Firebird aflame: Funny cars, fireworks to light up raceway - East Valley Tribune: Get Out

Firebird aflame: Funny cars, fireworks to light up raceway

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Posted: Friday, June 17, 2005 6:54 am | Updated: 8:44 am, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

When a giant mechanical dinosaur promises to set cars aflame and crush them with its massive steel arms, you know the kids are in for some fun.

Robosaurus, a 40-foot, 60,000-pound mechanical monster, makes an appearance in Arizona just once a year. On Saturday, it’ll be at Jets vs. Funny Cars and Fireworks, Too! at Firebird International Raceway.

"It picks up cars, chews them up and breathes fire on them — it basically melts them," says Jason Slipcheck, spokesman for the raceway. "It’s like the biggest hit with the kids."

Robosaurus is just one of several high-energy, fire-filled events sure to excite kids at the raceway.

Cars hooked up to jet engines will spit fire 25 feet behind them while drag-racing funny cars. Funny cars are dragsters with a massive front-mounted engine. Most look like stock cars tilted forward on really big wheels.

"It’s a huge family event," says Slipcheck.

Professional drivers will race four different funny cars and four jet dragsters down the strip, while freestyle motocross teams jump and flip over dirt ramps on each side of the stadium. The night will end with a fireworks display.

Now in its 11th year, this show is expected to draw a crowd of more than 33,000 people.

The show begins at 7:30 p.m., but the gates open at 4 p.m.

Slipcheck says kids can arrive early to walk around the stadium, get close enough to check out the cars and meet some of the drivers.

If you go

What: Jets vs. Funny Cars and Fireworks, Too!

When: Gates open at 4 p.m., show begins at 7:30 p.m. Saturday

Where: Firebird International Raceway, 20000 S. Maricopa Road

Cost: Adults $26, kids 12 and younger free. Prices vary for pit passes and reserved seating.

Information: (602) 268-0200 or www.firebirdraceway.com

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