Drag Racing, Celebrities, Show Cars, Meals, Music and Match Races at US 131~Officially, the event this week at US 131 Motorsports Park is Imports vs. Domestics #8, but that doesn’t tell the story.

Unofficially, it’s a raucous, three-day celebration of the Latin car culture that includes a featured match race between the “La Problematica” Mitsubishi and the “El Tio” Honda, the El Orfanato Car Show and Audio Contest featuring DJ Angel Gee, specialty Puerto Rican food from vendors like Delicias del Campo and Sabor 100×35, a performance by the Latin band Bacha Popi and insights provided by celebrity announcer Cokketo Locutor.

Not that there won’t be plenty of racing and plenty of cash to be won, too.

Pro 8th and Outlaw 632 titles will be decided on the eighth-mile course with Quick 32, Sport Front Wheel Drive and three Index classes (8.50, 10.00 and 11.50) all running the standard quarter mile.  The winner’s share of the purse is $5,000 in each of the featured categories.

There will also be racing in the Carbarino Construction Jr. Dragster category featuring 7.90, 8.90 and 1until 1.90 classes. The 7.90 class and 8.90 classes will be run together.  The 11.90 class will be run until one is left, that race will then go into the larger class and race the winner is determined.  Entry fee is $50, buybacks are available and payout is $1000.

A bracket class will also be contested, $2000 payout, buybacks and time trials are on Saturday.  Depending upon car count, eliminations will be held on Saturday and/or Sunday.

The event has grown bigger and better in each of its iterations thanks to the work of promoters Xavier, Brian and Luisito Rosario.   It was their idea this year to bring in Locutor, the announcer at Salinas Speedway in Puerto Rico, because of his familiarity with so many of the participating Latin racers.

This year’s event is global in scope.  Vehicles committed to the competition include the Brujo Performance Mazda B2000 truck that owns the distinction of being the fastest in the world at 7.63 seconds, 185 miles per hour; the “Baby Hulk” turbo Mitsubishi Lancer that’ll race in the 11.50 class; the “El Trauma” Suzuki Samurai, a Quick 32 challenger; and the Chicago-based “Green Hornet” 1978 Toyota Corolla that Jomar Gomez drove to runner-up honors a year ago after running 6.98 and 198 mph.

Also, the “La Chulisnaki” rotary Mazda world record holder, the Jaylian Racing Toyota Starlet that has run 6.82 at 200 mph and was runner-up this year at the World Cup Finals at Maryland International Raceway; the El Jerry Racing Toyota Supra that’s stopped the quarter mile timers in 5.87 seconds at 247 mph; and Canada’s quickest and fastest Supra (6.56 seconds at 213 mph) owned and driven by Ryan Sammut.

On the Domestic side, the challengers will include a host of Michiganders including Rockford car dealer Dave Hekhuis, who’ll run the 8.50 Index in his supercharged 1970 Chevy Chevelle SS.

Friday pit gates open at 12 noon with an Open Test & Tune, qualifying for Quick 32, Pro 8th and Sport FWD from 5 pm until 10 pm.  Gates open Saturday and Sunday at 9 am with a full slate of activities each day. Saturday qualifying starts at 10 am.  Sunday a non-denominational chapel service will be held at 9:30 am, on track at 10 am and pre-race ceremonies at 12 noon with eliminations starting after.

Adult admission is $20 Friday, $25 Saturday and $25 Sunday with a $5 savings on the purchase of a weekend pass ($65).  VIP motorhome parking is $100 for the weekend with VIP car, truck and SUV parking available for $20 daily.  Children 12 and under are free with a ticketed adult.  For racers, a limited number of electric pit spots are available for the weekend for $50 per day.