With a long, snowy winter now in the rearview mirror, the gates have officially opened on New Hampshire Motor Speedway's 27th season. With a busy schedule that runs through December, this year's docket will feature more than 250 on- and off-track events.

Bicycles will have the honor of being the first on the track, as Proctor Academy's coed cycling team hosts an event Wednesday and New Hampshire Cycling Club on Thursday - both on the speedway's 1.6-mile road course. The first motorized vehicles to hit the track will be BMW Club of America's White Mountain Chapter, which will navigate the speedway's 1.6-mile road course on Saturday.

"We're New Englanders, so we get that winters can be long. But I think I can speak for everyone at NHMS when I say we are ready to go racing," said David McGrath, executive vice president and general manager of NHMS. "We have so many wonderful events on the docket - both on the track and off of it. I could not be happier to get this season underway."

Major events this season include two Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series weekends (July 14-16 and Sept. 22-24) and the 94th annual Loudon Classic (June 12-18). The 11th annual Formula Hybrid Competition (May 1-4), Tough Mudder (Aug. 19-20), the Vintage Racing Celebration (Aug. 24-25), Hot Import Nights (Aug. 26), Extreme Chunkin (Oct. 14-15) and the 24 Hours of Lemons (Oct. 21-22) will also highlight the major event schedule.

Local racing series on the track later this month and throughout the season include the Loudon Road Race Series (motorcycles), Moat Mountain Road Course Series (Legends), Sign Works Oval Series (Legends), and the Sign Works Mini-Oval Bandolero Series.

For those itching to be a part of the on-track action, the speedway hosts a variety of racing schools including Richard Petty Driving Experience, Rusty Wallace Driving Experience and the NASCAR Racing Experience throughout the year. Options range from ride-alongs to extended behind-the-wheel opportunities. These experiences are open to the public, and those interested in participating are encouraged to register before the event.

The North East Motor Sports Museum, located near the South Entrance of New Hampshire Motor Speedway, is scheduled to open to the public on June 12. The 10,000 square foot museum will be home to some of the most unique and celebrated New England themed racing memorabilia in the region, including the Toyota Camry Joey Logano drove to his first-career Cup win at NHMS in 2008.

While the on-track events will end in October, the holiday season will kick off with the Gift of Lights, a two-mile drive-through illumination show benefiting Speedway Children's Charities, which runs from late November through New Year's Eve.