Cruisin' the Coast picking up speed at coliseum

Cruisin' the Coast picking up speed at coliseum
Several vehicles race around coliseum grounds. (Photo source: WLOX News)

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The Golden Nugget Casino and Racing Rednecks hosts its second annual Auto Cross race, open to all registered participants of Cruisin' the Coast on Monday-Wednesday.

The technical course is made up of cones arranged throughout the west parking lot of the Coast Coliseum. Participants can reach speeds of up to 40 mph and race against the clock to be crowned, "King of the Coast."

"A lot of people are intimidated about trying it for the first time, but after one lap – you're hooked," said Brian Finch, VP of American Streetcar Promotion and an organizer of the event.

"It's really safe. You're running against your own car so at worst you might hit a cone," said Finch.

BFGoodrich, an event sponsor, also has a "share the ride" initiative that allows non-cruisers to ride the course with a professional driver.

"I saw it on the Cruisin' program and had to give it a try," said Antonio Maddox of Troy, AL. "It's my first time, but I'm not really scared because I'll be riding with a professional."

"The course is pretty challenging," said Jim Moran. "It's got some tight turns and you actually have to slow down to go fast."

Moran took his 1929 Model A Roadster pickup on the track. His passenger, Hannah Moran said the ride was thrilling.

"I just cracked up laughing the whole time," Hannah laughed. "It was just so funny. I mean to take a Model A that has 40 horse power and put it out on the motor cross and all these speedier cars, seeing them going in like 20 seconds and everything, it was just funny."

Hannah was not the only one enjoying the passenger's seat.

"You're going a lot faster than you think you are when you have the cones coming at you," said Amanda Morgan. "It was awesome."

And for some drivers, seeing that excitement next to them can be just as exhilarating as driving the course.

"I don't know who it's more exciting for, someone that is setting in the passenger seat that has never done it before or the driver," said David Hamilton. "You are always trying to go faster. Some of them sit over there and squeal like little girls."

According to Finch, the added exposure has helped more than double the number of participants from last year's event by midday Tuesday.
"It's been a big hit this year. People are taking their investment into these cars, and really taking the cruise to a different level," Finch said.

The Auto Cross runs 9 a.m. until 5pm Wednesday when organizers will tally the times and choose a winner.

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