Race Cars Rev Up Region 8

March 19, 2005 – Posted at 9:19 p.m. CST

WALNUT RIDGE -- Race fans listen up. The National Sports Car Club America has taken over the Walnut Ridge Airport. It's the third stop of eleven on the national tour.

They may not be stock cars, but these bad boys run strong. Sometimes too strong but that's just the way it is when you're solo racing with Sports Car Club America.

"You're driving as hard as you possibly can as smooth as you possibly can not to hit cones," said John Thomas, 12 time SCCA National Champion.

That means taking sharp turns at 70 miles per hour.

"I've always been a little speed demon," said Thomas.

Anyone can join the club but you better bring your skills.... the competition is fast and furious.

"I have 6 national championships," said Paula Whitney, who started racing in 1978.

But unlike NASCAR there's no happy hour. The only test run you get is in a Chevrolet...when you shove one foot and lay the other.

"If you don't walk the course first and get a general idea of how the course is laid out. You'd run off course and never know it," said Jonesboro native Wallace Hattenhauer, "Inside the car you have to be very focused, there are a sea of cones."

And if you take one out, go ahead and add 2 seconds to your score. Drivers wear out their checkbooks...buying tires and brakes but....

"For the dollars per smile you couldn't make a better investment," laughed Hattenhauer.

The final races will continue Sunday at the Walnut Ridge Airport. They start at 8 a.m. and admission is free.