Thursday, March 12, 2009

Ventura Raceway holds season opener Saturday

By Lee Elder

Racing returns to Ventura Raceway with tomorrow’s season opener. Let the excitement begin.
The Ventura Racing Association’s Sprint Car and Sports Compact classes will begin their season, along with the IMCA Modifieds, USAC Junior Ford Focus Midgets and the crowd-pleasing California Lightning Sprints. Racing starts at 5:30 p.m.
The off-season has been a busy one for promoter Jim Naylor, the raceway staff and friends. A complex construction project has lengthened the racing surface and made the corner banking steeper. Lap times will be quicker and the venue’s reputation for close competition will remain.
“The opener will be a fast-paced night,” Naylor said. “The cars will be faster and we’ve built a really racy track. We could probably sell every seat twice because the customers will spend most of their time jumping up and down and having a good time. They’ll be too excited to sit down.”
Ticket prices at the Ventura Raceway are family-friendly because kids under 12 can attend the races free of charge when accompanied by an adult. General admission tickets cost $14. The student, military and senior price is $11.
“Ventura Raceway has always been a place for the whole family,” Naylor said. “That’s what this is all about. Our ticket prices reflect that.”
Ventura Raceway is located at Seaside Park just a few yards from the Pacific Ocean. The track has hosted nationally televised races 18 times, attracting future superstars the likes of Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart. Naylor is a member of the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame.
Ventura Raceway is the only successful professional sports franchise in Ventura County history and is among the longest-tenured entities at the Ventura County Fairgrounds. More information is available at