By Anvil Welch
Globe Sports Writer
The Central Drag Racing Association will bring its annual Bracket Finals to Mo-Kan Dragway for the first time.
The event, in its 10th year, will be held Saturday and Sunday at the strip near Asbury, Mo.
Mo-Kan owner Carl Blanton expects a "minimum'' of 250 drag racers will represent their home tracks as members of teams.
Participating tracks, in addition to Mo-Kan, are from Arkansas (Prescott), Kansas (Arkansas City), Missouri (Rogersville, near Springfield, and Cameron) and Oklahoma (Ardmore and Tulsa).
"This event has been phenomenal,'' Blanton said. "Drivers have shown a high interest in it and this year is no exception. But I really don't know if there's one reason why it's kept its allure.''
There is the competition factor, Blanton said.
"Drivers have to earn the right to go,'' Blanton said. "The driver has to earn those points to represent the team.''
Drivers will secure points for their teams with each win. A Race of Champions will spice the program on Saturday night with the respective tracks represented by their points champions.
"We're looking forward to it,'' Blanton said. "It will bring a lot of people to Joplin. We (track officials) have a big job ahead of us.''
A two-day pass can be bought for $25 and a daily for $15. Tickets include a pit pass. There is no admission charge for 12-and-under.
Gates open Saturday at 9 a.m. with two time runs allotted each driver beginning at 10. The Race of Champions is scheduled for 6 p.m. Gates open Sunday at 8 a.m. with eliminations at 9.
The Bracket Finals will return to Mo-Kan every three years if the current CDRA agreement holds, Blanton said.
Blanton can be reached at (417) 781-7281 or 529-4293.
By Anvil Welch