We have some important updates from I-90 Speedway – so please read this latest edition of Hot Laps with Hot Rod
I’ll start off with the words that are literally putting a stake in my heart, we are not able to race this Saturday, June 8. It is getting increasingly difficult to do this each week, so I’m going to lay it out for you the best I can.
We needed to make this call TODAY because of the magnitude of this Saturday’s show. The Ben Nothdruft Memorial Race, featuring the Tri-State Late Model Series, was going to be the biggest show of the season for us. We had commitments from late model drivers from as far away as Winnipeg, Manitoba, Omaha and Lincoln, NE, Wyoming, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, and more. Since I am not 100 percent sure we can hold this race to the standards it needs to be, we owe it to the teams who were planning on making the trip in. We also owe it to Troy and Sara Nothdruft, Ben’s son and daughter-in-law and the entire Nothdruft family, to give them the quality of show THEY deserve. A show that Ben would watch from his perch in Heaven with a big smile on his face. Rest assured, the Nothdruft family and our management team are working on some make up dates for “The Ben” and those details will be released as soon as possible.
There are two factors in this scenario that come into play.
First, conditions at the speedway, not just the track, but the grounds as well. For anyone who has been to the track, the infield looks dry from topside. I was there with Cory Yeigh, Tracy Halouska and Brooke Relf yesterday (Sunday) putting up the rest of our billboards and there is STILL standing water along the inside of the inside retaining wall, not to mention some water on the inside of turn 3 between the track and the inside retaining wall. The exit off the track off number 3 corner still has standing water on both sides and the entrance to the track onto number 4 corner still has standing water. The rest of the infield is still very spongy because it was under 3-4′ of water as of April 15th and there is just no where for this water to go. We are not able to get our boom truck into the infield to replace or repair lights and poles for the safety of our drivers and the visibility for the fans. The outer pit area is a little better, but keep in mind, we have had record setting precipitation and we have only had a handful of quality drying days. To compound the problems with that, we are built along wetlands. There is no where to put this water, even if we tried to pump it out. If any of you don’t believe me, please come out and walk around those areas and look first hand at our situation. We have approximately 130 pit stalls in the outside area off of number 3 and 4 corners and there are at least 35-40 of those that I would not drive my pickup into, let along a race hauler. I can not justify ATTEMPTING to put rigs in those areas, having them get stuck and having I-90 Speedway be thought of in a negative way. Bottom line is, even though we have experienced some nice days lately, it has not been enough to dry our facility to be safe and enjoyable for our race teams and fans. This is something that we can not control.
The second factor that comes into play is something that is 98 percent out of our control. I’m going to put all the rumors to rest right now and tell you, we do not have our bleachers installed. The process has been started, but not nearly completed. There are many things that have not gone as we had anticipated – the details of which I don’t need to get into. What matters is this – we are working very hard to rectify those things and get safe, comfortable bleachers up as soon as possible. We are exploring all avenues to get this accomplished for our fans, advertisers, drivers and race teams.
As general manager, I have a job to make the right decisions for the track and the people who support it. I WILL NOT try to piece something together and have it not reach the standards that ownership and management expect. Is this process taking too long? Yes it is. Is it getting more and more frustrating everyday? Yes. Will we continue to fight to get this right? Yes. Will my team and I work tirelessly to give you a complete season of racing in 2019? YES!!!
One of the things I have always tried to do is be open and honest with people, sometimes to a fault. Almost all of you have been very supportive of our project, but there are some that will not understand the big picture and they will offer their opinions. They are certainly welcome to those opinions. I would ask, that if you are going to offer yours, keep in mind there are a large number of people who will read this that don’t know what the racing world and the racing family is all about. The last thing we want to do, not just for I-90 Speedway, but for dirt track racing in general, is to give them so much negativity that they will never give our great sport a chance. We never know who might be reading this, or anything about racing in general, that might turn out to be a big racing supporter by investing in the sport through a race team, the track, etc. Remember, you can’t “un-ring” a bell. What we don’t say will not hurt us, what we do say, might.
If you have purchased Bleacher Backer chances, nothing has changed there. I can tell you that sales of the raffle tickets is not nearly what we had hoped for, so if you have any interest in helping us with this project, please consider becoming a Bleacher Backer. For details, just e-mail [email protected] My wife Doreen will be in touch and take care of you. We need you now, more than ever.
If you have any questions about anything you hear on the street, my phone number is on the website. As the Journey song says, “Don’t Stop Believin’, hold on to that feeling!”
Thank you for your time and I’ll try to keep you up to date.