The unofficial start to the 2020 New England auto racing season begins this weekend with the 32nd annual Northeast Motorsports Expo at the Augusta Civic Center.

Drivers and teams throughout the region will be on hand to greet fans during the three-day event, which begins Friday night and ends Sunday.

“The highlight for me this year is all the exhibitors talking about how they’re going to enhance their booths and hopefully do more than push the cars in and put on a display,” said Steve Perry, owner and promotor of the Motorsports Expo. “Over the past few years, some of the tracks and tours have really gotten more involved with their booths and really try to make them a little bit more appealing.”

Exhibits and vendors attached to the show include the American Canadian Tour (ACT), Beech Ridge Motor Speedway, Oxford Plains Speedway, Wiscasset Speedway, Winterport Dragway and Speedway 95.

Perry said fans will have the chance to be around some of their favorite local drivers.

“It gives the chance for the fan to see a driver out of their element,” Perry said. “Get close to the cars before they start their season on the track. I’ve heard from people out of Connecticut that are coming up for the weekend. I’ve heard from people out of Canada that are coming down for the weekend. This is traditionally the kickoff for the 2020 race season in all of New England, and it’s happening right here in Augusta, Maine.”

Among the highlights of the weekend is a spotter seminar by Shawn Waddell, owner of Waddell Communications, as well as a raffle on a General Motors 602 crate engine. Gardiner-based company Everett J. Prescott and Team EJP Racing is once again one of the sponsor exhibits for the show.

Tickets are priced at $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, $5 for children 6-12. Children 5 and under are free.

The show runs 4:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Sunday.

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