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AP PHOTOS: Dirt track racing at the Ponderosa Speedway
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AP PHOTOS: Dirt track racing at the Ponderosa Speedway

In this July 17, 2015 photo, cars race on a dirt track at the Ponderosa Speedway in Junction City, Ky. The Speedway, in operation since 1972, is among a handful of dirt racetracks sprinkled across Kentucky where weekend drivers, their crews and families can test their mechanical and driving skills. (AP Photo/David Stephenson)

JUNCTION CITY, Ky. (AP) — At the Ponderosa Speedway, a race track made of red clay and nestled in the small hills of central Kentucky, spectators can be sure they will take a little piece of the track with them at the end of the night. It will be on their clothes, in their hair, and on the hoods of their cars parked nearby. And if you are one of the brave ones, you’ll stand next to the chain link safety fence and get a literal taste of the track as it is kicked in your face after the pro late models roar past.

Scores of weekend motor heads take their modified cars to this D-shaped track on muggy Friday and Saturday nights throughout the summer to see who is the fastest around. The drivers are husbands and wives, and sons and daughters. Some are school teachers and others are landscapers.

And they all like to race. And if they aren’t behind the wheel, they are in the stands or helping in the pits. It’s a weekend hobby for most, but some have aspirations of being more than that. NASCAR is in their hearts, but also on their radar.

But if being a professional race car driver isn’t in their future, they know the dirt will always be there.

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