AUGUSTA, Ga- Crews are gearing up for the Augusta Southern Nationals Boat Drag Races that will take place this weekend. Some of the boats travel faster than 250 miles per hour and spit flames out of the exhaust. The big change this year is that all qualifying races will be done Friday.
Racers will take home 150 thousand dollars in prizes for the various events this weekend. Unlike other races, patrons are encouraged to go up to the pits and talk to the drivers. 25,000 people are expected to attend the 30-year Augusta tradition, generating an expected $5 million in revenue for Augusta.
Dayton Sherrouse, Race Chairman of the Augusta Southern Nationals describes the scene, “They go extremely fast and the noise and speed is just, if you haven’t seen it before, it’s just almost breathtaking. It makes your arms pop out and goosebumps.”
Stacie Adkins, The CEO of the Augusta Sports Council says, “A lot of those people are going to eat downtown. So the economic impact on just the local businesses will increase as well.” Mayor Hardie Davis is also a fan of the races. At the press conference Thursday he said, “It’s an opportunity for folks from here and far to come to be a part of our city. This really has become a heritage for us when you look at the world’s richest drag boat race and it takes place in our city every year. I think that’s something we can be equally proud of. And it’s something I look forward to being a part of every year as well.”
Tickets are 15 dollars for the qualifying rounds and 20 dollars for the races on Saturday and Sunday.