Saturday, January 7, 2012

1973 - Florida State Fair Auto Races To Be Bigger Than Ever

Tampa, Fla. (January 7, 1973) - The 53rd annual Winternational Sprints sanctioned by the International Motor Contest Association, Florida's oldest racing event, will be held in conjunction with the Florida State Fair, February 7-10-11-14 and 17, according to J. McKinley Jeter, IMCA secretary-manager.

A number of changes and improvements will be unveiled during the midwinter speed classic, which has won the reputation as the "Original World Series of Dirt Track Racing".

Increased purse money and a new time trial format, which was passed upon at the recent board meeting of the International Motor Contest Association, held in Las Vegas, will be in effect starting Wednesday, February 7. Time trials will be held Wednesday afternoon, February 7; Sunday afternoon, February 10 and Wednesday afternoon, February 14.

Time trials on the two Wednesdays will be open to the public free of charge. The race, held under lights will face the starter at 7 p.m.

The two Saturdays will see racing at 2 p.m. and the middle Sunday as well. Added lights have been provided for the backstretch and the two turns to assist with visibility for both spectator and driver, on both Wednesday nights.

Purse money has been increased to $20,875 for the five events and it is now possible for the IMCA champion to win $300 on top of his purse money by setting fast time and appearing for advance publicity purposes.

The first five qualifiers will win $100-$75-$60-$50-$40 instead of the straight $50 paid in former years. The 50-lap feature on February 17th pays $1,000 to win.

The top 30 drivers finishing in the 1972 IMCA championship standings will be automatically accepted as entries, then the next 30 received in the mail will fill the field of 60 cars and drivers. The promoter is allowed to invite five national and regional champions. Entry blanks have been mailed and those rejected will receive a telegram 10 days before race time.

A “preview’ race meet is being discussed and total prize money may run over the $25,000 total paid out in 1972, according to Al Sweeney, chairman of National Speedways, Inc.

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