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22nd Annual Papa John's Firecracker 200 July 3rd at Salem Speedway

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 SALEM, Ind. – Racing returns to Salem Speedway on Sunday, July 3rd, as the Papa John’s Firecracker 200 continues a holiday tradition on the famed southern Indiana high banks.

The 22nd annual classic, paying $5,000 to win, also includes the “Freedom 50” for the Global Assembly Pure Stocks and the “Independence 50” for the Six Sigma Front Wheel Drive Stocks on the quarter-mile infield oval.

“We’re looking forward to a great evening of family fun and outstanding racing action,” said Salem Speedway general manager Richard Deaton.  “Not only will the fans be treated to 200-laps of fender-to-fender competition on the high banks, but an additional 100-laps of racing on the short-track as well.”

For the comfort of fans and drivers alike the 2011 edition of the Papa John’s Firecracker 200 has been moved to the evening hours with the first race scheduled to roll off at 6:15 p.m.  In past years the racing action has started in the heat of mid-afternoon.

Defending Papa John’s Firecracker 200 winner Brett Hudson of Owensboro, Ky., tops the list of formidable drivers entered for the Independence Day weekend classic.

Hudson, who also won the 2010 Halloween 200 at Salem, can expect plenty of competition from other former race winners including, Chuck Barnes Sr. of Louisville (2008-2009-2005), Frank Kimmel II of Borden, Ind. (2007), David Bayens of Memphis, Ind. (2006), Beau Mitchell of Owensboro (2004) and Todd Kempf of Huntingburg, Ind. (2001).

Barnes, a seven-time Salem Speedway track champion with a combined 11 victories in the Firecracker 200 and Halloween 200, visited victory lane earlier this season at Salem with a win in the Frank Kimmel Street Stock Nationals “Ford Drive One 50”.

Other top drivers entered include Johnny Magee of Carthage, Ind., Brian Hopkins of New Castle, Will Kimmel of Sellersburg, Kyle Hadley of Louisville, Chad Hall of Orleans, Ind., and Jason Thompson of Shirley, Ind., among others.

Magee is a former Halloween 200 winner.

Spectator gates open at 3 p.m. on Sunday, July 3rd, with practice at 3:30 p.m. and the first race scheduled for 6:15 p.m.

Advance general admission tickets are priced at $14 for adults and $3 for children (age 7-12).  Kids, age 6 and under, are admitted free when accompanied by an adult.  For tickets or more information call 812-883-6504 or toll free 1-888-246-7223.