Mineral City Speedway ready for opener

Mineral City Speedway is headed in a new direction for the upcoming season, as the popular Fort Dodge track moves its races to Sunday nights beginning here this evening.

Co-owner and promoter Kit Hovey said the switch is an attempt to attract more competitors and fans on a day that features much less area action.

”It’s a numbers game,” Hovey said. ”There are six tracks within a 100-mile radius (of MCS) that go on Friday nights, and we’ll be just the third to run on Sundays.

”(Race director) Chuck Crimmins and I discussed it at great length, and we just felt like it made the most sense and was the right thing to do. In order to draw in more racers and fans, you have to be accessible. I think this gives us an opportunity to separate ourselves from everyone else.”

The 2013 calendar year at MCS starts with hot laps at 6 p.m. on Sunday. Pits open at 4 p.m. – an hour earlier than in the past.

Hornets, Econo Stocks, Hobby Stocks, Stock Cars and A and B Modifieds will be featured weekly.

”It’s wonderful entertainment and great family value,” Hovey said. ”We’ve also dropped the price of admission for adults back to $8 (from the $10 a year ago). And races are always exciting, because we don’t get into the single-file situation where no one can pass.

”We’ve always received tremendous support from (the area), and we wanted to do what it will take to keep racing regular and vibrant (at MCS). The most important aspect is the fans, though – without them, this wouldn’t be possible.”

This season’s special events include the Iowa ATV Series (May 26-27), Kids’ Night (June 2 and July 7), Bike Night (July 21), and the annual Bruce Sommerfeld Memorial (Sept. 20-21). The points championship will be determined on Aug. 25.

The attendance at MCS has fluctuated between 1,000 and 2,000 fans weekly since opening a decade ago.

Mike McFarland of Clare (Hornets), Bill Crimmins of Fort Dodge (A Mods), Lance Deal of Fort Dodge (Stock), Andy Tiernan of Woodward (B Mods), Myles Michehl of Fort Dodge (Hobby) and Brad Hanse of Fort Dodge (Econo) are this year’s defending champions.

Mineral City Speedway is located just under a mile north of U.S. 20 on U.S. 169, then a half-mile east on 230th Street.