It’s more than just barbecues and fireworks to help bring in the Fourth of July for some in western Montana…and even nationwide. The 8th annual Wild West Shootout at Big Sky Kartway begins Thursday in Missoula and is bringing in competition as far as North Carolina.

"Racers from all over the United States are expected. I've already got a couple of teams from Texas, several teams from California, all in the pits," Promoter Shawn Wells said. "Over the weekend, we'll have four classes, upwards of 140 race cars and the open class is paying $2,500 to win and probably the total purse is going to get close to $10,000."

The shootout brings more than racers from out of state. It brings spectators and tourists, too.

"I'm guessing there's got to be 60 to 80 race cars from out of state that show up here. We've possibly got one factory team coming from North Carolina and we've got two factory teams coming out of California," Wells said. "It's probably one of the top three kart races in the country. We race on a seventh-mile racetrack. Straightaways are basically 140 feet long and we're hitting speeds of around 70 miles per hour and going into the corner slingin' mud."

Catch the races at Big Sky Kartway located behind Muralt’s Travel Plaza or stream the races live here.