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Thousands of folks are racing to our area this weekend for the first ever major professional drag race.

Tires are smoking at the all new South Georgia Motorsports Park in Cook County. That’s because the first ever race sponsored by the National Hot Rod Association is taking place this weekend.

NHRA organizers say this track is not only a benefit to local race fans, but to the sport in general.

"It's very important to have a quality facility like this. This is what promotes our sport with our drivers, our competitors, our crews. It also promotes our sport with our spectators," says Bill Holt of the NHRA.

The spectators have been eagerly awaiting this day, as some of the fastest cars created are finally rumbling down this track. Organizers say this first annual event is drawing people from around the country, not just from around the southeast, but from as far away as California, meaning this event has already been a big economic boom to south Georgia.

As you can see from high atop the raceway, the participant parking area is already packed, and organizers say more room is already needed.

Holt adds, "As you can tell, we're packed today, this place is maxed out right now, it needs to be bigger."

Drivers say they are very impressed with what this new track to offer.

Mark Billington, a drag racer, says, "I think first of all, it’s a beautiful facility its probably one of the nicest track that I've seen in a long time anywhere, let alone in Georgia. I expect a lot of great racking and the alcohol cars will be running probably over 250 miles per hour and it should be pretty exciting."

Exciting racing, unlike anything that's rumbled through this area.

The racing qualifying gets underway Friday night, and continues Saturday at 1 in the afternoon. Tickets for Saturday's elimination races are $25 for adults and just $5 for the kids. The racetrack is just off I-75, north of Valdosta.