COLUMBUS, MISSISSIPPI-Columbus Speedway will kick off the 2003 racing season with the third annual Mississippi Winter Classic presented by Jim’s Used Cars of Memphis, Tennessee this Saturday afternoon at 1:30pm. The main event will be a 40-lap Super Late Model feature paying $3,000 to win for the one day show. Many of the finest drivers in the region are expected to be on hand vying for the win in the first event of the 2003 Mississippi Racing season. Last year’s event saw 58 Super Late Models and a total of 176 entries take to the infamous high banks at the popular 3/10’s mile red clay oval for the second running of the fun event. The Super Late Model victor in 2002 was “The Frye Daddy” Bill Frye of Greenbriar, Arkansas as Frye is no stranger to visiting the coveted Victory Lane at the Columbus bullring. Another strong field of participants should be on hand to kick off the racing season in the Magnolia State and Mid-South racing region. All exciting local divisions will be in action at the Winter Classic as many drivers will debut new machines for the 2003 season while others will move up the ladder to take new challenges in different divisions. Classes in action include the fast growing Mississippi (IMCA Type) Modified division which will have a big $1,000 to win 20-lap main event that should see a strong field on hand as the talent pool in the area is overflowing as the class has taken hold in the region an is becoming a fan favorite in the area due to the exciting racing provided by the open wheel pilots. Jimmy Dixon made his maiden voyage down from Arkansas to take the first place Modified prize back across the river to the “Natural State.” Other classes waging war include the competitive Pro Streets, popular Street Stocks, Mini Stocks, Pro 4’s, and wild and crazy two-person Cruiser class. All classes will run under the guidelines of 2003 Columbus Speedway rules which can be found on the Columbus Speedway homepage hosted at www.MidSouthRacing.com. The Jim’s Used Cars Mississippi Winter Classic will get underway on January 24th with a special Friday afternoon test and tune session from 2pm until 5pm. The session is open to all competitors and there will be free grandstand admission for the fans. Pit gates will open at 11am. Action will then heat up on Saturday the 25th as racing action gets underway with the Winter Championships on the line. The line up will consist of Super Late Model Pole Qualifying and local division qualifying races. The Super Late Models will then run an expected number of two B-Main’s to fill out the remainder of the 24-car starting field. Main events in all divisions will conclude the afternoon highlighted by the $3,000 to win 40-lap Jim’s Used Cars Super Late Model Winter Championship and $1,000 to win 20-lap Modified Winter Championship. Gates will open at 8am with Hot Laps at 12:30pm and Racing at 1:30pm. Adult grandstand admission is $15 with children 10 and under admitted for free. Pit passes are $25. Lawn chairs and coolers are allowed. The next racing event at Columbus Speedway following the Winter Classic will be the 2003 Columbus Speedway Weekly Racing Series season opener on Saturday evening March 1st. Event information is available by calling Johnny Stokes at 662-574-2572 during the day or 662-327-3047 in the evenings. The Columbus Speedway event hotline on race day is 662-241-5004 or visit the Columbus Speedway Internet home hosted at www.MidSouthRacing.com . Columbus Speedway is located 1 mile west of the Alabama/Mississippi Sate line and 7 miles east of Columbus. The track can be accessed by taking the Stokes Road exit off of Highway 82 and proceeding north and then taking the first right past Pleasant Hill Baptist Church onto Lacy Road and Columbus Speedway will be ½-mile on the left.