Pro experience awaits at CPT show

JIM CRESSMAN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 11:04 AM ET

Have you ever wanted to try your hand at changing tires like the pros in NASCAR Sprint Cup?

How about testing your reaction time at the "Christmas tree" in drag racing?

Perhaps you've wanted to take the wheel of a go-kart?

Or maybe you're just looking for a wintertime racing fix?

Then the second annual CPT Racing Experience this weekend at the Western Fair Agriplex is for you.

You can even reach out and touch the real race-driven NASCAR Cars of Tomorrow that have been piloted by Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Gordon.

The first show was last year at the London Convention Centre and after drawing positive reviews, its growth was assured, forcing organizers to seek a larger venue.

"Moving to the Agriplex presented some exciting opportunities for us to add to our roster of interactive activities," said Kevin Bulmer of CPT Entertainment. He's also former manager at Delaware Speedway.

"The Agriplex is so vast we could actually look at getting things 'moving' inside the building as part of the show."

Bulmer is particularly excited that they've been able to add a temporary go-kart track in the arena area.

"It's one of the reasons we were attracted to this venue. It's allowed us to take our model of interactivity to another level."

Patrons will, for $5, be able to do a few laps around the track with all proceeds going to Jesse's Journey.

"This not only is an opportunity for people to get their wintertime racing fix, they'll be supporting a great cause while doing it," he said.

This is Southwestern Ontario's only trade show dedicated entirely to motorsports. Surveys taken at last year's event showed more than 70 per cent of attendees came from outside London.

That means hundreds of visitors were drawn into the city.

"The people that are racers were there. The people that are interested in racing were there and it's where they're going to learn about all aspects of our sport," said Oxford Community Police Const. Bob McDonald, himself a motorsports enthusiast.

"London is just a great spot for this."

There are many area drivers scheduled to be on hand with their cars.

The list includes NASCAR Canadian Tire and Nationwide competitor D.J. Kennington, eight-time Delaware late model champion Steve Robblee, alcohol funny car driver Paul Noakes, Kirk Hooker (Delaware late model), Ryan Litt (Auto Value Super Sprints), Mark Watson (two-time Delaware open wheel modified champion), Mark Sammut (ISMA super modified) and Dave Whitlock (NASCAR Canadian Tire).

California dreamin'

NASCAR Canadian Tire Series champion Scott Steckley of Milverton is at Toyota Speedway in Irwindale, Calif., this weekend for the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown.

Called the Daytona 500 of short-track racing, this event features protected starting positions for the champions of each NASCAR touring and weekly series.

The two biggest names are Ron Hornaday Jr., the 1996, '98 and '07 Camping World Truck Series champion, and Joey Logano, the defending All-Star Showdown champion who made three Sprint Cup starts in 2008.

Logano, who ran full-time in the Nationwide Series last year, moves up to Sprint Cup full-time for Joe Gibbs Racing.

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CPT RACING EXPERIENCE

When: Saturday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: Western Fair Agriplex

Objectives: To gather the community of those involved in motorsports in Canada and to promote local, regional and national racing, tracks, series and related businesses; to provide resources to people in the industry to help them become more successful; to provide resources for those interested in getting involved in the sport; to provide an entertainment experience.

Tickets: $12; Children 12 and under are free.

Information: www.cptrace.com


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