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Monica Hernandez / Eyewitness News
Email: mhernandez@wwltv.com | Twitter: @mhernandezwwl

AVONDALE, La. -- The only thing better than watching cars rush past at over 100 miles per hour is driving them.

At least, that's what Steve Robinson will tell you.

The amateur enthusiast from Metairie spent Sunday morning sharing his passion for cars with his six-year-old son during the grand opening of the NOLA Motorsports Park.

'To see the development here and what it (has) brought to the area, it's really nice to see something here, this type of magnitude,' Robinson said.

The 750 acre multi-million dollar facility in Avondale is one-of-a-kind in the state and, developers said, one of the best in the nation.

'What we built is really special,' said Mitch Wright, general manager of the park and a retired race car driver.

Added Wes Ratcliff, the park's director of business development, 'To finally see it out here, to be able to drive on the track, hear the tires, hear the cars behind us drive on the track, it's just amazing.'

And with scheduled events expected to bring hundreds of racing enthusiasts from around the globe, developers believe it will be a big economic boost for the area.

'There's no other race track that's this close to a major city with a lot of fun things to do,' said Ratcliff, noting that the park tried to hire as many local workers as possible.

'So now you can not just come to New Orleans for a lot of the entertainment side and the festivals, now you have a track that you can also come,' said Ron Rink, the parks' motorcycle coordinator.

Rink has raced motorcycles for nearly a decade throughout the globe.

Long time professional driver John Crosby said the focus it takes to round every curve is the reason he feels right at home behind the wheel of a race car.

The screech of tires, the smell of burning rubber. The focus and precision it takes to round every curve. All of it is why John Crosby feels right at home behind the wheel of a race car.

'Most people think its crazy it looks out of control, it couldn't be more the opposite,' Crosby said. 'I do it to relax, believe it or not.'

For 25 years, Crosby has raced all over country. Now, the New Orleans native can do it in his own backyard.

'I think it's a great asset for the city of New Orleans,' said Crosby. 'I think he's going to bring a lot of events that the city of New Orleans never had before.'

Meanwhile, Robinson said he's excited to have a local venue for a sport he loves that gives people another incentive to visit New Orleans.

The motorsports park also includes a 23-acre kart facility. Developers have begun clearing the way for a second track that would connect with the first, making it the longest in the country.

The park will host its first professional spectator race in October.

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