The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Entertainment

August 22, 2013

Checkered flags in Alexandria

Second Grand Prix rolls this weekend

ALEXANDRIA — They’ve been buddies forever. Alexandria’s Mayor Jack Woods and George DiRuzza of Orestes go back about 40 years when they were both on the high school wrestling team.

This weekend, the two will put the pedal to the metal as they get right in the thick of it at Alexandria’s second Grand Prix, an event the two were instrumental in bringing to the city.

This will be the first time the mayor rolls through the downtown streets of Alexandria in his high speed go-kart. DiRuzza raced in last year’s inaugural event.

“He talked me into buying a kart,” said Woods. The mayor said his kart gets up to about 80 miles per hour on its 4-stroke engine.

“It’ll get out and run. If I have a wreck, I’ll know it,” said Woods. He's racing in a different class than his best friend. Woods noted, "That's good, because he's too aggressive for me."

DiRuzza has been racing close to 33 years. He took a break from racing for about 15 years, and got back into it three years ago when his son, Lew, got interested. That year, DiRuzza helped Lew get ready for a race in Hagerstown and wound up competing against him.

“He came home with a first-place trophy, I came home with broken ribs,” said DiRuzza. He said it was still worth it, and now he and his son run about half of the circuit of Southern Indiana Racing Association races. “I love racing. It’s the cheapest way I know how to go fast."

Woods and DiRuzza were out testing and tuning this week at the New Castle Motorsports Park, getting ready for the big race that they worked to bring to Alexandria, the revival of an old tradition.

“It was here back in the seventies,” said Woods.

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