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Race Fans Pack Augusta Civic Center 

As bitter cold temperatures remind us what January in New England is all about, thousands of stock car racing fans jammed into the Augusta Civic Center to get a glimpse of what the summer months will bring. Steve Perry is the owner os SPR Promotions, who is in charge of the 22nd Northeast Motorsports Expo. “Every track in the state of Maine is represented with their oval track race cars,” says Perry, “you got drag cars, you got pulling tractors, you got everything that any motorsports enthusiast is looking to see has been here at the augusta civic center.” Racetracks from Eastern Maine were well represented including folks from Winterport Dragway and Unity Raceway which opens their season May 15th. George Fernald works at Unity Raceway and says he expects a great turnout this season. “I’m seeing a whole different attitude this year,” says Fernald, “the economy has been real tough everywhere but I think people are tired of the economy and they’re gonna come out this year and we’re gonna have some great racing.”Some stock car drivers were on hand to meet fans, sign autographs, and let people get an up close and personal look at the stock cars they race as well as ask the drivers questions. Eddie Macdonald is one of those drivers. He’s off to California after this event to race the same car he has on display for Maine’s racing fans. Macdonald has been busy this weekend mingling with fans and answering their questions. “Just different things, what our schedules are like, what different races we’re gonna run in the area, and just different divisions that we’re gonna run in,” he says.The event attracted race fans of all ages which is exactly what Perry was hoping for. “We’ve got them from all ages,” he says, “we got people that are in their 70’s and 80’s walking around bringing their grandchildren and getting interested in all this stuff. It’s not just stock car racing, obviously Maine is a big stock car racing area, but there’s a lot going on here, there’s vendors, there’s exhibits, there’s collectibles.”Throw in a tractor pull for kids as well as a special booth devoted to the history of stock car racing in Maine and there was very little to be desired if you’re a racing fan in Maine, except maybe the wait for the upcoming race season.