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New management reopening raceway

Spokane County Raceway officially reopened Tuesday under new management.

“We’re back in operation, so I’m very excited about that,” Parks Director Doug Chase told Spokane County commissioners.

He said the raceway’s new operators, a partnership of veteran track operators Ronald Hodgson and Charles Allen, satisfied their final requirement to start racing.

Chase said they gave him a $73,346 letter of credit Tuesday morning, ensuring the county will receive its $60,000 share of this year’s track revenue and that the leasehold excise tax will be paid.

The financial guaranty cleared the way for the season’s first racing Tuesday night – by 30 to 40 bicyclists participating in the Baddlands Cycling Club’s Cooper Jones Memorial Twilight Series.

A National Hot Rod Association “Extended Tech Day” Saturday will be the first event involving cars.

Drag racing will begin May 21 with Friday Night Street Legal Drags, and professional drag racers will test their cars and skills May 22 in an event called Open Test ’n Tune and Family Fun Day.

Meanwhile, Chase said construction of several county-funded improvements is proceeding on schedule, including safety fencing along the drag strip and the oval racetrack.

County officials took control of construction and tightened contract standards after the track’s first operator under county ownership, Austin Motorsports Management, got the boot for racking up $1.1 million in unpaid bills.