Roger Simon admits he may be a little nuts.
“Probably,” he said.
In a time when many auto racing venues are struggling to survive, Simon has jumped into the game.
He recently reopened Farley Speedway under the name “300 Raceway.” The track stopped weekly racing last summer because of dwindling car counts and attendance.
“I want to keep it going,” he said. “There’s a lot of potential (here) ... I think it will work.
“If you prepare it right, it can be a heck of a track, a fast track.”
The speedway is located next to Simon’s Trucking, where the 67-year-old lifelong racing fan is president and CEO.
“It’s perfect,” he said of the 3/8 mile dirt track.
The track opened last Friday with a three-class race the included late models and modifieds.
The first big event is Friday when the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series returns to the track for the first time since 2008. The night will include the Truck Country 50, a 50-lap main event with a $12,000-to-win prize. The field will include Iowa drivers Brian Birkhofer of Muscatine, driving a limited schedule in “semiretirement,” and Chad Simpson of Mount Vernon, as well as guys like Billy Moyer Jr. of Batesville, Ark., Earl Pearson Jr. of Jacksonville, Fla., and current points leader Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, Ga.
Gates open at 4 p.m. with racing at 6.
“There’s nothing better,” Simon said of the series.
Simon renamed the track because it is located at Exit 300 on Highway 20 and because of his background in truck and tractor pulls, where a full pull is 300 feet.
“We feel that these items tie the ownership and location of the facility together very nicely,” a description on the website reads.
This year’s schedule is somewhat in flux since Simon just purchased the track. He hopes to have a variety of events, however, including concerts and truck and tractor pulls. He even hopes to bring back weekly racing at some point, but keeping the program short and cheap.
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“If you don’t charge much, people will come,” he said. “We’re going to have two or three big events every year.”
The Yankee Dirt Track Classic will remain a staple, he said. The 42nd annual classic is set for Aug. 21-23.
Another track that has seen some renewed action is the West Liberty Raceway.
DRT TRAK Racing is holding a “Modified Madness” race at the track on Saturday with a $2,000-to-win feature. There also will be racing in stock cars, 4-stocks and American Iron Racing.
The grandstand opens at 5 p.m. with hotlaps at 6:30. Tickets are $15 for adults, $13 for students and seniors. Children 12-and-under are free.
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