean and be the last one standing in the end, to take home the win.

The sprint cars would see Colby Hill jump out from the flag drop, and use his speed out of turn two and down the back stretch to take home the win.