Most people know I announce at two different race tracks....one is dirt and the other asphalt. Two different sets of race fans, stock cars and of course surfaces. Most people also know the economy has taken it's toll on the sport of local racing as well. And technology, everyone has Ipads, cell phones and computers and gaming is huge. From car counts to purses to fans in the stands, things are not how they used to be.
There has been a huge push in Minnesota as race fans there are not trying to save their favorite track from closing. No, they are trying to enjoy the last days of Raceway Park in Shakopee being open. It was announced this year, that an asphalt recycling plant will be built where the track now stands. The last checkered flag will fly over the track on September 1st.
This past weekend a concerted effort was put together to try and break the track's all time attendance record of around 3,200. I hear the number was close to 3,000. Cudo's to each and every driver and fan that showed up. That is simply outstanding. Some folks had not been to that track in 15 years or more for one reason or another. They were there this weekend. One last shout, one last popcorn and one last time for some to watch a driver they had not seen in years. What a way to support your local track! The future? Who knows. Hopefully racing will not leave the hearts and minds of those that are at Raceway Park now. They, the drivers, were the ones trying to garner support to pack the stands. Again, cudo's!
As for The Mississippi Thunder Speedway and La Crosse Speedway? Wow. What a weekend. Both tracks had outstanding fan bases. MTS was a circus. Balloon makers, giveaways, flying frisbees and flying dirt. What a recipe for a Friday night. And La Crosse. I heard from fans that had not been to the track in years that were thrilled by the racing, the food and Trailer Race of Destruction. I think there will be some extra Oktoberfest tickets sold this year for that premiere racing event coming in 2 months.
In closing, you, the fans, should be congratulated for getting to that local track and supporting a sport enjoyed by those 5 to 60. I keep getting the vision of the track in Black River Falls. A picture taken by Kenny Hutchins. What once was a track that saw many, many miles of tires put down on it is now covered in weeds. Raceway Park.......we can't stop what's going on there. Other local tracks? Yes, we can. Keep showing up! And keep racing!