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Many Still Need Wins

Many Still Need Wins

Many still looking for a win following Sonoma

Donny Schatz -- The Pilot

Donny Schatz -- The Pilot

DONNY SCHATZ’S RELIANCE ON AVIATION FOR SUCCESSFUL SPRINT CAR CAREER

Guessing To The Very End

Guessing To The Very End

ENJOY ILLINOIS 300 KEPT US GUESSING UNTIL THE FINISH

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Racetrack Revival

April 6, 2024: Dixie Speedway, Woodstock, Ga.

History:

Dixie Speedway is a three-eighths mile clay oval in Woodstock, Ga. The track opened in 1968 as a dirt track and was paved for a period of time before returning to clay. Bud Lunsford and Max Simpson were early owners, but since 1976 has been operated by the Swims family. The track was a mainstay in major super late model racing, but also hosted sprint cars, motorcycles, monster trucks and a variety of stock cars. The track was the first track where NASCAR Champion Bill Elliott raced and won.

Dixie shut down because of COVID in 2000, hosting only one race, then a very limited three-race schedule in 2021. On October 10, 2021 Jonathan Davenport won the final race of that season – the Dixie Shootout for the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series.

In February of 2022 it was announced that Dixie Speedway, and its sister track Rome Speedway, would go on hiatus for the season as the family rallied around track matriarch Martha Swims and her battle with cancer, she passed in July of that year.

Present:

In 2023 the family rallied to re-open Rome Speedway with the promise of a 2024 return to racing at Dixie. And, on April 6, 2024, the gates of Dixie Speedway re-opened with a jam-packed pit area and an enthusiastic overflow crowd in the grandstands.

Dixie Speedway has races and events on a limited basis all season featuring late model cars, sprint cars, stock cars and other motorsports events.

For more information, the track’s website is www.DixieSpeedway.com

April 5, 2024: Dirt Track at Texas Motor Speedway

History

The Dirt Track at Texas Motor Speedway is a 4/10-mile black gumbo dirt track located on the property of Texas Motor Speedway. The track was built, at an estimated cost of $8 million, in the late 1990s. On March 30, 2000, Greg Hodnett won the first event at the track, a World of Outlaws sprint car race.

The track ran a limited schedule of sprint cars, late models, modifieds and stock cars through 2021. The final car race at the track was October 16, 2021, when Roger Crocket won a Bandit Outlaw Sprint Series race at the track.

The track did host American Flat Track motorcycles in 2022 but sat idle since.

Present

As the 2023 calendar year wound down and plans for 2024 were announced the track was listed on multiple series schedules. A POWERi Bandit Outlaw Sprint race was held on April 5, 2024, with Brent Marks getting the win. The track has a seven-event, 14-night schedule in 2024.

More information is available at www.TexasMotorSpeedway.com .

Photo: High Limit Racing

April 5, 2024: Penton Raceway, Lafayette, Ala.

History:

Penton Raceway in Lafayette, Ala. started as a three-tenths mile clay over in 1981 and was reconfigured to a quarter mile in 1985. The track hosted weekly racing as well as many of the top regional super late model series and the USCS 360 sprint cars. The track closed in 2017, then had a short-lived re-start in 2022 (as Penton Motor Speedway) but quickly closed again.

Present:
In February 2023 it was announced that Danny Carswell, Jamie and Amanda Godbee had purchased the speedway. The trio worked over the course of 2023 rebuilding and fine-tuning every aspect of the facility. The owners went back to the original Penton Raceway name and returned racing to the popular track on April 5, 2024, with 78 cars and a full grandstand.

A complete schedule and more information are available at the track’s website: www.raceatpenton.com

March 30, 2024: Pine Ridge Speedway, Guntown, Mis

History:

Pine Ridge Speedway is a one-quarter mile clay oval near Baldwyn Mississippi in Guntown. The track operated in the ‘60s and ‘70s as Baldwyn Race Track and the Magnolia Speedbowl. History is spotty from this era and the track reopened in May of 1992 and ran through the 1999 season.

The track re-opened in 2002 for a stint that lasted through the 2006 season. It opened again in 2015 and raced on and off until 2018 when it received significant storm damage shutting down again. At some point the track was also known as Thunder Ridge Speedway.

Present:

The track has been purchased by Charles Moudy, owner of C&M Express Truckins and a long-time dirt race fan and car owner. In February, Brian Mitchell, who successfully promoted North Alabama Speedway from 2016 through 2021 was named the promoter and race director.

Over the past six months everything from the bleachers to concession stand to the press box, scoreboard and new sound system has been rebuilt.

On Saturday, March 30 the new era began at Pine Ridge Speedway with 92 cars filling the pits for “re” opening night.

Track Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=61552771111363

2024 Race Track Revivals

Opening Dates:
April 5 – Jackson County Speedway, Ohio
April 5 – Penton Raceway, Alabama
April 5 -- The Dirt Track at Texas Motor Speedway
April 6 – Dixie Speedway, Georgia
April 19 -- Dog Hollow Speedway, Pennsylvania
May 4 -- Norton Motorsports Park, Ohio (formerly Barberton Speedway)
May 24 – Pennsboro Speedway, West Virginia
June 14 – Millstream Speedway, Ohio

Fingers Crossed:
Shangri-La 2 Speedway, New York
Little River Speedway, South Carolina
Southside Speedway, Virginia
Big South Fork Speedway, Tennessee
Newport Speedway, Tennessee

September 9. 2023– TNT Speedway, Three Lakes,Wisc.

History:

TNT Speedway, a one-third mile clay oval in Three Lakes, Wisc., opened on May 28, 1995. The name of the track was Tim, Nicky, and Tayler Rutzen – family members of the owners of the speedway.

Weekly Saturday night racing was also highlighted by visits from the Dirt Kings Late Model Tour as well as the Midwest Sprint Car Association. At the end of the 2021 season Tim Rutzen sold the track and the track sat idle for the 2022 season.

Present:

In mid-June of 2023 things started happening at the speedway, which was covered by green grass. A posting on Facebook June 26th announced a return to racing and in about a 10-week period the track was prepared.

On Saturday, September 9 a five division (street stocks, pure stocks, four cylinders, b-mods and 600 sprints) re-launched the speedway. A second show was presented on October 7, with a full schedule slated for 2024.

The track is hosting snowmobile and ice racing during this winter.

Track Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/NewTNTSpeedway

August 24, 2023 – Lebanon (Mo.) I-44 Speedway

History:

Bill Willard opened Lebanon (Mo.) I-44 Speedway in May of1983 as the three-eighths mile dirt track. The track hosted all the major touring super late model series during that period. In 1989 the track was paved, and NASCAR Weekly Racing Series action was held; Larry Phillips won the NASCAR National Championship five times, three of them at I-44 bringing attention to the track.

In 2002 Willard passed away, Randy Mooneyham took over the track and put dirt over the asphalt. Again, all the major super late model touring series were on the schedule at I-44. And, in 2010 the dirt was removed with the asphalt being the surface-of-choice.

In May of 2020, with car counts and crowds at extremely low levels the track stopped hosting racing events.

Present

In 2023, Brian Olsen of the SRL Series leased the track for one of the National Touring events. The original day of June 29 rained out, but on Thursday August 24 the “Tribute to Larry Phillips” SRL Race was held, re-opening the track.

Looking forward, local racer and businessman Aaron Douglas has taken over operations of the track and is working on an eight to 10 race schedule in 2024.

Website: www.facebook.com/i44speedway/

August 3, 2023 – McKean County Raceway, Smethport,

History:

There is documentation of racing on the fairground property in Smethport, Pa. all the way back to the early 1900s. What is certain is that a half-mile oval hosted racing there from 1955 until 1971. Later a third-mile oval was built opening on September 17, 1983, hosting racing through the 2021 season.

The Super Late Models were the weekly headline class at the track along with other stock car divisions. The track also hosted touring super late model racing as well as 360 sprint cars on an annual basis.

At the end of 2021, the McKean County Fair Association and the promoter of the track did not renew their contract and the track sat idle for the 2022 racing season.

Present

Kurt and Bonnie Stebbins are no strangers to area racing. Kurt raced for 15 years and was the 2014 Street Stock Champion at McKean County. The duo owns and operates KB Raceway (a go-kart track) in Wellsville, N.Y. and since 2016 promoted Genesee Speedway and Genesee Kartway in Batavia, N.Y. Mid-summer the McKean County Fair Association and the Stebbins announced the reopening of the track in 2023 and a full season in 2024.

On Thursday, August 3rd the track opened in the first of a series of Thursday night racing programs featuring RUSH Late Models, RUSH Pro Modifieds and a number of other stock car divisions. A “Fall Classic” weekend was scheduled but was rained out bring an end to the 2023 season. A full 2024 schedule is in the works.
Website: www.mckeancounty-raceway.com

May 26, 2023 – Arrowhead Speedway, Colcord, Okla.

History:

West Siloam Springs Speedway was a quarter-mile dirt track located 5.5-miles West of the Arkansas border in Colcord, Oklahoma. The track featured mostly stock cars and modifieds but did feature other travelling divisions.

Over the course of time the track – which also had stints as 412 Raceway Park and Flint Creek Speedway -- had periods of success and struggles with various owners. The track closed, for a couple of years, midway through 2003 and again for a period after the 2011 season with new ownership groups taking over, closing again in 2018.

Present:

Willie Gammill, a local racer, purchased the track and leveled everything to build a state-of-the-art semi-banked 1/3-mile facility. Included were luxury VIP Suites, paved access roads and MUSCO lighting.

Weather pushed construction back and rain hampered opening night plans, but on Friday May 29, 2023, Arrowhead Speedway held opening night with 123 racing teams: local modifieds, stock cars and the Oil Capital Racing Series Sprint Cars.

Over the 2023 season the track hosted the COMP Cams Super Dirt Series Super Late Models twice, the American Racer Modified Series and the American Sprint Car Series; plus modified and stock car racing.

Year two of Arrowhead Speedway begins on Friday March 15, 2024, with Super Late Models and Modifieds on the program. The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars will have the Jason Johnson Classic at the track on April 6th, the World of Outlaws Case Construction Late Models (April 26th), the American Sprint Car Series (June 14) and the Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series (July 26). A total of 39 Nights of Racing will be presented.

Website: www.ArrowheadSpeedway.com

April 15, 2023 – Rome (Ga.) Speedway

History:

In 1966 Roman Garner Snowden carved out a three-eighths mile red clay oval in Rome, Georgia creating one of the iconic tracks America. However, after a couple of races, he closed the track. A few years later sold it to Mickey Swims, who had operated a dragstrip in Cumming.

On March 16, 1969, the track, which had been expanded to a half mile, re-opened and soon became a Sunday night racing tradition. Simply stated, the best Super Late Model drivers for years raced at the extremely fast Rome Speedway. Sprint cars occasionally raced at the track and there has always been a large stock car contingent racing at the speedway.

In February of 2022 it was announced that Rome Speedway, and its sister track Dixie Speedway, would go on hiatus for the season as the family rallied around track matriarch Martha Swims and her battle with cancer, sadly she passed in July of that year.

Present:

Following the silent 2022 season, Rome Speedway returned to racing on Saturday, April 15, 2023, with a stout field of 46 602 Crate Late Models, plus other divisions. Seven events were held at the track featuring weekly divisions with the addition of Super Late Models and 360 Sprint Cars.

And, for 2024 the schedule will return to traditional Sunday night racing on holiday weekends; with the return of racing at Dixie Speedway also planned.

Website: www.raceromespeedway.com

2022 Racetrack Rivivals

April 10, 2022: Adams County Speedway, Quincy, Ill.
April 22, 2022: Callaway Speedway, Fulton, Mo.
May 20, 2022: Paducah International Speedway, Paducah, Ky.
June 17, 2022: Knox Speedway, Knox, Pa
June 28, 2022: Red Hill Raceway, Sumner, Ill.
August 2, 2022: North Wilkesboro (N.C.) Speedway

2021 Racetrack Revivals

June 18, 2021: Nashville Superspeedway
May 1, 2021: I-70 Motorsport Park, Odessa, Mo.
April 24, 2021: West Virginia Motor Speedway
June 20, 2021: Bloomsburg (Pa.) Fairgrounds Speedway
July 16, 2021: Spencer Speedway, Williamson, N.Y
July 31, 2021: All American Speedway, Jacksonville, N.C.

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