One hundred sixty-one cars.
That was the number of entries that ran Saturday at Independence Motor Speedway after Justin Temeyer and his co-promoting partner, Mick Trier, found a way to make racing happen when others couldn’t.
“They made the decision that they were going to do everything in their power to race cars,” track announcer Jerry Mackey said. “It was their never-give-up attitude that made it work. We showed the fans and drivers that we are going to do everything we can to get racing going each week and the drivers responded in numbers, which is huge.”
With very few tracks able to open during the pandemic, Independence was able to draw drivers from as far away as Michigan.
The dirt track had been prepped earlier in the week, then rain came Saturday morning.
“As soon as the rain stopped, Justin and Mick went to work on the racetrack,” Mackey said. “They packed it and rolled it and went back and forth and packed and packed and packed.”
Hot laps were scheduled for 6 p.m., but were delayed.
“We had so many cars just keep coming,” Mackey said. “The guys used that time to continue to pack the track and finally we started hot-lapping around 7:15 p.m.”
Once things got rolling, it “made for a long night with a lot of races, an awful lot of races,” Mackey said. “It was really an interesting show and the track held up beautifully. They did a fantastic job. It was wide and really, really fast, of course, being wet. It made for a very exciting night of racing.”
Some of the more thrilling features occurred in the modified class where Jeff Aikey of Cedar Falls started on the pole and “looked like he was going to be the man to beat and run away with it,” according to Mackey. He finished fifth with Troy Cordes of Dunkerton in his No. 71 car dialed in for the win.
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“There was a lot of side-by-side racing and competition in that one,” Mackey said. “Stock cars were the same way. Aikey started on the pole for the late models as well and he was the man to beat there.”
Mackey is hopeful some fans will be in attendance this weekend.
“We are anticipating that the governor will make another announcement early this week,” Mackey said. “We are hoping she will open things up further, even if it’s to a percentage of the grandstand. We are expecting it to be 50 percent. If she does that, it will be awesome. That will put a whole new spin on what we will do next weekend.
“We’re planning on racing Saturday night no matter what.”