Outdoors

Spokane County Racing hosts weekend oval, road course racing

Spokane County Raceway ramps up its season with weekend action on the road course and oval drivers competing Friday night.

Road racing will be a two-day program starting Saturday and concluding the following afternoon.

For straight-line racing fans the drag strip is set to host its first event of 2014 on May 2.

Stability in leadership has been crucial to the road course and drag strip operations with Chuck Sundstrom at the helm. The half-mile oval has struggled to keep management in place from month to month, let alone year to year since SCR came into the ownership of Spokane County.

Curtis Orvick began the 2013 season as the manager of the oval. By summer, racing dates for premier events had been canceled with a group of racers getting together with Craig Smith, the holder of the county’s operational contract, to find a solution to keep their track open.

When the dust settled, former late model driver Mike Hoover, who had been part of Orvick’s staff, moved to the management side of the oval from his race-day operational role and the track soldiered on for the remainder of the year.

This season Hoover is hopeful that his focus on keeping racing simple and cost-effective, as implemented last year, will be the key to success.

Last weekend SCR’s oval held a mud bog in the oval infield to get things rolling and Friday night sees the return of Pony Stock, Road Runner and Bump to Pass racing on the asphalt. Super Late Model racing will return to the half-mile later this season, including a 250-lap race set for September.

The 250-lap event is akin to the Spokane 200 that had been held in years past with a high-paying purse offered to the winner and two days of racing scheduled.

Capping the season will be the first appearance of the Rusty Wallace Racing Experience, scheduled for Sept. 20-21. Geared for race fans wanting a chance to drive a Sprint Cup race car, the program will be the first of its kind at SCR since it reopened.

Hoover has installed sponsor-based theme nights to the oval’s racing program in hopes of bringing excitement to a race night.

“We’ve got some fun stuff planned for the season,” Hoover said. “(Friday’s) event theme is Zombie takeover with the costume contest being held during intermission.”

Prizes include season passes for admission to SCR and items from the night’s sponsors including Zombie Espresso, Dawn of the Donut and Zombie Juice.

Friday night racing on the oval begins at 6 with road racing set to take the track at 10 a.m. Saturday. For more information call 244-3333 or go to spokanecountyraceway.com.

Kart racing starts up

The region’s road course kart racing facility, based at the Spokane County ORV Park, kicks off its season with a two-day race program beginning Saturday morning and wrapping up the following day.

Known as one of the Inland Empire’s best-kept racing secrets, the Spokane Kart Racing Association has produced many of the Northwest’s top drivers, including Colton Schultz, Jake Bisset and Burt Gasaway. Even late-model stars such as Nicole Behar and Braeden Havens have taken on the challenges of the track’s .650-mile twists and turns.

The track hosts eight divisions of racing with classes for adults and juniors.

Defending SKRA champions include Riley Miller (Kid Karts), Shae Doree, (Jr. I Animal), Parker Shaw (Jr. Clone and Jr. Rotax), Alex Borden (Jr. Sportsman), Colton Schultz (World Formula), Dustin Koril (Sr. TaG) and Bryan Morris (Sr. Clone).

Grandstand admission is free to the public with plenty to do during breaks in the racing. The park-like setting at SKRA offers a play area for children and options for pit admission to see the go-karts up close. For more information, go to spokanekarting.org.

To reach Motorsports Correspondent Doug Pace or for story suggestions email him at racingnewssource@gmail.com

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Rich Landers

Rich Landers

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