'A race that can't be missed': Local drivers look to take on NASCAR stars at Slinger Nationals

NOW: ’A race that can’t be missed’: Local drivers look to take on NASCAR stars at Slinger Nationals

SLINGER, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Stock car drivers from across the country have their eyes set on the high banks at Slinger Super Speedway as they prepare for the 44th Slinger Nationals.

Over 30 super late model racers will compete for the $20,000 prize, including 2020 NASCAR Champion Chase Elliot, NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Matt Kenseth, 2022 Nationals Champion and winner of Sunday night's rain-shortened NASCAR Cup Series race William Byron and more.

Along with the NASCAR stars, local racers are looking to prove they belong on top.

"I always tell myself, to be the best, you've got to beat the best," said Steve Apel, a multi-time Slinger track champion who's still chasing his first Nationals victory. "We're excited for it. It's always a challenge to compete against guys you don't race against on a weekly basis."

Thousands of fans are expected to attend the event, with racing set to begin at 6:45 Tuesday night. Slinger Super Speedway co-owner, Elizabeth Thelen, says the track could be looking at a potential sell-out crowd.

"Yes, absolutely," Thelen said. "You can (still) walk up and we'll try and find a spot for you, or you stand."

She says the history behind the Nationals race has helped make it one of the top short track races in the country.

"Being on a Tuesday, we've always scheduled it that way so NASCAR drivers could come in," Thelen explained. "This is one of the top five events in the United States. It's historical and it's quite amazing to see and be a part of. Legends are made here."

For local drivers like Apel, they're hopeful Tuesday night will be their legendary moment.

"There's 35-plus cars here and there's 35 good teams, good drivers that could win at any track across the country," Apel said. "We get one chance every year. Our goal is to be there at the front at the end."

Racing for the 44th Annual Cobblestone Hotels, LLC Slinger Nationals Presented by Lynch Buick GMC of West Bend and Miller Light begins at 6:45 Tuesday night.

For a full schedule, visit the Slinger Super Speedway Facebook page, here.

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