Hermiston Super Oval (formerly Columbia Motor Speedway) blows open its doors this weekend with one of the biggest invitational late-model races in the Pacific Northwest!

The promoters/operators of the highly-successful Spokane Raceway Park took over the Hermiston track over the winter and the effect has been remarkable. Numerous improvements to the facilities have been made including new paint and, perhaps for the first time in the track's 40-plus-year history, new pavement!

The 2013 season launches this Saturday with the first of several big late-model invitational races featuring some of the biggest names in Northwest and West Coast stock cars. The legendary Garrett Evans -- for years a leader on the old NASCAR Northwest Tour -- is among the 26-plus cars expected to be there.

Late-models are very similar to the Sprint Cup cars seen on TV with some minor body differences and a little less horsepower. Additionally, local classes such as the mini-stocks, hornets, and Columbia River Legend cars will be competing this season.

For the schedule visit the Facebook page.

This weekend gates open at 2 p.m. for a three-hour pre-race party. Qualifying rounds start about 5:30 with racing at 7 p.m.

(Hermiston Super Oval Facebook Page)